Sleep is crucial to success
May 7, 2020
It’s easy to put sleeping on the back burner, especially during finals week. Getting the proper amount of sleep is critical to not only academic success, but also to overall health. However, putting off sleep is understandable; you have so much to study for with such little time to do so. You’re also tasked with completing numerous final projects with a group that seems despondent. On top of that, you’ve been stuck indoors for the better part of two months and you don’t even remember what your best friend’s face looks like. With all of this going on, the last thing you’re probably concerned about is sleep.
Sleep deficiency is prevalent in today’s society, especially in countries with high academic stress. According to the National Institutes of Health, sleep deficiency occurs when you don’t get enough sleep, you sleep at the wrong time of day (or at a time that’s out of sync with your body’s natural clock), you don’t go through the necessary types of sleep that your body requires or if you have a sleep disorder that prevents you from getting quality sleep.
Although it is perfectly normal to be unable to fall asleep before 11 p.m., the demand for sleep increases as we age. People still need about seven to nine hours of sleep each night to function best, according to Sleep Foundation. If a person does not get enough sleep, their ability to learn is greatly hindered, impairing their ability to learn, listen, concentrate, solve problems or even recall important events. On top of that, lack of sleep makes one more prone to acne and other skin problems — as if stress pimples weren’t enough.
Additionally, when you are sleep deprived, you are just as impaired compared to a person with a blood alcohol content of .08%, which is the legal limit for driving while under the influence of alcohol. So, if you’re sleep deprived — please don’t drive out for that late-night Merry Ann’s Diner run. Get some sleep instead.
There are simple steps that can be taken to ensure that you get your work done on time and get enough sleep. First, going to bed and waking up at a consistent time will improve the quality of sleep. You may also find that you’re happier and more productive during the day. Being physically active and avoiding heavy and/or large meals within a few hours of bedtime will also aid in quality sleep.
Although napping during the day may help you get past that midday lull, just remember it should never exceed past 20 minutes. Taking long naps during the day time can risk messing up your sleep schedule.
This may be the most difficult step, but try to plan assignments ahead of time. Allotting and spreading certain chunks of time across a few weeks before an assignment is due will not only reduce the amount of stress that you will face, but it will also help you get to bed on time. This will then turn into a healthy cycle of production and quality sleep. Yes, getting homework done ahead of time is easier said than done. Keep in mind, depriving yourself of sleep causes you to fall short of your brain’s academic and overall capacity. It is essential to take every step possible to prevent sleep deficiency to ensure that you perform your best during finals week.
JJ is a sophomore in the College of Media.