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Student Life

Catching Some ZZZ’s

Students are one of the most exhausted populations in the United States.

Laura Magerkurth

April 16, 2013

Catching Some ZZZ’s
Students are one of the most exhausted populations in the United States. This makes sense, of course—between schoolwork, social lives, organizations, sports, volunteering, and part-time jobs, it’s a wonder we find time to eat, let alone get a solid seven or eight hours of shuteye a night. All too often, though, it’s impossible to sleep as much as we should. While we may be legal adults, the truth is that at eighteen, nineteen, twenty, twenty-one years old, a person’s body and brain are still developing and need rest. Please remember, though, that I am not a doctor. I’m just a college kid sharing my experiences and what has worked for me in the past. If you have any concerns about your health or energy levels, don’t hesitate to see your doctor or go to the campus clinic.
Keep your vitamin C levels up. This isn't just a way to avoid getting sick! Vitamin C and the hydration that comes from eating water-dense foods that are high in this nutrient are key in staying awake. When I can’t manage to get an orange, I like to use a drink mix like Emergen-C, which tastes like any other drink powder. Exercising or stretching.
This one can be difficult to fulfill with limited time and energy that are often spent in other ways, but it truly can help clear your mind and give you an extra boost of energy.
If you can’t make it to your school’s gym to exercise, find workout videos on the Internet or in the library that you and your friends can do together.
Even indulging in some loose yoga poses or a walk with friends after dinner can be refreshing. Don’t exercise too close to bedtime, though—finish a moderate or heavy workout at least one or two hours before hitting the sack. Go to bed 15 or 30 minutes earlier. It may seem like a no-brainer, but I find that I’m more productive the next day if I go to bed a half hour earlier than usual. Sleeping late tends to make me groggy and disoriented, much less likely to pay attention in class or focus well on my homework. Unwind before hitting the sack. This is so important, especially on Friday and Saturday nights, when you’ve just gotten back from spending time with friends. It’s a little bit of a shock to the system to immediately fall into bed after having a good time watching movies or dancing or playing Cards Against Humanity. So take a quick shower, get into your pajamas, and scroll through Tumblr, read a magazine, or listen to music to let your body adjust a little. Being a student at any time of year can be exhausting, but now, with summer quickly approaching and the days lengthening, it’s even harder to get enough sleep.

What are your ways to keep yourself from getting too tired?

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