With Harvard’s Sleep 101 module inspiring countless memes, it’s clear that many think Harvard needs to work on how it talks to its students about the issue of sleep (in addition to not sending out reminder emails about the module at midnight). Here are some sleep tips that you can use without having Ariana Huffington tell you that caffeine affects your sleep schedule for 45 minutes.
Early To Bed, Early To Rise
On nights where you have to work, don’t stay up until 4 a.m. Unless you’re nocturnal, there’s no way you can be very productive at that time of night. Instead of waking up right before class, go to bed early and wake up early instead. Trust us, you’ll be far more productive.
On nights where you do have to pull an all-nighter to write a paper, you’re going to be tired the next day — that’s a given. The day after, do the bare minimum of work (whatever is immediately due the next day) and go to sleep in the early evening. If you’re desperate for sleep, go to bed as soon as possible and do the work the morning of if at all possible. Your body needs to recover after an all-nighter, and if you don’t let it, you can build up sleep debt. This will only make you more unproductive and unfocused as the week goes on, so you want to get rest as soon as possible. You may have more work to do since you didn’t do any the night after the all-nighter, but you’ll be able to do it far more efficiently without the sleep debt weighing you down.
Shut Down Your Laptop
If you’re anything like me, you fall asleep with your laptop in front of your face all the time. It turns out that this can actually mess with your sleep. So, when you feel drowsy in bed, turn off that laptop before you head to bed.
Take Naps (But Not For Too Long)
Have an hour and 15 minutes between two classes? Run home (or go to a library) and take a nap! But don’t take one for too long. 20-minute naps are best for you to feel refreshed and ready to work afterwards. Any longer and you’ll wake up feeling even more tired than before.