Ways to Survive on Little Slumber in College

Most students experience more work and less sleep when they get to college. In many instances, you’ll find yourself in a position where you must get up and go to class with as little as 3 to 4 hours sleep the night before.

So, what do you do to function on little to no sleep? Here are a few tips.


There is a reason why there are many coffee shops and stands near or around campus. College students devour lots of caffeine. Coffee is a great pick me up in the morning and during all-nighters.

The caffeine in coffee helps you stay awake. It also makes you more alert. That’s because it contains chemicals that stimulate your brain. This allows you to concentrate better and feel less tired.

However, it has a downside as well. Caffeine can make you irritable and jittery. Additionally, consuming anything with caffeine late in the day may make it hard to fall asleep that night and lead to a consistently groggy sleep schedule. 

Take Power Naps

Sleep is one of the most important things for college students. Besides making you feel less tired, it also offers many other benefits. Some of these include better memory, improved focus, and concentration. All of which make you more productive and help you get better grades.

At the same time, getting shut-eye helps you make fewer mistakes. It also keeps your immune system healthy, so you don’t get sick and fall behind in any of your classes.

When it comes to napping, try keeping them under 30 minutes. This prevents you from waking up feeling groggy. They call them power naps for a reason! 


Exercise is probably the last thing you want to do when you feel tired. Ironically, it not only helps wake you up but also gives you more energy. This is thanks to the increased blood circulation and metabolism boost your body experiences when you move around.

Exercise also helps you sleep better at night so you can make the best out of the little slumber time that’s available to you.

Drink Lots of Water

Water, unlike caffeine, doesn’t give you any boost in energy. However, research shows that dehydration will make you feel more fatigued.

Between homework, project deadlines and rushing to classes in different buildings, you may forget to drink the recommended 2 liters of water daily. This can cause you to feel more tired than you usually do.


Of course, don’t forget to eat. Food is your main source of energy. It is what your body uses for fuel. Getting enough sustenance will allow your body and mind to function even when you’re short on sleep.

For energy, choose carbs and protein. But, skip refined carbs like white bread and potatoes. These give you a jolt of energy in the short term. But, you’ll also crash a few hours later. Instead, choose unrefined carbs like grains and oatmeal.

We hope these tips will help you maximize yourself on minimum sleep. To give you peace of mind when you do sleep, consider covering your personal belongings with GradGuard’s Renter’s Insurance. GradGuard is committed to keeping your mind at ease while you sleep knowing that you are protected by our renters insurance. Learn more about how you can get renters insurance through GradGuard by visiting our website.

About the Author: Emma Lymn is the editor of Health Grinder, a health and nutrition blog. She is passionate about helping others learn to eat healthily and lose weight. A proud mom of two kids and a very spoiled dog, she enjoys traveling and volunteering in her spare time.