I have too many projects and not enough hours in the day. Is 8 hours of sleep really that important?

For busy students, planning a sleep schedule can seem as challenging as planning a class schedule. Sleep, like schoolwork, can be easy to neglect -- especially in an environment where socializing opportunities exist just about 24 hours a day. Those who neglect sleep, just like those who neglect their schoolwork, usually end up wishing they had found the time.

Here are a few sleep habits that experts encourage you to adopt:

  • Honestly assess the amount of sleep you need each night, and work your schedule around that. For example, if you absolutely need eight hours of sleep but must be awake by 8 a.m., you should plan to be in bed by midnight.
  • If you usually wake up at 8 or 9 a.m., resist the temptation to sleep in until noon on days off. Although sleeping an extra hour is fine on the weekends, for example, sleeping three or four extra hours will throw off your internal sleep rhythms and ultimately make it tougher to wake up on school days.
  • Avoid big meals before bedtime -- you'll sleep better.
  • See your doctor if you have trouble falling asleep, if you wake up frequently during the night, or have any other problem that may be related to your sleep routine.