BY EMMA BONNEY
Getting into college is not really hard. If you do well in high school and on the SAT, there is nothing to worry about. Being accepted into a university has gotten considerably easier by the years, so the likelihood is that you will get that big envelope in the mail. College in itself is hard. You have to stay on top of homework assignments, learn by yourself from the textbook, and work on nights and weekends to offset the cost of tuition and other expenses. The outcome is that you barely have time to get rest.
Generally speaking, students get between 6 and 6.9 hours of sleep per night, which is not enough. Stanford University’s Department for the Diagnosis and Treatment for Sleep Disorders says that the amount of sleep that is necessary for college students is 8 hours. Just like people from America, college students are sleeping less. More often than not, rest is sacrificed for other priorities. Students stay up all night, even before important exams. This is the worst thing that they can do.
Why should college students take sleep seriously?
Sleeping well is crucial for the health, helping with tissue repair, immune system function, and development. And that is not all. Recent studies have demonstrated that sleep is essential to academic success. Put simply, it is not just something to do in your spare time. On the contrary, it is an active, influential activity is required for motor and cognitive function. Unfortunately, sleep is rarely viewed as a priority in college.
Spending all night studying might come in handy if all you have to do is learn a list by heart, but it will not help you if you need to deal with complex information. When it comes to subjects like math or foreign languages, it is necessary to use the executive functions – in other words, the skills that are involved in planning, taking notice, and multitasking. Sleep is devoted to body and mind restoration, so it should not come as a surprise that after getting a good night’s sleep, you feel awake and alert. The best way to maximize performance when you are a student is to get a good night’s rest.
The impact of sleep deprivation on college students
You cannot get away with just 6 hours of sleep and neither can you catch up on lost sleep on the weekends. Sleep loss can lead to many conditions, such as memory issues, mood swings, trouble thinking and focusing, weakened immunity, high blood pressure, and risk for diabetes. What is more, you will showcase daytime sleepiness as a result of the sleep deprivation. It is true that it is difficult to juggle education, career, and relationships, but you cannot afford not to get a good night’s rest.
College students are prone to developing mental health issues. America, in particular, is going through a crisis. The immense levels of stress, in addition to the psychopathology of the time, contribute to the problem. Those studying at university or another place of higher education often succumb to depression or anxiety. These people suffer bouts of depression or anxiety because they do not have enough sleep. It is not the mental illness that leads to a disruption of the sleeping pattern. It is the disruption to the sleeping pattern that leads to disorders in a person’s behavior or thinking. In plain English, sleep deprivation is not a symptom, but a causative agent.
How college students can get enough sleep
1. Be adequately prepared in the bedroom
When you are in college, you should make sure to get enough rest. Think about changing your mattress, especially if you are tossing and turning all night long. The right kind of mattress will reduce the pressure points on your body and enable you to rest. Finding the best mattresses is not about searching for the most expensive product. The high price tag only helps sell the product. Focus on practicality. Choose a firm or soft mattress. It does not really matter, as long as you spend more time horizontally. Searching for the perfect mattress is well worth the effort. As mentioned earlier, sleep efficiency and academic performance are closely connected.
2. Adjust your sleep schedule
The human brain is very active during the REM (rapid eye movement) stage of sleep. Top researchers at the University of Ottawa discovered that the brains of students dreaming were able to make new connections. In order to get deep sleep, you have to make an effort and adjust your sleep schedule. Figure out what is your ideal waking time. If you have classes early in the morning, you will want to wake up an hour or two before departure. Maintaining a regular schedule is important. This means that you cannot oversleep during the weekend. Equally important is to pick a bedtime. You may have many important things to do, but you should not let them interfere with your life.
3. Stick to a healthy diet
Eating healthy can help you sleep more and be more productive. A diet that is low in fiber and high in saturated fats will prevent you from experiencing deep sleep at night. What should you be eating, anyway? Kiwi, foods rich in fiber, fish yogurt, and whole grains. These are only a few examples. It is essential to try to eat a healthy diet that is based on fresh fruits, vegetables, and dairy. Consider how you feel after consuming healthy foods. If you feel well during your waking hours, it is impossible to feel bad during the night.
No excuses for justifying the lack of sleep
College students sleep whenever they get the chance and they wonder why they are so tired all the time and do not get the grades that they want. There is nobody to blame but yourself for not getting enough sleep. It is true that college life is hard. Yes, but it is worth it in the end. Do not let your grades slip for a good night’s rest. Stop making excuses and go to bed.
Emma Bonney is a successful blogger whose articles aim to help readers with self-development, Women’s Empowerment, Education, entrepreneurship and content management.