Freshman Insomnia: Seven Tips To Get More ZZZ

As September settles in, college freshman are anything but settled. Instead, these students are rollercoastering through major life adjustments, especially those living in dorms or other shared spaces. Extra noises, unsettled sleep patterns, academic adjustments, general anxiety and bedtime social media browsing that skyrockets FOMO*(Fear Of Missing Out) often blend together and create sleepless nights that can trigger a downward spiral of fatigue, trouble concentrating, and poor grades…which leads to anxiety and more difficulty sleeping. What can students do to try and stop this cycle? Start with these seven steps:

  1. CONSISTENT SLEEP (and AWAKE) TIMES- with MWF and T/Th schedules,
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6 Tips for Freshmen Insomnia

Freshmen college students have many challenges as they adjust to their new environments, and sleepless nights in dorm rooms can trigger a downward spiral of fatigue, trouble concentrating, and poor grades…which leads to anxiety and more difficulty sleeping. What can students do to try and stop this cycle? Certainly there are multiple causes for insomnia, from roommate noise to seasonal allergies, to homesickness or academic stressors, but here are six basic steps to try first:

  1. CONSISTENT SLEEP (& WAKE) TIMES- with MWF and T/Th schedules, often students have drastically different sleep and wake times each day, which doesn’t jive with
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College Health Checklist: 12 Things To Do Before Your Child Leaves Home

*This post was originally published as a guest blog on one of my favorite teen parenting sites, RaisingTeensToday  Be sure to check out their site!

As parents, when we’re preparing to send our “kidults” off to college, we often spend the last few months before they leave cramming every possible nugget of wisdom into their brain – and rightly so.

And, even though our loving advice, (passed along with all good intentions, of course) might be met with an eye roll and an “Okay! I knoooowwww!” we have to press on because part of the separation process isn’t … Read more

Struggling with Test Anxiety? Fix It Now… BEFORE Finals!

With Spring Break in the rearview mirror, the rest of the semester will start to fly by, and finals begin to loom large. If you are one of the 20% of college students with TEST ANXIETY (yep, that’s 1 in 5 students!) then this post is for you.

Start with objectively deciding if your test anxiety is APPROPRIATE, meaning that you put in hours and effort studying, but when you sit down to the test, you do not know the answers (proportionate to your study efforts.) THIS IS SUPER COMMON, especially for freshmen who never struggled to make good … Read more

Spring Break Risks Part II: The Rocky Mountain “HIGH”

Getting High in CO

In my last post, Is Your College Student Beach Bound for Spring Break? Read This First!, (aka SB Risks Part I) we discussed sensible approaches to alcohol, sex, tattoos, and dealing with the pressure of being “the responsible one” in your group. This post specifically addresses marijuana, altitude sickness and high altitude sun burn. (I am not addressing COVID risks today.)

Let’s Start with POT

Yes, these CO towns have heard every Rocky Mountain HIGH joke (& sell the t-shirts.) But it’s no joke getting too much THC and ending up in an ER with severe hallucinations or … Read more

#1 New Release: The ULTIMATE College Student Health Handbook

Jill Grimes, MD with 2nd Edition
Cheers! I’m excited to share that the new, fully updated edition of The ULTIMATE College Student Health Handbook is now available both in stores and online!
What’s NEW? Well, I finished writing the first edition in December 2019, which was (barely) pre-pandemic. Updates obviously began, therefore, with COVID (*noting that recommendations will continue to evolve as we get more data). With online learning, the next immediate addition was practical and evidence-based tips for Zoom Fatigue. My favorite new topics, however, are ones we simply couldn’t squeeze into the first edition!  Happily, today,  they are just in time for Spring Break.
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What I Wish Every College Student Knew

Welcome to 2022! College students are nearly all back on campus, though not everyone is having in-person learning yet. As we head into the spring semester, here is my short list of what I wish every student knew:

  • Spring semester freshman year (or transfer students’ second semester) is VERY often the time that things start to click. Especially if you felt alone or like you didn’t fit in during the fall, DON’T GIVE UP! Join study groups in your classes (even if virtual) and keep trying new organizations/clubs and going to different types of events. Schedule at least one event
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2021 Best Gifts for College Students (Especially Those that “Have Everything”)

Happy Thanksgiving week! Ready to shop for your favorite college student, but no clue what to get? I’ve got you covered! Here’s my 2021 list of the gifts that I order and recommend to promote HEALTH and HAPPINESS in your college student. (Please note that I have no financial ties to anything other than The Ultimate College Student Health Handbook.) 

For Stress Reduction: 

  • Weighted Blanket– These can be pricey, but for anyone dealing with anxiety and/or insomnia, they are worth their WEIGHT in gold. What weight? 15-20 lbs. (Bigger adult, heavier blanket. 15 lbs is plenty if
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Fall Frenzy: How to Help Your Panicking College Student

BRACE YOURSELF, my fellow parents of college students, because with Halloween in the rearview mirror, we are now officially in what I often call the “FALL FRENZY” season. The realities of college are setting in- from suboptimal (sometimes shocking) midterm grades and academic scrambling to social extremes (either too many friends/parties or sitting alone in dorm rooms)- especially for freshmen and anyone new to campus life (which includes not only transfer students but also everyone who did off-campus pandemic learning last year.) As they struggle with classes or relationships, many students begin to question if they need to change their … Read more

Top Ten 2020 Holiday Gifts for College Students

Dr. Grimes Top 10 College Gifts 2020

What can you purchase for the college student who has “everything” this year? As both a doctor who works with college students and a parent of two collegiate students (one undergrad, one grad school), here’s what made my TOP TEN HOLIDAY GIFTS for COLLEGE STUDENTS in 2020:

1. Restaurant Gift Cards– What?? During a pandemic? YES- for TAKE OUT. Let’s especially support our local businesses! #KeepAustinWeird Taco Shack Gift Cards

2. Weighted Blanket– These can be pricey, but for anyone dealing with anxiety and/or insomnia, they are worth their WEIGHT in gold. What weight? 15-20 lbs. (Bigger adult, … Read more