Looking for a bridge over troubled water? Krithvi Shyam, our young psychologist, addresses your worst anxieties.

I am studying in Std XII and I have a problem of hitting the bed early. I wake up by 4:00 a.m. but go to bed by 8.30 p.m. itself. I have so much homework but I don’t complete it at night and I end up doing my work in a hurry in the mornings. I am worried about my sleep pattern. How can I set this right?

Sleepy Head Joe

A lot of people are “early to bed, early to rise” types, and that’s perfectly alright. However, if you know you’ve got a ton of homework to finish and not a lot of time to finish it, it’s time to re-evaluate and see if it is still realistic to continue with the current schedule. If you’re attending tuition classes and return home in the late evening, then try to finish some of the easier bits of homework (eg: record work) before going to sleep, so that you can tackle the more difficult bits with a refreshed mind the next morning. It’s important to prioritise your school work first over your preparation for entrance exams or tuition homework. Set realistic goals of how much you want to finish the night before, and how much the next morning. Despite this, if it looks like you are still fire fighting the next morning to reach your target, then maybe you should slowly transition into later sleeping times and try to complete the bulk of the work in the night. Every week, increase the time you go to bed and the time you wake up by half an hour (ie, sleep at 9, wake up at 4:30 etc). Keep this up until you find timings when you can comfortably finish your homework, sleep for at least 7.5 hours and wake up fresh the next morning.

Relationships, office politics, peer pressure, teacher trouble... mail your questions to nxg.nextgen@gmail.com. Mark "Good Grief" in the subject line

More In: Nxg | Metroplus | Chennai | Columns