If you need someone to talk to right now, text the Crisis Text Line (Text HOME to 741741), call the National Suicide Prevention Hotline (1-800-273-8255), or call the Trevor Project LGBTQ Lifeline (1-866-488-7386) for 24/7 support.

You need Zzz's to get A's!

Gemma Correll cartoon of a woman unable to sleep because of too many thoughts

The average college student only gets 6 hours of sleep a night when they really need 7-9 hours. So, what's the big deal?

Not getting enough quality sleep can lower your immune system making you more likely to get sick, lead to mental health issues (like depression and anxiety) and problems with memory, attention, and concentration. Poor sleep has a bigger negative impact on grades than binge drinking, marijuana use, and being physically ill. Getting enough quality sleep each night can help you feel more awake and alert, increase your academic performance, and help you work at peak performance - studies have found that students who get enough sleep average a whole letter grade better than those that didn't!

Sleep Tips

Tips for Good Sleep

  • Avoid caffeine four to five hours before going to bed. Caffeine can stay in your system for up to 8 hours!
  • Avoid alcohol before bed. It is a common myth that alcohol will help you sleep. In fact, drinking alcohol will decrease the duration and quality of your sleep.
  • Avoid large meals right before going to bed. If you are hungry, just eat a light snack.
  • Have a bedtime routine.
  • Relax before bed: Take a hot shower, listen to calming music, or do some stretching or yoga.
  • Put away electronics 30 minutes to an hour before bed and read an actual book (not your Kindle or Nook) until you are drowsy.
  • Have a regular sleep wake schedule. Try to go to sleep and wake up at the same time every day. If you find yourself, staying up later and sleeping in later on the weekends, try to keep the variation in your sleep schedule to less than 2 hours.
  • Transform your room into a good sleep environment. Your room should be completely dark, cool (between 60-67ºF), quiet, and free of distractions (that means turning off your phone!)

Tips for Falling Asleep

  • Keep a pad of paper next to your bed at night to write down thoughts or things that are stressing you out. Write out the problem on one page and a solution to it on the other, even if it's "I'll figure it out tomorrow."
  • If you don't fall asleep within 45 minutes, do something easy, like reading for 15-25 minute, and then try going back to bed.

Take a Nap!

Students who take naps have better GPAs! But there are some things to remember before you take your mid-day snooze:

  • Naps should last no longer than 45 minutes. Even a 10 minute nap can give you energy and improve your mental performance.
  • Don't take naps after 3:00pm.
  • If you're finding you are having a hard time falling asleep at night after taking an afternoon nap, think about shortening the nap or stop taking them.

We want to know where your favorite spot on campus is to nap! Let us know here!

Living with a Roommate and Good Sleep

It's hard sharing a house or room with someone that has the complete opposite sleep schedule than you do. Here are some tips from SF State students on how they successfully dealt with it:

  • Communicate! Talk with your roommates about when they go to sleep and get up.
  • Set rules with your roommates, such as putting in headphones in to listen to music after 10:00pm.
  • Be mindful and respectful of your roommates sleep schedule.

Sleep Apps

Disclaimer: SF State and Health Promotion & Wellness do not endorse a specific brand or product, these are suggestions.

Sleep tracking apps

Try apps that record your movements and sounds while you sleep. Gradually wakes you up with alarms during your lightest sleep cycle. Try Sleep Bot or Sleep Cycle for Andriod or iOS.

Changing screen color spectrum

Adjusting the brightness and color spectrum of your computer or phone screen at night will improve your ability to fall asleep and stay asleep.

  • f.lux is free software that warms up your computer display at night, to match your indoor lighting.
  • Night Shift is a feature on iPhones (iOS 9.3 and above) that shifts the color spectrum of your iPhone or iPad display at night.


On-Campus Resources

Counseling and Psychological Services

  • They offer individual and group counseling and support
    • To schedule an appointment, call (415) 338-2208 or stop by Student Services Building Room 208

Student Health Services

  • They can connect you to someone for support.
    • To schedule an appointment, call (415) 338-1719, login to myHealth, or stop by Student Health Services (located between the Ethnic Studies & Psychology and the Student Services buildings).

Peggy H. Smith Counseling Clinic

  • They provide free individual, couple, or group counseling to registered SF State students during the academic year.
  • The clinic is staffed by second year trainees from the masters program in the Department on Counseling, and supervised by licensed clinical counselors form Counseling & Psychological Services.
    • To schedule an appointment, call (415) 338-1024

SF State Psychology Training Clinic

  • They offer low-fee individual, couple, family, and group therapy.
  • The clinic is staffed by clinical psychology graduate students who are supervised by licensed clinicians.
    • To schedule an appointment, call (415) 338-2856


Off-Campus Resources

There are many resources in San Francisco and the Bay Area to assist you with immediate and long term support.

National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) San Francisco

  • Help Line: (415) 905-NAMI (6264)
  • Support Groups
  • Peer-to-Peer Classes
  • Support for family and friends

Well Clinic

  • Offers sliding scale therapy in San Francisco
  • Call (415) 952-0290 for a free consultation

Integral Counseling Center at Pierce Street

  • Offers low cost mental health counselling
  • To schedule an appointment, call (415) 776-3109

Mental Health Association of Alameda County