Why Students Should Care More About Their Sleep

Laurie Larson

While many recall their years in school as rather care free, the truth is that most students have a lot on their plates. This is especially true if they’re taking a full schedule of classes as well as trying to work or complete extracurricular activities outside of class.

A frenetic schedule can feel exciting and fulfilling, and it’s even necessary for a successful, high-output life. But thought leaders now know that the secret to success is more sleep, not less. It’s official: sleep is important for concentration, emotional regulation, mental development, and physical and mental health in general.

Before you can learn how to fix your sleep, it may be beneficial to understand why it’s so critical to your health. Keep reading to learn how your sleep affects various aspects of your overall well-being.

 

Sleep Impacts Decision-Making

Sleep deprivation among teenagers and young adults is something of an “epidemic”. This is a serious issue for a number of reasons, not the least of which is the impaired reasoning skills that come about as a result.

Failing to get enough sleep can leave you struggling to think clearly and make good decisions. This means you’re more likely to make questionable choices in almost every area of your life if you’re sleep-deprived, and that can impact your diet, your health, and your academic success as you stop keeping your future in mind and start focusing on getting through the day by any means necessary.

 

Sleep Affects Academic Success

Countless studies have proven that sleep-deprived students suffer academically. Chronic sleep loss impairs your ability to remember, concentrate, think abstractly and solve problems, and can affect the way you approach your assignments as well as your ability to focus upon them regardless of distractions.

During your sleep, your memory processes and stores new information. This is critical for students who are constantly being fed new information that they are expected to regurgitate for tests. Students often find themselves struggling to remember information even from classes that hold their interest, much less those that require more discipline to get through. If you’re hoping to do well in school, in other words, then getting enough sleep is vital.

 

Sleep Lowers Overall Health

We know that sleep can impact your mental ability to focus, but what about your overall health? As it turns out, sleep is pretty important to the overall well-being of your body and your mind. Sleep deprivation can disrupt your immune system and is linked to an increased risk for diabetes and heart disease.

It also contributes to mental illness, adding to impulsive behaviour, depression, paranoia, and anxiety. A lack of sleep can even increase suicidal thoughts and behaviours. If you aren’t in a proper health state, mentally or physically, your school work will inevitably be pushed to the back burner and have to suffer.

 

Tips for Better Sleep

By now, you’re probably on board with the idea that regulating your sleeping habits is a good idea, but you might be wondering how to go about this process. There are several steps ways to work on repairing your sleep.

In some cases, you may need to adjust your personal behaviours and lifestyle. Some people have difficulties getting high quality sleep because they lack a proper amount of exercise during the day. If you are overexposed to technology, that could also inhibit your sleep. Improve your sleep hygiene by maintaining a healthy lifestyle for better sleep. This includes regularly exercising, avoiding technology in the last hour before bed, and staying consistent with your sleep and wake time so your body learns a routine.

In other cases, there may be external factors and physical interruptions keeping you away from your sleep. This could mean you have light or loud noises entering your bedroom keeping you up. You may also have trouble getting comfortable in your sleep due to an uncomfortable bed or hot temperatures that leave you sweating in your sleep. Make your bedroom the sleep haven you need by blocking out any disturbances with curtains or a noise machine, making sure you have a quality bed that prevents pain rather than causes it, and turning down the temperature to an optimal 60 to 69 degrees Fahrenheit.

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It’s never worth it to sacrifice your sleep. As a student, you should do everything you can to improve your sleeping habits for you best health and to enable you for academic success.