Getting eight hours of sleep per night as a college student can be harder than, well, getting into college in the first place.
On the #SleepRevolution College Tour, HuffPost spoke with students at UCLA about their nighttime habits. Of course, some students reported weary nights with just three hours of sleep. But, strangely enough, many more said they regularly get the necessary seven to nine hours of sleep per night.
The most intriguing find? All of these successful sleeping students have one thing in common: They're masters of planning who pull a hard stop when it’s time for sleep, no matter how much pressure they feel otherwise.
When it comes to sleep, these students are top of their class. Check out their real-life sleep tips below.
"Even if my work isn't done, I'll just cut myself off."
Jimmy Tran says his first year in graduate school has been the hardest for time management. He makes sleep the main priority when planning his day and stops working at night so he can get seven to eight hours of rest, no matter how much work remains undone.
"By now I know that if I don’t sleep enough, I won't do well on anything, and I'll be really sleepy during class," Tran said. "It’s not worth it to stay up all night if I perform poorly."
"I don't understand why people brag about getting so little sleep."
Sophomore Annaise White (second from right) says eight hours of sleep is her sweet spot, but it takes careful planning to get there. "“I budget (my time)," she said. "If I’m going to stay up until midnight, then I set my alarm to make sure I’ll get at least 7 hours of sleep.”
Sometimes, that means skipping out on time with friends. "I'm made fun of in our friend group for going to bed at 10 p.m.," White explains.
But the sociology major is okay with it, because she knows performance trumps panic when it comes to schoolwork. Even when White doesn't perfectly follow her work schedule for the day, "I'll still go to bed," she told HuffPost. "It's so much more important for me to get that sleep than it is to panic about my work."
"Some people stay up until 4 a.m. writing a paper. I'm like, 'Who are you trying to impress?!'"
First-year student Jen Shan likes to exercise before class, which means early mornings are the norm. She's had to come to terms with the fact that it's okay to follow a different schedule from her roommates, who go to bed at 3 a.m. "I never stay up that late," Shan says. "My brain just doesn’t function later."
"If I need to close my book and go to sleep, then that’s what I do."
By the time she got to graduate school, Carly Randolph knew she didn't want to repeat her sleep-deprived days as an undergrad. So she made sleep a priority. No matter how strong the desire to stay up late, Randolph remembers her decision that sleep is more important.
"Occasionally I'll stay up an hour or two later to get things done," Randolph said. "But if I’m not focusing at night, then I know it’s time for bed."
And THAT is how you sleep your way to success.