Sleep is very important! Some indentify success in college with pulling all-nighters and drinking energy drinks. If you want to be successful in anything you do, then you need sleep.
- Restores energy
- Fights off illness
- Strengthens our immune system
- Helps us think clearly and creatively
- Produces positive mood
- Better performance
- Isn’t a passive activity but rather an active and dynamic process that is important
It is a myth if you can "catch up" on sleep. Once it is gone, it’s gone. For decent sleep and repair, aim for 7-9 hours a night.
We often hear, I'm in college, this is what we do. Sleep impacts brain function, impacts attention span, impacts mood, and impacts reaction time, which is what students need to do well academically. This is why in this time of your life it is important to get sleep!
Negative consequences of not getting enough sleep
- Increased weight gain and obesity because of an increase in hormone ghrelin (associated with hunger for high calorie food) and decrease in hormone leptin (reduces appetite)
- Lower GPA and decreased academic performance
- Almost a quarter (22%) of SVSU students indicated that lack of sleep has impacted their academic performance in a negative way
- Pulling an all-nighter and cramming can be counterproductive
- Recall, concentration, and alertness, are decreased when you are sleep deprived
- More illness due to lowered immune system
- Feeling “run down”
- Affects heart and lung function
- Feeling more stressed out and overwhelmed
- Increased mental health issues
- Trouble enjoying activities within your relationship that are fun
- Difficulty listening to what others have to say
- Pattern of being quick to get irritated or angry
- Regular quality of communication is reduced or more difficult
Tips for College Sleep
- Your body loves schedule! That is why you sometimes wake up on Saturday at the normal time you wake up during the week. You may find it is hard at first, especially with late night meetings, but try to stick to a schedule by falling asleep and waking up at the same time, even on weekends. Sleeping in can actually make you groggier.
- Establish a sleep ritual such as washing your face, brushing your teeth, then reading for a short time before bed and repeat each night.
- Create a sleep-conducive environment.
- Sleep on a comfortable mattress and pillow
- Use your bedroom only for sleep and sex
- Get regular exercise but not prior to bed
- Try a sleep diary
- Avoid stimulants such as caffiene, alcohol, nicotine, televisions, phones, etc. Even though some this claim to put you to sleep, they actually disrupt the sleep cycle by activating parts in your brain.
- Avoid drowsy driving
As mentioned above sometimes it is hard to find time to get adequate sleep. If you find yourself feeling sluggish in the afternoon, instead of reaching for an energy drink or coffee, try to get a nap in. Research recommends a 15-20 minute nap to leave you refreshed. Set an alarm and be careful not to go over the allotted time or you might feel even more tired than you were before.
Could you have a sleep disorder?
It is common to have periods of difficulty falling asleep but you may want to consider seeing your clinician if you:
Have trouble getting to sleep or wake up frequently over a period of several weeks
Fall asleep at inappropriate times
Have nightmares or night terrors that interrupt your sleep
Have been told by someone that you stop breathing during sleep