With classes in full swing, you may be finding it a bit difficult to get a good night’s sleep. Don’t feel guilty about a power nap before you start studying, there are many benefits associated with sneaking in a decent nap before class or starting homework.
Napping improves your working memory associated with completing complex tasks where you actually need to pay attention. While you are sleeping, your memories are moved to the neocortex and become stored as long-term memories.
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Naps improve your sensory perception, meaning when you wake up your walls are brighter, your Chipotle smells better, and your Dr. Pepper is that much more refreshing. Napping also loosens and refreshes your web of ideas and helps fuse everything together. Think of it like re-fragmenting your computer; this is what sleeping does to your brain.
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Sleep deprivation increases the stress hormone, cortisol. Too much cortisol weakens your muscular and immune system, increases glucose intolerance, adds abdominal fat, and decreases levels of growth hormones and testosterone in your body.
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4. Normal Functioning
Piling homework on with no sleep actually decreases your productivity. Sleep is required for normal daily functioning, especially for the life of a busy college student. So do yourself a favor and take a quick nap every now and then. You won’t regret it.
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Anyone sleepy yet?
As a college student, a lot of our nights are spent staying up late studying, finishing a paper, going out to the bars, or trying to find some time to ourselves to finally relax. It is quite rare for any student to go to bed early and sleep in to a sufficient time. A lot of students (even after staying up late the night before) wake up early to do last minute studying, early morning work-outs, or go to class. Between going to bed late and waking up early, the quality of our sleep is significantly declining.
College students are supposed to sleep on average between 7-9 hours per night. However, the real average comes to less than 6.9 hours per night. Sleep is a time to put our body and mind to rest. The typical university life requires sleep time for the body to refuel and for the brain to refresh and improve learning and memory, yet sleep time keeps decreasing.
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Sleep deprivation has a major impact on your body, mind, and studies.
- Decreased Immunity
- Mood Swings / Bad Mood
- Decreased Flexibility and Strength
- Weight Gain
- Impaired Attention Span
- Memory Deficiency
- Poor Academic Performance
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Get yourself into a better sleeping habit to avoid sleep deprivation. Here are some tips:
- Bed Time Ritual - Do certain tasks right before sleep to let the body know it’s time to wind down and prepare for bed (ex. Brush your teeth, wash your face, relax). Also, go to bed at the same time each night and wake up at the same time each morning.
- Relax – Calm anxiety and daily stress away by making time for yourself. Include this in with your ritual (ex. Read a book, listen to relaxing music, take a bath).
- Light Snack – Eat something small (ex. Yogurt, Granola Bar, Mixed Nuts).
- Avoid Naps – This will prohibit you from sleeping later and ruin your routine!
- No Stress Zone – The bed is not a place for thinking, worrying, or making to-do lists. Try to get this all out BEFORE you hop into bed.
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Our whole day depends on proper sleep, so it is time to stop neglecting an important part of our daily schedule! Sleep right – sleep tight!