Sleep Is Important: Practice better sleeping habits so you can be a productive and happy college student


Students who get more sleep will feel better on campus

If there is something that a lot of us have in common, it is that most of us are tired. All around campus, you can see it, especially in 8 AM or 9 AM classes. Students drifting off into sleep, getting called on to answer a question because the professor knew they were not paying attention. This happens because we are sleepy, sleep is important.

Sleep affects us very heavily. We are constantly trying to get a grip of our busy lives of studying, working, and maintaining healthy relationships with our friends and romantic partners. We are trying to please our parents and do that one thing they asked us to do 3 days ago. It is not easy being tired and trying to learn.

According to a study published by the Journal Of American College Health, insufficient sleep affects both physical and psychological cognitive health. This results in poor academic performance, accidents involving motor vehicles and abuse of substances. The study further indicated that among college students, inadequate sleep has also been associated as a possible risk-factor for depression. This news might not be alarming, because most of us may already know this, however, it is still a very important aspect to consider in regards to our overall well being.

Some might say that sleep isn’t that important, as long as you’re caffeinated and got your cold brew on hand. Others might also say that “sleep hygiene” is not a real thing, that there are perfectly functioning adults that can be successful and complete their tasks throughout the day with 5-6 hours of sleep.

While everybody might be different, sleep is still something humans need on a biological level in order to survive. It is not something that we should take for granted, we need to value our sleep and the amount of time that we spend on it. We do not want to rely on caffeine for our productivity because that cuts into our budgets as college students and it is merely a crutch rather than a solution for tiredness.

The truth is, we just have to be nicer to ourselves. We have to indicate what it is that is causing us to miss out on sleep. Sleep habits are also not something that can be fixed overnight. There has to be some sort of consistency with how we are sleeping so that we could get our circadian rhythm to adjust (which by the way, is influenced by how light or dark it is in your environment.)

The National Sleep Foundation named a few tips on how to improve your sleep in an article titled “How Much Sleep Do We Really Need?” These tips include: Stick to a sleep schedule, even on weekends, practice a relaxing bedtime ritual, exercise daily, evaluate your bedroom to ensure ideal temperature, sound and light, sleep on a comfortable mattress and pillow, beware of hidden sleep stealers, like alcohol and caffeine, and turning off electronics before bed.

A personal tip of mine would be to put your phone on “night mode” if you use iOS, this gives the brightness of your device a yellow-ish tint that will be “easier” on your eyes, it helps when you are browsing social media or watching videos on your phone before you fall asleep. You can even do this on your computer as well, if that’s what you are using before bed.

This is something that you can start practicing, one by one. You don’t have to dive all the way in and start doing all these things at once. Sleep will help us feel better on an everyday basis, we will be able to concentrate in class, we will be able to complete our homework and we will be in a good enough mood to get things done on-time. Most importantly, we will enjoy our day.