It comes as no surprise that getting a good night’s sleep can lead to a better quality of life. Although, more often than not, college students admit to be lacking in their quality of sleep… let’s not even talk about finals week. If you find yourself relying on all-nighters, we have some news for you. College students who pull the occasional “all-nighter” are actually more likely to have a lower GPA. Sleep is essential to achieving higher grades.
If your energy levels are lacking or you feel like you aren’t at your peak performance, lack of sleep could the reason. Feeling less alert is often caused by your weekly sleeping habits. Specifically, this could be how you “make up” for your lack of sleep. The American Academy of Sleep Medicine even advises those who stay up late during the week and “make up” for their lack of sleep by sleeping in over the weekend that they are actually doing more damage. Sleeping in late on the weekends, which a lot of people do, sets off your internal body clock. This begins to damage your sleep habits when trying to wake up for morning classes again the next week.
Even so, putting off sleep throughout the week can cause adverse effects the longer that you do so. In a recent study, “every additional day per week that students experience sleep problems, their cumulative GPA lowered by 0.02.” In addition, the likelihood of the student dropping a course increased an average of 10% every day.
On top of lack of energy and affecting your GPA, not getting enough sleep can weaken your immune system. As a student, attendance is essential to academic success. Becoming more susceptible to a cold, or even the flu, can take a toll on your body (and your attendance). By getting enough sleep, your immune system will keep performing as it should and leave you less exposed to sickness.
So, what does this all mean?
Sleep is extremely important, and it isn’t something you can just “make up” for, either.. In fact, college students (18-25 year olds) are recommended to get 7-9 hours of sleep a night.
Now, what can you do to promote better sleep and productivity?
Make a habit of going to bed early. This means turning your mind off about 30 minutes before bed by stopping homework, turning off the TV, and putting down your phone for the night.
- Only sleep in your bed. Watch TV, read, and do homework from the couch. Keep your bed just as a safe haven for sleep.
Set an alarm for when it’s time to go to bed. That’s right; you should remind yourself when it’s time to unwind. Set a daily alarm so you don’t get stuck studying and realize it’s already 2am.
Stay consistent on the weekends. It’s okay to sleep in an extra hour if you’re looking to catch up on sleep, but don’t allow yourself to sleep through your entire day and completely set off your internal clock.
Eat a light snack before bed. Don’t overeat or allow yourself to go to bed hungry, as both can cause you to toss and turn at night. Balance it with a light snack if needed.
By: Alexis Smith
Posted on Permanent link for The Scoop on Sleep on July 16, 2019.