Harper College/Student Success/Self Care/Sleep and College Success

From Wikiversity
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Sleep and College Success[edit | edit source]

Samantha Schweinebraten

Sleep OER

“I love sleep. My life has a tendency to fall apart when I’m awake”- Ernest Hemingway. To fit everything in, we often sacrifice sleep, sleep affects both mental and physical health. While you’re sleeping your brain and body don’t just shut down. Internal organs and processes are hard at work throughout the night. Sleep services all aspects of our body in one way or another: molecular, energy balance, as well, as intellectual function, alertness and mood says Dr. Merrill Miller. A good night’s sleep consists of 4 to 5 sleep cycles. Each cycle includes periods of deep sleep and REM. Sleep can be disrupted stimulants such as caffeine or certain medications can keep you up. Distractions such as electronics-especially the light from TV’s, cell phones, tablets, and e-readers, can prevent you from falling asleep. Infants generally require about 16 hours a day. Teenagers need about 9 hours on average and adults need 7 to 8 hours a night. Driver fatigue is responsible for an estimated 100,000 motor vehicle accidents and 1,500 deaths each year. In order to fall asleep and get a good night’s rest, you need to follow a few guidelines to do that. The first is to set a schedule, make sure you have a specific regime for the day and for the night. The second is to exercise, which will eventually make your whole entire body weak and tired by the end of the day. The third is to avoid caffeine, nicotine, and alcohol before bed. When you have these drugs in your system you will not be able to get an actual REM sleep cycle, instead you’re mind and body will fake the cycle. The third is to sleep until sunlight. The fourth is not to lie in bed awake. The fifth is to control your room temperature. The sixth is to screen out noise and light. The final one is to see a doctor if your sleeping problem continues. Not getting enough sleep over time can lead to a wide range of health issues and student problems. Lack of sleep affects mental health and also contributes to stress and feelings of anxiety, depression, and just general unhappiness. It causes sleepiness, difficulty paying attention, and ineffective studying. It also affects your body by affecting your immune system and weakening it. You can catch colds and other infections due to lack of sleep. It increases your risk of getting in a car accident and lastly contributes to weight gain. College students are the most sleep-deprived population group in the country. If you frequently cannot get to sleep or often awake for a long time during the night you may be suffering from insomnia and you need to contact a medical doctor. 50% of college students report daytime sleepiness, and 70% report insufficient sleep. The GPA’s of students receiving 9+ hours of sleep per night were significantly higher (3.24) than those students receiving 6 or fewer hours of sleeping per night. Here are some things you may want to try to get more sleep. Allow yourself enough time to sleep. Gradually set earlier bedtimes when attempting to adjust your sleep cycle. Expose yourself to bright light in the morning to help wake up. Keep your bedroom cool, dark, and quiet to help fall asleep. Exercise regularly but not right before bed. Maintain a regular sleep routine on weekdays and weekends. Relax as much as possible while in bed. Re-evaluate your daily schedule and make time for 7-9 hours of sleep every night. Prioritize and protect your sleep time. Structure your day and plan ahead on your exams, assignments and due dates and don’t cram all your work late at night. Make an appointment with an academic coach to talk one-on-one about your schedule, sleep habits and study habits. Studies have shown that sleep quantity and sleep quality equal or outrank such as popular campus concerns as alcohol and drug use in predicting student grades and a student’s chances of graduating. An all-nighter may help if all you have to do is memorize a list, but if you have to do something complex with the information, you’ll do worse by staying up all night, J. Roxanne Prichard, an expert on college sleep issues, told me. After being awake 16 hours in a row, brain function starts to decline, and after 20 hours awake, you perform as if legally drunk, she said. Pulling an all-nighter doesn’t just mess up your sleep schedule it messes with your mental health and grades. You can’t think straight when you don’t get sleep. Your mind is on all of these different things. Many college-bound kids start out with dreadful sleep habits that are likely to get worse once the rigorous demands of college courses and competing social and athletic activities kick in. All of the consequences of no sleep have a great deal to do with college students' mental health. When you sleep it helps your brain function normally. Your brain and body both benefit from sleep. Without sleep, you can start to have delusions, hallucinations and overall it’s just not a fun experience. There are many good things that can come from getting sleep. You feel more energetic throughout the day, which leads to getting more done during the course of the day. Becoming grumpy and agitated is less likely. Brain activity is rapidly more visible when more sleep is involved. Test grades, act scores, homework grades all go up. The ability to focus and concentrate on certain subjects become easier. Getting things done more efficiently since you can function better with sleep. Overall, you become a better student and person when you get a full night’s rest. An underappreciated key to college success: Sleep. Studies have shown that sleep quantity and sleep quality equal or outrank such popular campus concerns as alcohol and drug use in predicting student grades and a student's chances of graduating. Although in one survey 60 percent of students said they wanted information from their colleges on how to manage sleep problems, few institutions of higher learning do anything to counter the devastating effects of sleep deprivation on academic success and physical and emotional well-being. Some, in fact, do just the opposite, for example, providing 24-hour library hours that encourage students to pull all-nighters. Many college-bound kids start out with dreadful sleep habits that are likely to get worse once the rigorous demands of college courses and competing social and athletic activities kick in. many students spend a ton of time doing homework and going out and partying with friends instead of getting an adequate amount of sleep. They put their party life in front of their sleep schedule. This can lead to many different dangerous things. if a male doesn't sleep until 11 a.m. or later on weekends, throwing their circadian clock out of whack in a perpetual struggle to make up for a serious midweek sleep debt. It's as if they travel across three or more time zones every weekend, then spend Monday through Friday recovering from performance-robbing jet lag. In the process, they knock out of whack one in 20 genes governed by a circadian rhythm. The substances produced by those genes are not released at the right times and the body fails to perform at its best. Both cognitive and physical abilities are likely to suffer. In a study at Stanford University, when men's varsity basketball players got an optimal amount of sleep, their free-throw and three-point field goal percentages increased significantly. Overall, sleep makes everything better. You get better grades, you feel energetic throughout the day, your more aware of what is going on, your brain is developing more and more and it's easier to get your homework done since you can concentrate better. References Sleeping to Succeed. (n.d.). Learning, L. (n.d.). College Success. Brody, J. E. (2018). An underappreciated key to college success: Sleep. Brody, J. E. (2018, Aug 14). An unsung key to college success: Sleep. New York Times