Who has time for sleep? Not you; you’re a busy student, with academic obligations, extracurricular activities to engage in, and a social life to maintain. And out of everything you do, sleeping is the one that falls by the wayside. So what if you spend the mornings groggy and grumpy? You’re fine… right? Not so fast; cutting back on sleep from time to time is inevitable, but you need to do your best to get regular and healthy sleep. Your academic and physical well-being could depend on it. Here’s why students need sleep, and what you can do to make those sweet dreams a reality.
- Teenagers Need A Lot Of Sleep: You might pride yourself on being able to get through the day after an all-nighter, but you aren’t doing your body any favors. Students need sleep, and a lot of it, if they’re going to function in peak condition. The ideal number is 8-10 hours a night. That might not be entirely realistic if you’ve got a packed schedule, but you should try your best to maximize your sleep and make sure it really is restful.
- Sleep Impacts Your Grades: Sure, it seemed like a good idea staying up all night to cram for that test (or at least your only option), but you probably would have done better with a serious snooze. Research has shown that lack of sleep can negatively impact your grades and GPA. Be smart about your sleep schedule and don’t sacrifice all your hard work by skipping out on the rest you need.
- Sleeping In Won’t Help: Sorry to ruin your weekend plans, but trying to catch up on all that missed sleep on weekends doesn’t actually improve anything. In fact, studies show that this only further messes with your sleep schedule, leaving you disoriented, tired, and struggling to stay sharp during classes. The best option is to have a consistent sleep schedule all week long, and force yourself to get out of bed around the same time every day — yes, even on Saturday.
- Technology Can Keep You Awake: It’s hard enough disconnecting from everything when you keep checking Facebook and Snapchat, but even if you’re good about turning off your devices and going to bed they could still have a negative effect on your sleep patterns. How? According to research, the light from all those gadgets confuses your brain and actually keeps it awake longer. If you really want to get the most out of your bedtime, turn off all your technology about 30 minutes before you want to sleep. Listen to some soothing music or read a (paper) book. You’ll be relaxed and ready for a good nights’ rest.
- Sleep Loss Can Have Physical Consequences: And they’re much worse than being groggy over breakfast. Sleep deprivation over a period of time can result in depression, anxiety, obesity, issues with attention span, and trouble concentrating. Avoiding all this is simple: get more sleep. Budget your time the best you can, and make sure your sleep routine is consistent. All that rest will leave you feeling alert, focused, and motivated: in the perfect position to exceed your academic expectations.