The Benefits of Getting Enough Sleep
College students are sleeping less because they have a lot to focus on. They have jobs, academic workload and other things to juggle. However, it is important that they get good sleep and rest well in order to function well in their academic performance.
Why is Sleep Important?
Why the Brain Needs Sleep
There is a correlation between lack of sleep and poor academic performance. When you are sleep deprived, you won’t be able to think clearly and this may cause irritability and moodiness. That’s why the key function of sleep is to restore the brain. When a student is rested, decision making, memory recall, critical thinking and the ability to concentrate are improved.
Why the body needs sleep
Sleep is very important and our body systems do not work well when they are too tired or have not had adequate sleep. Sleep restores our energy, fights fatigue and illness, and helps strengthen our immune system.
How much sleep do we need?
As adults, we need between 6-10 hours of sleep per night. If you find yourself frequently moody and irritated, then you are not getting enough sleep at night. Change your sleeping behavior and see how refreshed you will be afterward.
Consequences of Sleep Loss
Inadequate sleep has been linked to several chronic issues like:
-Type 2 diabetes
-Poor immune function
-Cold and Flu
-Anxiety, mood disorders, and depression
-Hypertension and heart disease
How to get enough sleep in college?
Create a sleep schedule: Our bodies usually work better when we keep a schedule. When you set an alarm it helps you get enough sleep and also create time to get other things done. If your sleeping times vary, it will throw you out of rhythm and it becomes hard to sleep and wake whenever you want.
Exercise: Exercise is an important part of our everyday life and even more during your college career. You should exercise earlier in the day and at least two hours before bed. This will enable your body to unwind before you go to sleep and when you wake.
Control your caffeine intake: Most people drink caffeine to help boost their energy during the day. As a college student, your last caffeine should be by 2pm and if you feel the need to have an energy lift later in the day, take a walk.
Naps: Taking naps should be a regular routine in colleges as it helps relieve a hectic day’s stress and puts the students in a good mood to continue the rest of the day. A nap should not go more than 20 minutes and if possible it should be taken before 3pm.
Drown out the distractions: Phones, parties, and visits amongst others are huge distractions when you plan to sleep. Once you need to sleep you should put away any object or stop any discussions that will cause distractions. Do not think about things happening around you, instead, pen down your worries and proffer solutions to them. This will help you sleep without those distractions.
Power down at night: Turn off every electronic at least 30 minutes before your bedtime. This helps your brain power down and prepare for bedtime.
Keeping a sleep schedule may seem unrealistic. It is important that you start where you can and try to keep this schedule for a few days. You will notice differences in how you feel after you have had an adequate night sleep. You will be very surprised at how much you can achieve in a day after you have had a good night sleep. Once you have tried all the above tips, you will be motivated to make it a regular habit.