better grades? Don't pull that all-nighter -- get some
By Jackie Banda
October 25, 2006 | Any busy college student knows a
typical day can include classes, homework, studying,
work, exercise and extracurricular activities. With
so many demands on a students time sleep is often something
that is sacrificed to fit more into one day.
According to Brown University
Sleep and Development Laboratory a study in 2001
showed only 11 percent of college students reported
having good quality sleep, while 73 percent had at least
occasional sleep problems. Lack of sleep or
sleep deprivation has harmful effects on the body,
some of which are blurred vision, memory lapses, decreased
mental activity, slowed reaction time and a decrease
in the ability of the immune system. While a student
may think they are benefiting by forfeiting their sleep
in order to finish a paper or a reading assignment,
the effects that occur as a result of not sleeping are
just as harmful to the student's body as they are to
the student's ability to learn in class the next day.
Dr. Tom Price of the USU
Student Health and Wellness Center said he sees
a large number of students who have concerns about sleep.
"I see quite number of students who don't get adequate
sleep," Price said "However the majority of them have
horrible sleeping conditions. Often things like loud
roommates, late exercise schedules and large amounts
of caffeine consumption a part of the student's regular
life style, and all are things that will interfere with
their sleep and sleeping habits."
It is obvious with those types of situations how the
Brown study only found 11 percent of students to have
good quality sleep. What about those who simply just
don't have enough time for the recommended six and a
half to eight hours of sleep?
Sleep Foundation states that sleep is a basic necessity
of life just as air, water and food are. If a college
student was to stop and consider the fact that forgoing
a days worth of food or water is equivalent to skipping
hours of sleep, they might think twice before that late
night study session.
However, for most college students being tired is
an all too common feeling. Students have spent so many
nights studying and working late that their bodies are
have become programmed to work through the feelings
of being tired and worn-out.
There are two different states of sleep. Rapid Eye
Movement and non-rapid eye movement sleep. A person
cycles through both, REM and non-REM sleep, during a
normal nights rest. Although it is still unclear what
each cycle does for the body, it is known that both
are needed to complete one full sleep cycle.
Jerome Siegel, director of the
Center for Sleep Research at the University of California
Los Angeles, wrote an article called "Why we sleep."
In this, he points out that if a person does not get
enough REM time during one sleep session, the next time
that person sleeps there will be an increased amount
of REM sleep. The same occurs for non-REM sleep. He
calls this a sleep debt.
Sleep is the bodies' way of reenergizing its self
for the next day. With all the demands that the average
college student has, sleep often becomes an idea instead
of a routine part of the day. Utah State University
sophomore, Liz Stuevens, explained her mental process
when it comes to sleep.
"I will get around to going sleeping, after I finish
this paper and that reading and get something to eat."
Stuevens said. "Sometimes there just aren't enough hours
in the day to do everything I need to do, and sleep
is the first thing that goes." Stuevens said she knows
sleep is important and understands that she needs to
start finding time for the recommended hours of sleep.
Sleep is not only important to scholarly success but
also to the bodies' athletic abilities. Kevin
Liu , a senior track and field athlete said sleep
is important to his performance.
"My body needs all the energy it can get. I always
make sure to I have a good nights sleep before a meet."
Liu said, "If I don't get enough sleep my I can see
it in my performance."
It is important for everyone to understand how cuticle
sleep is for their bodies, epically those in college.
As a young adult there are many demands from classes
and jobs, as well as the demands each student puts upon
themselves to perform well. Their bodies can not afford
to lose the benefits of sleep.
Remember, every time you eat, drink water and even
take a breath, it is just as important to your body
as a full nights sleep.