I studied Italian for 7 years all the way up to A-Level.. you really have chosen the most beautiful language in the world to learn.
Some more good news for you... I imagine Italian to be one of the easiest, for several reasons.
The pronunciation is entirely phonetic.. once you know the rules, you are away.
It's incredibly easy to speak.. it will roll off of your tongue in no time.
There are thousands of words that in Italian require you to only add an "o" or an "a" onto the English form to make a translation. If in doubt, guess!
My teacher, although I disliked her for it, used to really drum it into us. We had vocabulary sheets which we had to learn 200 words a week from, as well as 25 new verbs (which are also easy to learn... 3 different endings -ire, -are-, -ere, and the reflexive verbs, plus about 25 or so irregular verbs) every week. I really hated her, but to be honest, I soon began to see the benefits. It was boring, and you don't need that when you are learning a language for fun, but when you can begin to see the results, it is such an ego boost.
One tip is to really immerse yourself in the language as much as possible. Buy an Italian newspaper once a week.. you sort of know what is in the news and then start to break down the articles.. highlight new words etc. If you have satellite TV
, ask them about providing feed from an Italian channel.. we used to get it for about £3 a month.
THe sleeping thing I don't know about. I can imagine the headphones irritating me. The evening course sounds like a great idea.. the classroom is such a good place to build your language skills as you will have someone to try and hold a conversation with.. maybe only basic stuff to start with, but it will get better. Soon you will be discussing in depth subjects like "Il turismo di massa," "La condizione degli anziani," "I rischi del fumo" or even "La Droga."
On a side note, I also studied French for the same period, but had teachers whose methods differed greatly. 8 years on after leaving school, I can still class myself as pretty fluent in Italian, and survived a year abroad speaking Italian with locals, yet I can barely remember how to order a sandwich in French. Grazie Signora Greaves.
I wish you all the best with it.