Today: Jun 17, 2024

A noisy campus brings nightly frustrations

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Mackenzie Hurlbert – Copy Editor

It’s a hard life for a college student. Not only are our daytime hours filled with classes, drama and distraction, but after dark, our world is equally busy. For some students, nighttime may be their only chance to do homework, relax or catch up on favorite T.V. shows. For others, it may be their designated time to leave campus and go downtown or out to eat. Whatever students try to do with their spare nighttime hours, there is often the common consequence of sleep deprivation and insomnia. It’s not only the issue of finding enough hours to sleep, it’s also the fact that many students simply cannot fall asleep in the first place.

Thoughts of the day’s problems and drama, plans for homework due in the week ahead and anxiety for whatever test awaits in the morning could keep anyone tossing and turning for hours on end. Along with internal noise, there is also plenty of external commotion to keep one awake when living in a dorm.

I consider myself lucky because I have considerate and quiet roommates, but despite even this privilege, there is plenty of pounding, yelling and singing within the dorm halls to keep a student wide awake. Likewise, my bed is right near the window of my room, so whatever goes on outside, ranging from car alarms, to horns, to dubstep at 2 a.m. is sure to either wake me up or keep me from falling asleep.

Last week I had a really bizarre situation when I woke up to two people (yes, people) meowing to each other outside my window. I don’t know why, and I don’t think I want to know, but it continued for a good ten minutes, which was long enough for me to become too awake to fall back asleep. Yeah, it’s weird, but unfortunately living in a dorm is filled with bizarre experiences like that.

So how do we combat the inevitable nighttime disturbances that wreak havoc on our sleep patterns? One solution for internal sleep prevention such as racing thoughts, anxiety or stress might be to make a list of what you need to do in the morning before you head to sleep. This way your thoughts are down on a piece of paper and you don’t need to worry about forgetting anything overnight. Another relaxation and de-stressing method is to listen to calming music before you go to bed and to make sure the colors of your sheets are soothing blues, greens and purples. These colors calm the mind, while bright colors like reds, yellows and oranges tend to stimulate.

There are also a couple possible solutions for external problems that are usually unavoidable and out of our control. First and foremost, you can use earplugs, but they tend to fall out during your night’s sleep. Along with earplugs, you can use a fan to create white noise that might help you fall asleep while drowning out some noise.

Lastly, there are two things you can do during the day to avoid insomnia throughout the night. First and foremost, avoid energy drinks! They aren’t healthy or good for you in anyway and all they do is provide a crutch and lead to eventual dependent habits. Plus depending on when you drink these energy drinks, their effects may last long enough to stop you from sleeping. Secondly, try to work off some of that tension and stress by working out. If you do a basic cardio workout once a day, the exertion from the exercise should tire you out enough for a good night’s sleep.

Dorm life is tough on your sanity and your sleep schedule. Hopefully some of these tips could apply to your life; just remember getting sleep is a necessity, not a luxury. Focus on getting the right amount of hours each night. Insomnia may be a true college stereotype, but it’s not incurable.

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