Quest for ZZZ: Finding sleep when juggling school,life a necessity


Hours of homework, hours of class and then finding time for the general functions of life, it seems that sleep falls on the back burner.

College-age individuals are the least likely of all age groups to use another hour of their day to sleep, according to a 2014  sleep survey done by the Better Sleep Council.

It may seem all right, college age students are young and vibrant, right? They can run themselves ragged for years in school and still be perfectly functional.

Not really.

“Sleep helps your brain work properly. While you’re sleeping, your brain is preparing for the next day. It’s forming new pathways to help you learn and remember new information,” says the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute.

On their website, the institute cite studies that show that sleeping well improves learning.  No matter what is being studied, school related or not, sleep enhances learning power and problem-solving skills.

“Getting enough quality sleep at the right times helps you function well throughout the day.  People who are sleep deficient are less productive at work and school,” the institute said.
It is well understood that college age students are often overwhelmed by the amount of activities and work on their plate.

Sleep is, more often than not, the first to be sacrificed to study for that important test, or make the midnight deadline for an online assignment.

We are setting ourselves up for failure when we do this.

While studying for hours and hours is completely recommended to retain the information on an upcoming test, studying at the correct times is almost as important.

When students are exhausted from a long day of classes, work, social activities, volunteering or whatever else is on the agenda, studying is often reserved for a all-night cram session.

This is not a good idea.  The student shouldn’t even waste the time; they should sleep.

Since our brain does not function well when sleep deprived, much of the information studied is not likely to be retained.

Yes, this means that more effort to not procrastinate must be made.

“They take longer to finish tasks, have slower reaction time, and make more mistakes,” the institute said.

Yes, the student just studied, but since they are not fully functional, they are going to make more mistakes, and end up not doing as well as they could have if they had simply gone to sleep.

Also, sleep deprivation affects bodily functions.  Being sick affects school performance in the most direct way possible-meaning the student misses class!

“Your immune system relies on sleep to stay healthy.  This system defends your body against foreign or harmful substances. If you’re sleep deficient, you may have trouble fighting common infections.”

The worst thing a student can do for their studies is miss class.  Sickness does this; avoid it.

In reality, the best thing a student can do for their body, mind, grades and life is to sleep 7-8 hours per night, go to bed around the same time every night and wake up at the same time every morning.

It may feel as though hours are being lost, but productivity during the waking hours will increase.