University can be tiring. Between classes and schoolwork, clubs and parties, and doing chores at home (wherever home is for you), it is sometimes difficult – or seemingly impossible – to get your recommended eight hours a night.
Well, let me tell you from experience, sleep is amaaaaaziinggg. Getting a good night sleep is the best thing since sliced bread!
Actually, it has been the best thing ever even before anyone considered making anything close to bread.
You have all (or at least most of you) heard all the scientific reasons as to why sleep is important – it recharges your brain and your body, and without it, there are a number of physical and behavioural changes that can occur (none of which are positive changes, might I add!).
Let me tell you my Five explanations as to what getting enough sleep can mean for a student – that’s you, people!
First, when you head to lectures and tutorials, you’ll stay awake. It doesn’t sound like much, but it really is. I had a three-hour lecture once that, although interesting, would have me snoring by the second hour, simply because I hadn’t slept the night before. It really sucked because I liked what I was learning, my prof was amazing, and I wanted to get a good grade; however, without a good night sleep, I was basically just showing up for a three hour nap. When you make it a habit to go to bed a little earlier, and to take power naps when that isn’t possible, I guarantee that you’ll stay alert during class… if it is interesting, of course.
Second, 8:30 classes will feel like a breeze. The dreaded 8:30 lectures and tutorials will, simply put, just feel like a regular class if you are getting enough shut-eye. A lot of people (professors are many times included in this group) have a hard time getting up and staying alert during early class – however, get enough sleep, and waking up will come as easy as, well, sleeping!
Third, you will perform better on tests, assignments, and exams. This is backed up by a great deal of scientific evidence, and I can tell you truthfully that when I was getting 9 hours of sleep a night, I could think more clearly, retain more of what I was studying, and became much more efficient in comprehending some of the tough philosophy readings I had to look over in my first year. Also, I noticed that the tests I wrote after studying late the night before ended up yielding very poor results next to those I wrote while having slept well that week. Want to improve your academics? Just sleep on it!
Fourth, you will see significant increases in happiness/mood. You will, overall, just feel great and be in better spirits when you’re well-rested. And you won’t be the grouch that you usually are when you’re running on fumes after no sleep.
And, finally, the Fifth; YOU WILL SLEEP MORE! Although it sounds like a silly explanation, sleep does feel fantastic, and it is simply wonderful, so why not get more of it. What would you rather do, study?
Overall, just get some sleep while you’re in school. And even when you’re not in school. Getting sleep is good for you, and for everyone around you (who won’t have to hear you honk like a grumpy-goose), so it just makes sense overall to catch more Z’s. 8-10 hours a day is generally acceptable – if you go under, try to take one or two 30 minute power naps! An easy strategy to get more sleep is simply to go to bed earlier, and to have scheduled nap times (yes, like in daycare) when you can – even if you’re out and about, take a quick nap wherever you can rest your head.
~ Christopher Ford