09/09/2010 10:33 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011

First Week Back: Getting in the Habit of a Sleep Routine

The first week of college can be rough, even to the veterans of the system. Sleeping habits are one of the biggest things that change, especially after a summer of staying up late and waking at noon. Adjusting to sleep in the first week of college is just one of the many life changes one has to become accustomed to. While in the beginning of college, one can try to set a schedule for sleep, but once more friends are made, a routine can be altered...sometimes for the worse, sometimes for the best.

After a summer of going to bed at one in the morning and not waking up until about 9:30-10:00am, I thought it was going to be hard to get back into the habit of setting a routine schedule, especially during the first week. Having all my classes start at 8:00am this semester, I have to be up by 6:30am to shower, get ready for the day, have breakfast and give myself enough time to get to class and hoof it up four flights of stairs. My first instinct: go to bed at 10:30pm. I laid out my clothes for the next day, put on my pajamas and crawled into bed at 10:30pm on Sunday. I was finding it so difficult to fall asleep. And then, I got a text message at 11:10pm.

My friend, Joycelyn, texted me at 11:10pm on Sunday night, asking me if I knew anything about a lockdown. My immediate response: "Pardon my French... but what the [expletive]? We're under lockdown?" I jumped out of bed and got right to my laptop. I woke it up and the next thing I knew, I was getting a Skype call from my friend, and Joycelyn's roommate, Elli. Before I knew it, we were engaged in an hour long conversation with several different people on Skype and on Facebook, all the while refreshing the e-mail to know an official report, to no avail. Once we found out what was going on an hour later, I went back to bed.

Monday morning, 6:30am. My alarm went off, Countess LuAnn de Lesseps waking me up to "Money Can't Buy You Class." The entire time it was going off, I couldn't figure out what was going on. I took off my eye mask (highly recommended), stared up at my poster of Bethenny Frankel's PETA ad and reached for my phone. I disabled the alarm and thought... and thought... and thought. It took me a good minute to figure out why my alarm went off. I got out of bed, flung the mask off my forehead and grabbed my clothes, shower caddy, and towel and walked to my bathroom. Taking my shower in the morning is one of the best ways for me to wake up, that and coffee.

For the rest of the week, after realizing I'm not tired at 10:30pm, I have been going to bed at 11pm, and still waking up at 6:30pm.

After a work meeting on Friday, I packed up my car and headed home for the long weekend ahead of me. Sleeping in, going to bed later... it was going to be great. Friday night, I was so worn out from all the driving and classes, I went to bed at 11pm, my normal time. I feel asleep almost instantly. It was wonderful being back in my own bed. The next morning, my mom came in my room. "Bill and I are taking Alice to the emergency room. Nathan is upstairs in our room watching cartoons." It was 6:30 in the morning. The last thing I wanted was to be up at 6:30 in the morning on a Saturday. But when your step-grandmother is being rushed to the emergency room and your three-year old half-brother is watching cartoons, you have to be up. I was wide awake.

The rest of the weekend went by great. I found myself falling asleep Saturday night at 11:30pm while watching Doctor Who. Although I was intrigued by the episode, I had to go to bed. I woke up at 8:45 the next morning. Sunday was a great day, my lazy day. I woke up at 8:30am, turned on Sunday Morning, and grabbed my first cup of coffee and the Sunday paper. Sunday night, I found myself going to bed at midnight. I woke up at 8:45 the next day.

I have felt great every morning waking up. It is a wonderful feeling to be back on a routine schedule, and not just going to bed whenever I feel like it. The first week of classes this semester have been going really well, and I am excited for what this semester has in store for me.

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