Despite a ton of research on the consequences of not getting enough sleep each night, it's rare to find college music majors who actually get 7-8 hours of sleep more than a couple of nights in a row - unless they're sick.
The campus culture may give lip service to the need for sleep. But in reality, good sleep in college is far more elusive than good coffee, a good laundromat, a good parking spot, or a source for good gluten-free donuts. Late nights that turn into next mornings are common for many reasons. For music majors some of this stems from:
• The availability of practice rooms - and the time to use them - has to happen after classes, lessons, rehearsals, and homework/studying are over.
• Paying gigs often start late - and end early (the next day).
• Down time to be creative and compose solo or with others can't happen when classes and lessons and rehearsals are scheduled.
• Belief in the myth that you can catch up on sleep. (You can't.)
• Assuming you'll be able to fall asleep when you can find time to sleep.
At MajoringInMusic.com, we don't pretend to know how to reconcile the need for sleep with the facts of college life. We'd like to believe that if you understand how important sleep is before you even get to college, you'll somehow be able to prioritize sleep along with everything else. But that's unlikely. However, if you enter music school knowing that sleep will be at a premium, perhaps you'll go off armed with some strategies that will stave off at least some of the problems associated with lack of sleep.
We're glad Huffington Post has launched its "Sleep Tour" on a number of college campuses. We hope music majors will find the time to check it out. If nothing else, the giveaways from sleep companies are a cool reminder of what to aspire to. But remember that the best mattress in the world is only good when used 7 - 8 hours/night.