Why a good night’s sleep is a Grad Student’s best friend

Be Like Homer.... At least Sleep wise
Be Like Homer…. At least Sleep wise

One thing everyone struggles with in Grad School is sleep. All of us, at one time or another end up having a problem with our sleeping schedule. Initially it is not that big of a deal as the sleep gets delayed a couple of times a week but we tell ourselves that we will catch up on it over the weekend.

Problem is this becomes a routine over a period of time and then we are stuck in a cycle where we are perpetually not getting enough sleep while trying to cope with university and private life in a very stressful environment. This already bad situation gets worse when exams or deadlines come closer. In most cases, we somehow manage and get through it all while forgetting the damage our body is taking in the process.

This is something that needs to be taken seriously. Grad School requires work and concentration. Perpetually running low on sleep and trying to live off caffeine is going to get the job done but it will be a half assed venture which simply does not cut it in Grad School over the long run.

So how do you go about fixing your sleep? Honestly go see a doctor and have an honest discussion with them. Reduced sleep makes stress worse and increases anxiety. Based on personal experience doing the following helps but please do go see a doctor as well:

  1. Do not drink coffee at least 5 hours before going to sleep
  2. Write everything on your mind on a piece of paper before going to bed. It sounds like a very clichéd thing to do but it actually works.
  3. Shut off your phone. Honestly, get used to this. You hardly get time to sleep, so enjoy that sleep properly. Get a proper alarm clock to wake you up.
  4. Do not drink a ton of water before going to bed. Do keep a glass next to your bed as when you wake up you will probably be thirsty and water in the mornings is good for you.
  5. Get a glass of warm milk if you are not lactose intolerant. This helps and even though I do not like milk on its own, this has yet to fail as a trick to get a good night’s sleep

4 thoughts on “Why a good night’s sleep is a Grad Student’s best friend

  1. Do not study on or near the bed
    Mix some honey in the milk before drinking it
    Make sure you’re getting enough water during the day – dehydration makes you sluggish and tired
    Ensure that you’re eating good, healthy food
    A bit of exercise helps.

    Just a few cents of my own 🙂

  2. Simple but effective.

    Along with enjay’s advice of drinking enough water, 15min. of exercise in the morning has helped me in the long run.

    Also for the lactose intolerant, myself included, I’m sure you’ve figured it out but lactaid & soy milk.

    1. Hey John,

      Thanks for your feedback. I wrote this out of personal experience as I have through messed up cycles of sleep. I am going to add your suggestion to the main text soon. Again thanks for reading and commenting.


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