College Life: Do I Really Need to Sleep?
College students have been called the most “sleep deprived” people in our country. Studies show only 11 percent get quality sleep. More than half say they feel sleepy during the day.
9 hours of sleep per night is the recommended amount for college students.
“I would rather party than sleep” said Mark, Michigan State. “I was so tired, I dragged myself to class. I admit I was not at my best” according to Liz, Arizona State. Comments like these can be heard at campuses throughout the country.
So does missing a little sleep really hurt? An occasional late night doesn’t
Study after study has shown that sleep deprivation does hurt academic performance. A 2001 study reported in the College Student Journal concluded short sleepers (6 hours or fewer in 24 hours) had an average GPA of 2.74 compared to longer sleepers (9 or more hours in 24 hours) with an average GPA of 3.24. Lack of sleep decreases your ability to concentrate and results in more errors in work.
Sleep is the time when your brain consolidates what you have learned. When you sleep only a few hours, your brain does not have time to process information. That is why pulling an all-night cram session can sometimes do more harm than good. Not only don’t you remember what you have studied, you are “wiped out” for the next few days.
As a busy college student, it must seem unrealistic to get 9 hours of sleep per night. So what can you the student do to help the situation?
Wind Down: 30 to 60 minutes before going to sleep, avoid a lot of activity.
Should you try to nap?
It Is Important to Remember:
Using sleep medications without a doctor’s recommendation is ill-advised and may do more harm than good.
If your sleep issues are not manageable, you should seek outside help. Consider contacting your college’s medical department/counselors or family and friends for help.
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