Julia Maher ’23
We all know how inadequate sleep can impact nearly every aspect of our lives. We may feel lethargic and irritable, which also affects our sense of motivation. Sometimes we may not even be aware of how little sleep we get or how it impacts us on a greater scale. This lack of awareness is almost inevitable in college, since we are juggling academics, activities, employment, relationships, and self-care simultaneously. With college students averaging only 6 to 6.9 hours of sleep per night, however, it is crucial that we make sleep—a fundamental need—our top priority. Although it is difficult, here are some tips to maximize sleep and its quality.
Work on assignments as soon as possible, preferably right when they are assigned. Poor time management is one of the main contributors to sleep deprivation, so it is very important to stay organized and responsible. Even if assignments cannot be finished very quickly, at least start working on them. Doing something is much better than doing nothing at all.
Develop a nighttime routine that can be repeated every night before falling asleep. Whether it is reading a book, listening to soft music, meditating, or praying, having a few rituals that are done exclusively before bed can help you fall asleep more quickly and increase the quality of your sleep. Make sure you feel relaxed and at ease before you try to sleep.
Avoid using technology with a blue light right before you go to bed, and try to maintain a sleep schedule. Blue lights can make your body think that it is daytime instead of night time, which leads to difficulty falling asleep and a poor quality of sleep. If you fall asleep and wake up around the same times every day, your body will feel more grounded and balanced than if you have an erratic sleep schedule. Feeling more grounded mentally tends to translate into feeling more motivated. If we, as Holy Cross students, truly want to experience a Jesuit education, we must embrace the concept of cura personalis in our lives and care for ourselves holistically. This holistic self-care includes getting enough sleep and treating ourselves with respect at the most basic level. If we cannot respect one of our most essential needs, then how do we expect ourselves to respect the basic needs of other people?