05/28/2016 10:16 am ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

Sleep Revolution in the Summertime

Image of me showing off my Somni face mask from my Sleep Revolution gift bag. Photo by Milton Dimas.

After a stressful school year, all college students want to come home and relax. I know; I am no different. Since being home I've admittedly watched hours of TV, and binged on Buzzfeed or Tasty videos late into the night. Without all the commitments of the school year, it can be easy for us to blow off the importance of getting a good sleep during the summer months. While we don't need it for tests or studying, sleep is still critically important. I read Sleep Revolution by Arianna Huffington on my flight home from college and was excited to apply all of Arianna's master sleep tips. However, as I fell back into my old routines at home, I found it harder and harder to follow through with any of them. One of Sleep Revolution's suggestions is to remove all your electronics from your room around half an hour before bed so that you're not tempted to use them. Without an 8 a.m. class to keep me disciplined, I fell victim to the pattern of falling asleep to Netflix and late night texting.

After reading Sleep Revolution, I had also planned to reorganize my room and bed to make sure it was the coziest, most welcoming environment possible. I wanted to utilize all the tools I had been given in the gift bag I won when Arianna visited Belmont University. These included a scented Coco-Mat pillow, a sleep mask, a white noise machine, tea for before bed and a Sleep Shepard hat to lull me to sleep. However, revisiting old friends took up more time than expected and I ended up falling into bed each night far later then I had planned, thinking I didn't have time to decompress or prepare myself for bed. Then I spent at least an hour lying in bed trying to fall asleep to no avail. I convinced myself it was okay to be tired all day as these are supposed to be the sleepy days of summer.

However, this does not have to be true. No matter what activity we are doing, sleep can help us do it better. I don't need more sleep now for homework but being well rested can make me far more efficient at my summer job. More importantly, it makes me happier, calmer and an all around more functional person. Summer is definitely a good time to stay up late a few nights and make memories. However, it is also training and prep time for the upcoming school year. We should teach our bodies good habits now when we don't have the stress of all night essays or final exams. I pledge to focus on sleep this summer and you should too. Ms. Huffington's book can educate you beautifully on how to do this. I recommend you pick up a copy of Sleep Revolution today and read it as you're going to bed each night (instead of playing on your phone!)