College students are not getting enough sleep, which impacts negatively on their grades and performance in the classroom. spending nights studying for finals and writing papers, or even staying up too late talking to roommates and watching TV can cause bad sleeping habits. Many students have part-time jobs and busy social lives which make sleep not as much of a priority. This is a common mistake many college students make (especially during their freshman year in the dorms).
According to aasmnet.org, Dr. Epstein MD, medical director of Sleep HealthCenters in Brighton, Mass., said, "Recent studies have shown that adequate sleep is essential to feeling awake and alert, maintaining good health and working at peak performance. After two weeks of sleeping six hours or less a night, students feel as bad and perform as poorly as someone who has gone without sleep for 48 hours. New research also highlights the importance of sleep in learning and memory. Students getting adequate amounts of sleep performed better on memory and motor tasks than did students deprived of sleep.”
Some studies show having a routine bedtime is the best way to get the right amount of sleep you need. It can be hard on the weekends while there are parties and other functions going on late into the night, but this is one of the best ways to get on track.
Another way to get into a better sleeping schedule is to exercise. According to colorado.edu, "Getting exercise during the day will make falling asleep at night easier, although exercising within two-three hours of going to sleep will actually make it harder for you to sleep."
Lastly, don't skip out on naps if you have time before 3pm. According to education.com, Cody Quintero, a student at University of Kansas, said, "There are just times when you need that alone time to yourself, and even a 30-minute nap to get you reenergized makes the biggest difference. You can't keep your mind burning all day, it needs a break, too, in order for you to have mental wellness."
Sleep is of the utmost important factor in getting a good education and living a healthy lifestyle. Practicing a good sleep schedule in college will set you up for good sleeping habits in the future as well.
Our take: Not only is your GPA most likely going to be higher if you get an average of eight hours of sleep a night, but your health will be better as well. When people say, "You look like crap!" It's usually a sign they can tell you haven't been getting good sleep. Bags under the eyes, fatigue and constantly yawning isn't attractive. So do yourself a favor and get the rest your body needs to be healthy and active.