Response to Inside Higher Education article on Sleepwalking Students

My response to the article Sleepwalking Students Inside Higher Education.

Stressed-out students contact me day and night to tell me all about their insomnia problems through my national organization at Campus Calm. I graduated summa cum laude from college, along with anxiety-induced insomnia.

I can tell you the top three stressors that prompt students to write me at all hours of the night while they sacrifice sleep:
1. Academic perfectionism.
2. Parental pressure.
3. Time management.

Students: If you have so much going on in your life that you can’t squeeze in at least seven hours of sleep every night you need to re-prioritize your schedule. You may need to cut back on extracurricular activities, drop hours at work, or simply learn better time management skills. Students need to learn to listen to their bodies. It’ll tell you loud and clear if it’s being taxed.

Also, practice positive thinking, especially before bedtime. Yoga and meditation DVDs helped me with this. I’ve watched my fair share of 3 a.m. infomercials and no amount of Ginsu Knives or Hip Hop Ab video testimonials could distract me from the anxiety of watching the clock tick away while I lay awake exhausted. This might sound hokey, but now every night before I go to bed, I drink a cup of herbal tea with no caffeine, turn off the lights in my living room (if I watch TV it’s something uplifting) and I reflect on what I’m grateful for that day. I choose not to focus on the mistakes I made or on my own shortcomings. When I focus on the positive, the negative starts to seem trivial and I worry less. It’s all about giving yourself permission to unwind, both physically and mentally, after a long day at school or at work.

See my blog posting “An hour of play keeps your doctor away.”

~ Maria Pascucci, founder & president, Campus Calm
Author, Campus Calm University

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