Realistic Sleep Tips for Busy Students published | 15 September When you’re in school, one of the most important keys to success is a decent night’s sleep. Yet for many students in university or college late night study sessions and coffee binges are normal and, unfortunately, necessary. Lectures and readings and essays and exam study sessions eat up your precious time, never mind balancing a social life, extracurriculars, and a job on top of your school work! Even writing that sentence was exhausting. So how do you balance your busy schedule with your need for sleep? The recommended 7-8 hours might not be within reach, but we have some tips that just might help you reclaim your nights (or at least some of them). Limit afternoon naps to one hour if possible. You may have been up all night writing an 8 page paper and need some extra nap time to get you through your shift at work. Ultimately you know what’s best for you, but longer naps during the day tend to affect the quality of your nighttime sleep, so avoid those three hour afternoon naps when you can! Exercise as regularly as possible. Bodies that have been put to good use during the day sleep better at night. Take the stairs whenever you can, walk to class or to work, do some yoga in the morning – squeezing in small bits of physical activity whenever you can is still better than nothing at all! Try to create a relaxing bedtime routine for yourself. About a half an hour before you decide to go to bed put down the books, put away the phone, and do a few things that you find relaxing. It will make it much easier to fall asleep if you have allowed your brain to make that transition to a comfortable, sleep-ready state. Invest in earplugs or an eye mask if you share your sleep space with a roommate. Hopefully you generally try to respect one another’s sleep schedules, but if your roommate just has to read in bed or talk to their partner on the phone before they sleep, you will be happy to have some way to tune them out. We know that the idea of a well-rested University student can seem laughable. But prioritizing a healthy sleep routine can actually make it easier for you to balance your busy schedule during the day.