The Importance of Sleep for College Students

Tired student
Tired all the time? Alyssa Chapman, an ENMU student, discusses the importance of getting enough sleep while attending college.

The Importance of Sleep for College Students

As college students, we are all pretty guilty of neglecting sleep. That could mean just not quite getting those full eight hours or pulling the classic "all-nighters." Procrastination seems to be the culprit for the neglect of sleep.

Procrastination is a common theme amongst college students. The challenge is how to enjoy your youth and balance performing well in school.

Most of the time, people think they can put off assignments, and they will get to them later. Then they find themselves the night before the assignment is due with nothing done and no choice but to pull an all-nighter.

Another all-nighter move is pulled before a huge test so that the student can cram as much as possible. The only problem is that research shows that staying up all night to cram actually negatively effects the performance of the test taker and they generally would have performed better had they gotten a fair amount of sleep instead.

I have found it better for me to just to call it at a certain point and accept that that is the position I am in, rather than trying to stay up all night. I end up like a zombie trying to comprehend complex exam questions and let's be real, that never works out well.

Think about it. If you don't get enough sleep, you are usually irritable, have a shorter fuse and are experiencing that "cloudy" feeling. How do you expect to do well on an exam under those conditions?

Sometimes, lack of sleep actually has nothing to do with procrastination, and it is actually due to stress. I will finish studying and lay down for bed but have so much anxiety about what is to come, that I will just lay there, struggling to fall asleep. Under those circumstances, I found a few tricks that will usually work for me.

  1. I will get up and make Yogi "Kava Stress Relief" tea, and that will generally knock me right out.
  2. I also will practice some breathing techniques to calm down. Breathe in for a count of seven, deep enough to see your belly rise. And breathe out for a count of ten.
  3. I try to focus my thoughts on something that doesn't stress me out, and that will usually calm me down enough to be able to fall asleep.

Whatever the reason is for lack of sleep, it is important to try to remedy it. Sleeping is such a vital component to healthy living, especially for college students. We need our brains to be operating to the best of our abilities when we are in class. Make sure you are making time for sleep and don't find yourself neglecting it.