The Importance of Sleep

Day after day, students come home with loads of homework assignments – worksheets to complete, papers to write, tests to study for; it’s no wonder staying up late and sacrificing sleep is such a common occurrence. Although it may feel necessary to follow that pattern, there are ways around it to make sure sleep is a top priority. Crafting your schedule so you can allow yourself time for this rightful amount of rest is a task in and of itself, and it is completely worth it once you understand why getting this sleep is such an important goal. 

It is easy to assume that we can always catch up on sleep later, that we don’t need it immediately. However, a great deal of research and various studies have proven that getting a regular, nightly dose of 7-10 hours of sleep can significantly improve brain function and energy, therefore improving a student’s academic performance. Realistically, most students are not going to be able to get 10 hours of sleep every night. But at least hovering around that 7 hours most nights of the week is an incredibly healthy move to make. Here are some great tips you may want to check out on how to balance grades, a social life, and sleep in college.

College students in particular tend to be more sleep-deprived than anyone else, which should come as no surprise. The lifestyle and culture contribute to this greatly and the heavy workload from classes is clearly a major factor as well. Even in high school, however, students commonly reference staying up late and pulling all-nighters to complete their work, rather than getting it done first thing when they come home from school in the afternoon. In a culture where going to bed early and getting plenty of shut-eye is a secondary thought, how can students ever expect to get past this mainstream perspective of not worrying about that critical rest? Here are some great tips on approaches to studying in college that may help you better manage your time.

Gaining a good understanding of exactly why that sleep is important is a good start. There are more reasons to look into besides the main concept that the human body needs rest.

Keeping Your Immune System Strong – Sleep deprivation has often been linked with sickness. A person who is not getting enough rest is damaging their health in ways they don’t even realize. The human body requires sleep as one of the many ways to keep the immune system working well and staying resilient. A lack of sleep is simply not natural and makes the body work harder than it should have to, leading to a struggling immune system. There are so many elements in a student’s day-to-day routine that can affect their health which are out of their control; sleep should not be on that list. 

Staying Alert and Focused – A rested body holds a rested mind, and a rested mind undoubtedly has higher capabilities to comprehend class material. Concentration, memory, and natural academic skills cannot be well-executed from a person with weakened brain function due to insufficient amounts of sleep. Many students think they can grab a cup of coffee on their way out the door and use it to get themselves awake, but that is only a temporary solution with nowhere near the same results produced otherwise. Even with the effects of caffeine, a student will not be as alert and able to focus on class material as they would be with the natural energy given to them from sleep. Several hours of sleep fuel the brain full of energy better than anything else.

“Beauty Sleep” – It may be an overused phrase, but there is truth to it. Missing out on appropriate amounts of sleep takes a toll on your physical appearance, mainly affecting skin and facial features. Most people feel insecure about others seeing them right when they wake up in the morning and such facts about the effects of sleep deprivation on physical appearance prove that instinct to be quite understandable. Skin is more likely to break out, eyes get puffy and develop bags underneath, metabolism fluctuates affecting weight – overall, your body is going to hurt from it on the outside in the addition to the inside.

Your Mood and Emotions Will Be More In Check – A lack of sleep leads to increasingly high stress levels. Students who are forced to rip themselves away from their beds for a 9 a.m. class when they only fell asleep a mere four hours before are understandably going to be in a frustrated state of mind. Even though getting up early is rarely enjoyable, it will be a lot more tolerable with more rest under your belt. Running on very little sleep will leave you irritable and more susceptible to experiencing short-tempered reactions to various occurrences throughout your busy day. Getting enough sleep gives you a much better platform to begin your day in a positive, or at the very least, non-negative mood. Here are some great tips and tricks to make your final year of college less stressful that you may want to check out as well.

This list should easily translate to you why sleeping isn’t just good advice, it’s a necessity for your well-being. Treat it as you would any other health benefit.