College students are zombies. Bleary-eyed living dead that wake early and amble to classes, then stay up into the night socializing with friends. However, aside from the haggard disposition and undead attention span, we pay a price for our lack of sleep.
One of the major flaws in our educational system is the lack of sleep education. Students learn about the benefits of a healthy diet and ample exercise but lack knowledge about this critical third element.
According to an article in the Journal of American College Health, minimal sleep can lead to deterioration in academic performance among other debilitating effects.
In short, the amount of sleep you get is directly related to your health — both physically and mentally, the JACH article said.
However, when it comes to sleep, one study noted that quantity is nothing without quality. You need both a lengthy and continuous sleep to remain healthy.
A Bradley University Department of Psychology article warns that low-quality sleep affected physical coordination, life satisfaction and mood in its subjects, regardless of the sleep duration.
To keep your sleep at a consistent and restful state, the first step is making sure you can get to sleep. Loud roommates are the first obstacle here. Set a noise curfew for your house or dorm and get a set of earplugs if necessary.
Next, make sure you are giving yourself enough time to sleep. Try to avoid the midweek-4 a.m.-video-game-benders and save up our sleep deprivation for the weekends.
One Stanford University study suggests college students need much more than eight hours of sleep to maintain a peak level of mental aptitude.
Shoot for 10 hours each night.
Schedule your classes as late as possible if you are a night owl and make sure you sleep in.
Take some time to educate yourself about sleep at the links provided in this article on our website and figure out the amount of sleep your body needs early this year.
With a little discipline and some research, you can transform from one of the many ambling zombies on campus to a bright-eyed and alert student this year.