College Sleep Habits: 5 Ways to Pay Off Sleep Debt

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I’ve done the occasional all-nighter when I was a student. Whether it’s a project that needed to be submitted the next day or cramming for an exam, there’s a always that one unfortunate night that you have to sacrifice just to get good grades. Granted, I should have done them earlier, but the student’s life if a big hodge-podge of events, and we just need to wing it at times.

This doesn’t say that it’s correct though. Sleep deprivation is not something to sneeze at. Just by losing a few hours of sleep, the body’s resistance plummets, and  a dozen other inconveniences would crop up that may even be detrimental to one’s student life. Do this, and you may scar your body so much and inevitably change your sleep habits for the worse. No study tip or memory technique would be able to help you once you’re too drowsy to study.

Good thing there’s a way to get around this. When one’s sleep debt is too much, we’ve 5 ways to get you back to your normal sleeping routine:

1. Pay your sleep debt off a little at a time

After the flurry of sleepless nights, schedule a couple of days to help pay off your sleep debt. According to research 1 hour of sleep debt needs to be paid of with the same amount of sleep. This means for every hour of sleep you’re deprived off, you need an extra hour to balance the debt. Since you can’t just have extra hours of sleep each day for practical reasons, you could just schedule an extra hour of sleep each day, per hour of sleep debt that you incurred. For example, for 7 hours worth of sleep debt, schedule 7 straight days with 1 extra hour of sleep each.

2. Do something relaxing before you sleep

This means that after incurring a large sleep debt, be sure to schedule relaxing activities before you sleep. Drink warm milk, lounge in a bathtub, read a good book or do all these things together. Light some aromatherapy candles, or just watch a relaxing show. Whichever the case, the activity should prepare you for a deep slumber – you know you need it.

3. If you can’t seem to sleep, do something boring for 20 minutes

According to a Stanford University article, doing something boring prepares us to sleep even if we don’t feel like it. It’s understandable that the sleepless nights that you’ve undergone had fudged up your system a bit, so combat this by doing something boring. That’s why counting livestock is a favorite, but you could derive your own thing to bore you off.

4. Don’t use the alarm for the next couple of days.

A necessity of college life, alarm clocks dictate most of students’ daily routines. Take off your alarm clock from the shelf, just for the next couple of days while you’re paying off your sleep debt. Your body needs to reset its own internal clock and in the process wake up according to its own rhythm.

5.  “Slumber up” your room

Remember to re-arrange your room and bed in the most comfortable configuration possible. Draw up the blinds, or if that’s not possible, get an eye-mask to help you sleep better. Relaxing scents are also good, so stock up on these items the day you’ll start getting back your sleep hours.

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