Sleepless Nights

a person lying on a bed

I’m having a very tough time here at school lately, and I think I know why–I’m not getting enough sleep. All my life, I’ve needed a good amount of sleep to stay cheerful and productive. But, lately, I’m barely sleeping at all.

I’m not sure what the problem is. I lie awake stressing about things, my room feels too hot, my bed isn’t comfortable, and I take too long to go to sleep. I then find it hard to get out of bed in the morning, because I’m still so tired. My roommate says that when I do sleep, I snore and that I sometimes seem to wake myself up by snoring too loudly (I’m pretty embarrassed about this, but I guess that’s a subject for a different letter).

What can I do? I’m losing my mind, and I’m worried that this whole issue will affect my grades.

Sleep is important, there’s no doubt about it. Lack of sleep can cause all kinds of problems, including the mood issues you reference. And you may have good reason to worry about your grades, as multiple studies have linked sleep to performance in school.

So what’s going on?

Well, you cite a lot of different issues, and any one of them could be the primary cause of your problem–or, more likely, each of them has a role to play in your stressful evenings.

Your comfort at night certainly matters when it comes to sleep. A reasonable temperature is a must for restful sleep, say the technicians at an Edison, New Jersey residential heating repair company–too hot or too cold, and you’ll be miserable for sure. Good mattress matters, too, and studies have proved it. This may seem like obvious stuff, but it’s important to note that you’re not being too sensitive or picky about your nighttime comfort: this is a real, science-backed fact.

Of course, it may not all be external factors. Your snoring could be a sign of sleep apnea, say the developers behind a CPAP cleaner (CPAP machines are a popular treatment for sleep apnea). And even if it’s not sleep apnea, you may have a different sleep disorder: 50 to 70 million Americans do!

And your stress levels may be a factor, too. Stress can affect sleep, and while you’re quick to connect your current stress to your lack of sleep, you may want to entertain the idea that things are working in the opposite direction (or both directions at once). What if your stress is what’s costing you sleep? Consider speaking to a therapist or taking advantage of on-campus resources.

If changing the thermostat, improving your bedding, and tackling your stress don’t help, consider seeing a doctor about the possibility that you have a sleep disorder. There’s every possibility that you could reset your sleep patterns on your own, but don’t put off seeking help if you’re struggling–sleep is important, and you deserve yours!

“Put my head under my pillow, and let the quiet put things where they are supposed to be.” — Stephen Chbosky, The Perks of Being a Wallflower

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