September 13, 2021 3 min read

Sleep is absolutely essential for academic success. Yet, research shows at least 60% of all college students today are sleep deprived. 

Late-night studying, hectic schedules, and noisy dormitories are things that commonly get in the way of quality sleep. College students often see their sleep suffer also due to anxiety, insomnia, or sleep apnea. The problem with this is that your grades are bound to take a dive if you’re chronically sleep-deprived. And the same holds true for your health. 

With the new academic year starting, now is that time to start planning on ways to get restful sleep so you can achieve your full academic potential! Here are 6 tips to help you with just that. 

1. Prioritize Sleep

Sleep is a biological necessity, not a luxury. Sacrificing sleep for academic success can come at a price — and that price is dwindling grades. According to a study of data on college students published recently in the Journal of American College Health, there’s a strong association between poor sleep and B/C and D/F averages. 

2. Limit Alcohol

The college years are a time of experimenting with alcohol. But that can be bad for your sleep quality, among other things. Studies on the effects of alcohol on sleep found that while alcohol makes people fall asleep faster, it disrupts sleep during the second half of the night. In other words, a drink before bedtime will make you doze off but your sleep will be shallow and not restorative. 

3. Don’t Cram for an Exam

Taking an important exam after a night of last-minute studying is not the best way to get good grades. That’s because studies show that a lack of restful sleep produces deficits in memory consolidation and learning. Developing better time management skills can help avoid this pitfall.

4. Exercise Regularly

Exercising helps support your physical, mental, and emotional well-being. And it was also found to help people achieve deeper, more restorative sleep. The time of day you exercise doesn't matter as long as you do so on a regular basis. A simple daily walk to campus can make a huge difference in your sleep. 

5. Take a Nap

Napping, when done properly, reduces sleepiness and boosts cognitive performance. A short, 15-minute nap can boost your memory and learning abilities for up to 3 hours ahead. So, if you’ve had a restless night and need to study for an exam, try taking a short nap before proceeding with your studying. 

6. Snore Solutions

Maybe your sleep problems are due to snoring? Snore solutions include sleeping on the side, treating allergies, using air humidifiers, and snoring mouthpieces. The type of snore solution depends on the causes of your snoring, of course. Consider our  tongue-stabilizing devices if your snoring is due to a narrowed airway. These work by keeping your tongue in place so it does not block your airways during sleep.



  • Schlarb AA, Friedrich A, Claßen M. Sleep problems in university students - an intervention.Neuropsychiatr Dis Treat. 2017;13:1989-2001. Published 2017 Jul 26.doi:10.2147/NDT.S142067
  • Turner RW 2nd, Vissa K, Hall C, et al. Sleep problems are associated with academic performance in a national sample of collegiate athletes.J Am Coll Health. 2021;69(1):74-81.doi:10.1080/07448481.2019.1655027
  • Thakkar MM, Sharma R, Sahota P. Alcohol disrupts sleep homeostasis.Alcohol. 2015;49(4):299-310.doi:10.1016/j.alcohol.2014.07.019
  • Acosta MT. Sueño, memoria y aprendizaje [Sleep, memory and learning]. Medicina (B Aires). 2019;79 Suppl 3:29-32.
  • Banno M, Harada Y, Taniguchi M, et al. Exercise can improve sleep quality: a systematic review and meta-analysis.PeerJ. 2018;6:e5172. Published 2018 Jul 11.doi:10.7717/peerj.5172

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