When entering college, many often think about the joys of being able to live on campus and getting the full college experience of living in the dorms. While it is highly suggested that you live on campus, there are many benefits of being a commuter student. Commuter students are those who do not live in institution-owned housing. Living in a space that you are comfortable in can create a safe space for not only homework but a proper sleep schedule.
My name is Taryn Martzall and I am in my last semester of my four-year college journey which I have commuted all of these years. I am here to express reasons as to why commuting is better for not only costs but to create better habits with sleeping in order to succeed in and out of the classroom. I live in a town that is about thirty minutes away from my campus. While the commute is a bit hard to manage getting to campus on time, it helps create a proper time management schedule for your entire day.
Typical Day In The Life As A Commuter Student
- Wake up at least two hours before class time
- Make morning coffee and go through the list of things that I have planned for the day
- Get ready for the day, getting dressed and brushing teeth
- Heading to campus
- Hanging out on campus getting school work done in between classes
- Going to class until 2 p.m.
- Heading to work at a local restaurant at 3 p.m.
- Getting home from work at 11 p.m.
- Taking a shower to get ready for the next day
- Setting out clothes for the next day
- Making sure that all of my homework is done
- Going to sleep by midnight to wake up at 8 in order to get plenty of rest
It is a pretty set routine every day which can be quite difficult to maintain but living at home and sleeping in an environment that you are most comfortable in is much more sustainable than being with a roommate in a place that often does not sleep properly. Creating a set routine for yourself is a key element to succeed in college.
Fostering Healthy Sleep Habits
- Students often have roommates which will essentially make you rely on someone else’s sleep schedule. It does not give you the full potential to create a set routine that it would while living at home.
- It is a proven fact that students are more successful in the classroom with a full night's rest. Sleeping in an area that you have designed and created to your own comfort is much better than a small dorm room.
- Like myself, there are many others that find the importance of having a peaceful and comfortable place to sleep at night and it is not always the easiest thing to do in a new and busy environment.
- Remaining at your own home will help create a healthy space to continue to get at least eight hours of sleep.
Self Care Comes In Many Forms
- When someone thinks of self-care, they usually don’t think about the word sleep. Something that I have learned throughout my college years is that you need to put yourself first and find a proper sleep schedule. Finding time in your busy schedule to relax and let your body wind down is essential to success.
- Find time to get your schoolwork done before it is too late and time to go to bed. The worst mistake that one can make is getting in bed late at night and then doing their school work. If you don’t allow your brain time to wind down it will be even harder to fall asleep which will lead to exhaustion the next day.
- Never do schoolwork in bed. Your bed is your temple and bringing stress into that area will cause unnecessary stress.
- Take at least an hour before it is time for bed to unwind and relax to get yourself prepared for a long day of classes, whether it is taking an extra long shower, doing a hobby that you enjoy, watching tv, anything that makes you feel calm.
Those are only a few reasons why it is more beneficial to commute to college rather than living on campus. This does not even go into detail about the price difference between living on and off-campus. Finding comfort within your own space will create better habits in and out of the classroom which is what being a commuter can provide. Everyone has their own opinion about this topic but in the long run, it will help not only mentally but financially. Listen to your body and find a routine. Sleep is an essential element to every college student and that begins with the comfort of your surroundings.
All the advice above is great, but sometimes it doesn’t help your sleep issues. Then it’s time to go see a doctor and get professional help. Insomnia might be a symptom of something else or your chronic stress became so chronic that you can’t feel it anymore - only the consequences of it. If things get serious, don’t be afraid to ask for help.
Sleep disorders are way too common in modern society. But the good news is that they are mostly curable. Sometimes it’s enough to change your daily schedule, get some good habits or treat your anxiety to get a healthy good sleep and increase the quality of your life dramatically.
By following a few sleep hygiene practices on a nightly basis, you're almost guaranteed to get more fulfilling sleep at night and be more awake and alert during the day.
If, however, you're practicing these hygiene tips and still finding yourself feeling tired and sluggish during the day, it could be a sign of a sleep disorder.
If you believe that your sleep troubles are being caused by a sleep disorder, contact your local sleep clinic for a consultation with a sleep specialist. At The Alaska Sleep Clinic, we specialize in diagnosing and treating a wide variety of sleep disorders and have helped thousands of Alaskans improve the quality of their sleep.
Quality sleep is directly linked to your overall health, and if you're not getting enough of it, give us a call @ 907-770-9104 and let us help you discover the cause of your sleep problems.
About the Author: Taryn Martzall is a senior from Muncie, Ind., majoring in public relations and minoring in social media marketing. Taryn is a second-year associate with Fifth Street Communications®, a student-run public relations agency at Anderson University.