Sleep Better, Study Better: Why Sleeping Well Is Important For Students and How You Can Achieve Your Sleep Goals
If you’re not getting adequate sleep, it’s time you check on yourself right now! Lack of stipulated daily hours of sleep can not just wreck your bodily functions but can also affect your studies and overall performance. If you think sleeping really late and waking up early to study is going to help you, you are probably doing more harm than good. Sleep deprivation among students is a cause for concern since it induces stress and brings in major health problems that can adversely affect the way you prepare for your exams. Compromising on your sleep patterns is something you must absolutely stay far away from, and this blog is here to tell you the how and why of it all.
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Apart from the way you learn, you also need to incorporate certain lifestyle changes that are absolutely crucial for your wellbeing, and hence your educational performance. So, if you feel like getting enough sleep isn’t on the agenda, here’s why you might be terribly wrong.
Why Sleep Is Important
A minimum of 7-8 hours of sleep every night is crucial for your bodily and cognitive functions to run normally. Adequate sleep contributes to a student’s overall health and well-being. Students should get the proper amount of sleep at night to help stay focused, improve concentration, and improve academic performance. Sleep promotes cognition and memory, facilitates learning, recharges our mental and physical batteries, and generally helps us make the most out of our days. With plentiful sleep, we improve our mental and physical health, reduce stress, and maintain the routine that is critical to healthy daily functioning.
Some examples of physiological and behavioral benefits of sleep include:
- Improving our ability to learn new information and form memories
- Restoring neural connections
- Assisting in optimal emotional control, decision making, and social interaction
Children and adolescents who do not get enough sleep have a higher risk for many health problems, including obesity, type 2 diabetes, poor mental health, and injuries They are also more likely to have attention and behavior problems, which can contribute to poor academic performance in school or for any competitive exam as well.
It is recommended that students aged 13–18 years get 8 to 10 hours of sleep per 24 hour. Within the busy schedules of college students, sleep is often the first thing to go when trying to squeeze in all of the academic, social, and extracurricular activities that are often part of campus life. And when you’re taking online classes remotely, you may find yourself catching up on asynchronous course content at any hour of day or night while the rest of the household sleeps.
What Happens When You Don’t Sleep Enough?
Since sleep plays such a crucial role in human functioning, lack of sleep can lead to a number of consequences affecting behavior, memory, emotions, and learning when we are awake. These consequences can include:
- Inattention, irritability, hyperactivity, poor impulse control and difficulty multitasking
- Impaired memory
- Impaired math calculation skills
In extreme sleep deprivation, consequences can even include mood swings and hallucinations. Mental health disorders like anxiety, depression, and bipolar disorder have routinely been linked to poor sleep, and sleep deprivation in teens can increase the risk of suicide. Improving sleep in adolescents may play a role in preventing mental health disorders or reducing their symptoms.
Ways You Can Sleep Better
Ensuring that you sleep well by employing various beneficial practices, can go a long way. Make sure you fall into a routine in order to sleep better, with the following methods:
- Keep your bedroom cool, dark, and quiet: A calm, dark and pleasant room will help you sleep better, without any disturbances, Try to put the lights out and draw the curtains if light from outside is seeping in. Make sure you block out all the voices and try ensuring that your room doesn’t let in any sounds from other parts of the house.
- Avoiding caffeine and energy drinks, especially in the afternoon and evening: Try to lay off the coffee and tea in the evening, since it can induce a lack of sleep. If need be, have a light chamomile, lavender or peppermint tea without milk, just before you sleep, to help you out.
- Fit in eight hours of sleep into your daily schedule and keep that same schedule on both weekdays and weekends.
- Put away electronic devices for at least a half-hour before bed and keep them on silent mode to avoid checking them during the night. Exposure to screens in the dark, before you sleep can further cause more sleep loss.
- Consume a light dinner: Easily digested foods can aid you to sleep better especially since the body remains less occupied with the task of digestion. Eating or drinking too much before bed can make you feel uncomfortable as you are settling down into bed. Try to avoid heavy meals right before bed and be cautious of spicy foods, as they can cause heartburn, which may prevent you from sleeping.
- Regular exercise makes it easier to fall asleep and can improve sleep quality. Be sure not to exercise just before bedtime, as this can actually make it harder to sleep, alternatively try to finish your workout at least three hours before you go to bed.
- Watch your naps: If you’re taking long naps in the afternoon, that might be the reason you are having troubles falling asleep at night. It is OK to take a short nap after lunch, but don’t nap longer than an hour, and never later than 2:00 or 3:00 p.m.
- Meditate: Meditation is the practice of slowing down the mind by focusing on the breath or a mantra. It can help students improve their sleep because it slows down metabolic activity. In addition, meditation is associated with reduced anxiety and feelings of anxiety can easily keep any student up at night.
- If you feel that your sleep cycle is falling short despite taking all the efforts you need to take, it’s best to consult a physician who could help you with the insomnia.