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How to get a better sleep schedule (as a uni student)?

Community Champion
Community Champion

Hey all,

I'm genuinely curious, as somebody who has long struggled with sleep deprivation. For uni students who go to bed early specifically, what is your secret? Is there a foolproof way to consistently go to bed early AND manage to fit all other commitments/activities/study into your day?

I just cannot seem to get to sleep before 12 these days, and it affects me in more ways than one. I struggle to wake up early, I'm constantly tired, and it may or may not be affecting my mood, but that's difficult to assess really.

I'm in awe of people who have a consistent 9pm, 10pm, 11pm bedtime. How? It seems so unachievable to me.

Are there any amazing methods that people use that seem to work every time? Is it meditation, setting alarms, having others remind you? Keen to hear people's experiences.

People who aren't uni students, you're definitely welcome to reply as well, I'm just specifically interested to hear the perspectives of people with whom I share similar schedules/study commitments.

SB πŸ™‚

17 Replies 17

That Other Guy,

Thank you for your reply. 30 minutes without screens sounds absolutely blissful. Do you do this before you go to bed, and at the end of the 30 minutes you simply switch off your lights? Or do you do this earlier in the night?

Would love to try it out. Screen time is also a huge issue for me. I'm too embarrassed to even look at my phone usage per day, as I feel like I'll be horrified.


Community Member


im 40 and doing first year engineering. I love studying so that’s not a problem for me. I can sit hours on end and study without talking to anyone. But my problem is I can’t sleep. The thought of waking up early gives me so much anxiety, like it’s not even funny. I’m so scared to sleep. I do get nightmares at times, but I thought even at 40 nightmares I thought were a thing of the past.

my gp prescribed me sleeping pill so I take it at 6pm, so that I’d doze off by 7.30pm. But I get nightmares and so I’ll stay awake the entire night. And drink one cup of coffee to stay awake so that I can do my lab and quiz..

Community Champion
Community Champion

Hey Denham123,

I'm so sorry to hear about your nightmares and sleeping problems - the flow on effects from poor sleep can permeate every aspect of our lives, so I know how you feel. How long have your nightmares been going on for? If you don't mind sharing, what are they about? More real-life situations or fantastical?

It may be useful to come back to your GP about the problems you're having with sleeping. I've just been learning about the psychophysiology of sleep in one of my uni courses, and there are lots of different effective treatments and therapies out there for sleep problems, if the sleeping pills aren't necessarily working. You may even find it useful to have a chat to a health psychologist, which is what I'm planning to do about my own sleeping problems.

If it's any consolation, we're in this together. Feel free to chat some more with us about what you're feeling, I'd love to offer any advice or words of support that I can.

Take care, SB

Hi Denha,123, sorry to hear you're struggling with anxiety around sleeping and bad dreams.

By the sounds of it you have already spoken to your doctor who prescribed you the sleeping medication, but may I suggest you wither get a second opinion or return to the same one to explore other options?

While I see the value in the prescription to help you short term, if you're having nightmares and anxiety you may benefit greatly by getting some mental health support. Perhaps through counselling or some form of sleep therapy?

Let us know how you go.

hahah! I'm glad the list helped you πŸ˜


Yeah 100%, I can definitely understand where you are coming from with that one, I feel like I have the same feelings towards my morning routine! πŸ˜‚

I also get extremely bored of routines quickly so I've found that when something becomes boring/chore-like, I switch it out for something else or just remove it entirely which has been super helpful! I also have like a mini version for nights where I don't have much time before bed or I just cannot be bothered and really wanna get to sleep. 


I think the thread for morning routines is a great idea! Right?! The idea of being a morning person seems so nice but definitely far off, any tips would be helpful!

Valued Contributor
Valued Contributor

Hey sbella, I'm chiming in well into this thread but have most certainly been in your position earlier on in life and still have to do lots to get good sleep nowadays at times. 
I attended Uni for 5 years, in 2 states. Nothing was online back in the day lol. My commute to Uni was 2.5 - 3 hours each way, with a full time schedule which was actually 5 days per week. Plus studying and working weekends. 

Some things that help(ed) me: let's say it's 10pm you want sleep to begin...
~ getting up early - regardless of when you fell asleep the night before. Setting THIS pattern almost forces the sleep at night by resetting your body clock, Even on weekends, yep lol.  
~ turning the lights down low 1-2 hours before you want to sleep ie 8-9pm,
~ eating dinner about 3h before you want to sleep ie 6-7pm, 
~ if your study desk has to be in your bedroom, cover it with a restful patterned cloth to signal it's shut down time for you, 

~ having a warm bath around 8pm always helps! 


Nowadays there are sleep apps or YT clips to help induce sleep. They help me when I need them. 

The first one is the clincher I reckon. 


Other stuff helps like setting specific study times. 
Having specific zones too. EG dining table to eat, desk to study. Bedroom to sleep, rest and relax. 

Laying your clothes out the night before, having lunch for the next day packed on the fridge and packing your Uni bag the night before are good habits. 


An awesome morning routine also helps. It relieves stress on the mornings. Having things to look forward to eating for brekky, time with your pets or being in the garden with a cuppa. 


It's no mean feat getting through Uni. Congratulations on getting in! 
It takes discipline to complete Uni. It takes discipline to rein in a sleep schedule that serves you. 


Well done and good luck with your Course and life! 

Community Champion
Community Champion



Thank you for your response again!


I also get bored of things that become chore-like. If I find I'm getting bored of something, I take a break from it for a bit then come back to it when my motivation to do it has been restored. Me too, some nights I just wanna jump into bed and not think about doing routines.


Maybe we should create a thread for morning routines, I think it would be so interesting to get some insight into how others may start their day, or the routines of people who consider themselves "morning people".  



Community Champion
Community Champion



A 2.5-3 hour commute sounds like the worst. On one hand though, I feel like I would feel pressured to do something productive during that time, like catch up on readings or write out part of an assignment.


I've been trying recently to get up earlier. Ironically, Saturday would be the day I woke up earliest during the uni semester as that's the only day I was working. I'm now working more since uni holidays have started, so my wake-up times have become closer to 7-9am in recent weeks, which is good. 


I like the idea of turning the lights down to low a while before you go to bed, that would definitely help your brain adjust. I didn't even think about this before but the idea of having designated colours or patterns that signal bedtime is genius.


I like that, "it takes discipline to complete uni. It takes discipline to rein in a sleep schedule that serves you". That's very profound.


Thank you very much for all your advice, coming from somebody who's been through it before means a lot!