The Need for Sleep

Importance of quality sleep for students

Reilly Nance, Arts and Entertainment Editor

The car starts to swerve as she has trouble concentrating on the road. Her vision starts to blur as her eyes get heavy. Drunk driver? Think again.

Lack of sleep can affect your choices, sometimes even as much as if you were under the influence of alcohol. Prolonged periods of time without sleep can weaken your reflexes and cause you to have a fuzzy mind. Driving sleep deprived doesn’t only put you in danger, but the other people driving around you. Sleep deprivation does not only impact your driving, it affects the way you think. Sleep is essential for your brain to absorb all the information from the day and prepare you for the next. 

Students especially need to make sure they’re getting the recommended amount of sleep because it is key in leading a healthy life. Poor slumber has been linked to many serious illnesses. Not getting an adequate amount of sleep can cause high blood pressure, a weakened immune system, mood swings, weight gain, stroke, dementia, paranoia, and even some cancers. While you sleep, your body is repairing itself. So it would make sense that if you failed to get enough sleep, your body wouldn’t be able to restore itself. This would lead to an increased possibility of getting sick. Without sleep you’re more vulnerable to colds, flu, and other infectious diseases.

While lack of sleep can have many negative effects on the body, there are ways to help. Changing your sleep habits is the basis to it all. Training your brain to sleep better is like training it to do any other task. It is important to have a relaxing sleep environment and have a daily bedtime routine.

The atmosphere of the room needs to be relaxing. The bed and pillows you’re using should be comfortable. The temperature of the room should be cool, ranging from 60 to 67 degrees. To keep the mood relaxing stay away from working or watching TV in your bedroom. This will cause your brain to associate your bedroom with sleep, making it easier to get a good night’s rest.

Lighting and sound also impact the quality of sleep you’re getting. All bright lights in the room should be turned off. Disturbing sounds should be eliminated as well with either earplugs or a white noise machine.

As stated before, there should be a nightly routine that you stick to. There are many good options including: a warm bath, reading a book, listening to soothing music, light stretches, or meditating.

The most important of all the examples would be to stay active. Exercise is key to quality sleep. As little as 10 minutes a day of aerobic exercise can drastically improve sleep condition.

If you are to follow all the steps listed above, you’re on the right track to improving your sleep quality and your health.

While sleep is something we look at as a pretty simple concept, it is truly the opposite. As long as you’re keeping up with your health and taking care of yourself, you’re on the right track to improving your sleep quality overall.