Everyone imagines the last semester of their senior year of college to be a much less stressful time to chill out after everything we’ve been through since freshman year. This has proven to not be the case for me, as I find myself even busier and more sleep deprived than previous years. The difference is that I used to be a morning person and I’m wondering what happened.

I sometimes have to set quite a few alarms to get up now, as you can see above. Mostly because my body is utterly exhausted. It’s known that some of the most sleepless, over-caffeinated people around are bloggers and college students, and I happen to be both. I read a few helpful Refinery29 articles on sleep hygiene tips and getting the best beauty sleep a few months ago and took great suggestions from both of them. Sleeping habits and patterns are just one area of my life I’m constantly working on, but I’ve learned a few things along the way…

1. The Sleep Cycle app really does work. At least it did for me, until my iPhone alarm sound stopped working. It woke me up feeling less groggy and usually ensured that I was up on time or earlier than I had to be.

2. Whoever said technology keeps you from falling asleep fast was right. I spend a lot of time on my computer and my mind is generally a busy place even without it. The nights I used to stay up late for hours online and then tried to hop right into bed were always unsuccessful sleep attempts. When life isn’t too busy (which it always is), I found that making myself get off the computer by 9:00 pm helps me sleep because I spend that time winding down and doing something more relaxing. I slept like a baby the two nights I was able to do that.

3. I’m more sensitive to caffeine than I ever imagined. Guess who can’t even have a Pepsi after 6 pm without staying up all night? This girl. This sensitivity is both positive and negative. I have to avoid caffeinated drinks and even chocolate after a certain time but coffee does amazing things to my brain, which is great for those nights I don’t get enough sleep (also known as every night). I didn’t like coffee until I came to college. Coincidence? No.

4. The beautiful art of hopping out of bed and straight into the shower. It used to take me forever to get dressed and now I have a brand new pep in my step that helps me get out the door faster. My mother is pleased. Thanks, college.

5. I am not cut out for working third shift. I tried. I really did. Doing 12 am – 7 am shifts is not for me in this stage of life. I would get off work when everyone else was just waking up, then I’d try to go to class and a million organization meetings after that. My body went absolutely nuts. Needless to say, one face full of stress acne, a raised heart rate and a doctor’s note later, that schedule had to be changed and I went back to the land of the living after a few months.

Overall, I get better at sleep and then I get worse, but it’s all a learning process. Graduation is in a few months but I’ll give myself a few more years of practice to hopefully have this whole sleep thing together by the time I get married and have littles.

What have you learned about sleep and what helps you achieve it best?