THE BLOG
08/30/2010 07:51 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011

Sunday Night Insomnia or Monday Morning Exhaustion?

Welcome to college. Here are your new living quarters, and a list of social events you can
attend...the freshman mixer, the tailgate for the first football game, the fraternity rush parties and the ever present late-night dorm pizza get together until 2 a.m. Ouch!

So now it is Monday morning and you realize that while high school started at 8:30 a.m. and you were fine, this year's 8:30 a.m. biology lab was not your best idea. But you were in bed by midnight (good) on Sunday. What could have happened?

Fact: If you stay up late on Thursday night (because in college that is when the weekend starts),
Friday night and Saturday night your brain now has re-set your bedtime, and you may be
experiencing Sunday night insomnia (the inability to fall asleep at your "normal" bedtime on
Sunday evening).

Fact: If you decided to take a late afternoon nap on Saturday and Sunday, it will have a direct
effect on your ability to fall asleep on Saturday and Sunday evenings, contributing to Sunday night insomnia, and Monday morning exhaustion.

Fact: While making you sleepy, alcohol will keep your brain out of the deep stages of sleep and
decrease your physical restoration, making Monday feel worse than ever.

So what is a new college student to do?

Slow down on alcohol if you drink. Speed reading is good, speed drinking is not. Try to drink one glass of water for each alcoholic beverage to help keep you hydrated, and reduce
the total volume of alcohol you drink.

Don't schedule a class before 9:30 on Monday, if at all possible. This may not be
realistic if you are going to keep an inconsistent bedtime three out of seven days a
week. But keep to that "regular" bedtime on Sunday.

If you are trying to get to bed at a reasonable hour, try earplugs or a sound machine for
those late night dorm disruptions.

Even though it may be tempting, try not to nap on Sundays (if you do make it for 25-30
minutes before 2:00 p.m.).

This week I will be talking about how getting your Freshman 8 can help raise your GPA! Look for my next blog on Thursday.

Take the Freshman 8 pledge, and participate on Facebook!

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