Students need sufficient sleep

January 29, 2014 Editorials Print Print
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Most people have pulled an all-nighter at some point. It might have been for school, or maybe even just because an entertaining movie was on television.

I think we can all agree the effects of staying up all night are apparent the next day but not many students consider the importance of proper sleep.

College students often spend countless hours studying each night.

The pressure to pass exams, complete assignments, and finish projects can outweigh the need for sleep. However, choosing school instead of sleep could be detrimental to their health, GPA and well being.

Due to class, homework, jobs, family and social lives, it is not unusual for students to be sleep deprived. According to the University Health Center, most college students only get about 6 to 6.9 hours of sleep a night.

On average, adults need 6 to 10 hours of sleep a night. However, depending on your own body, the number can fluctuate.

Studying more efficiently and getting the amount of sleep your body needs will help your brain retain important information. The research done by the University Health Center states that students who got eight hours of sleep or more had a higher GPA than students who were getting six or less.

Sleep allows our body to renew itself, think better, and strengthens our immune system. Going without a good night’s rest puts students at risk for health problems. Feeling stressed out, getting sick, depression, anxiety and gaining weight are just a few unfortunate things that can occur by not allowing your body to get the rest it needs.

The number of hours of sleep is important, but your bedtime routine and sleep schedule are major factors. Having a consistent ritual before you go to bed will help your body wind down. The National Sleep Foundation recommends taking a warm bath, reading or listening to soothing music. They also recommend keeping the number of hours you spend sleeping consistent every day, even on weekends.

Some students may see napping as an alternative to solve their sleep deprivation. Unfortunately, that is not the way our bodies work. Students who choose to nap will sleep less than those who do not. If a nap is absolutely necessary, it is best to limit it to about 25 to 30 minutes and to keep it fairly early in the day.

Exercising, avoiding caffeine close to bedtime and not smoking are good rules to follow, because these things can hinder your ability to fall asleep.

A good sleeping environment also can affect sleep.

A cool, dark, calm, and comfortable place will maximize your sleep time. Students should use their bedroom for sleeping and sex only. Although it is very hard, phones, televisions, tablets and other devices should not be kept in the bedroom, because of the disturbance they can cause.

I will be trying out these tips and I think all other students should, as well.

Before you pull an all-nighter, you should think twice.

To contact Lauren Daniel, email editor@occc.edu.

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