Don’t have time for sleep? College students who skip on sleep are taking huge risks with their health and grades. They think the “norm” is to pull all-nighters most nights and only get three hours the other nights. This is far from the truth. Sleep provides physical and mental benefits you can’t get from anything else.
Sleeping is a natural process that provides a sort of cleansing for the brain “” it’s like doing a hard reset on your iPhone. Researchers say instead of trying to fit a few hours of sleep into one’s schedule, getting a sufficient amount of sleep is crucial because that is when the brain does its most important work.
According to a medical study by Harvard University, sleep helps the brain consolidate factual information, as well as retain the information learned that day. A student pulling an all-nighter loses this opportunity and, therefore, will have more trouble recalling what he or she learned the day before.
Going without sleep can also cause damaging side effects. Bettersleep.org says you’ll die from sleep deprivation before dying from starvation. Ten days without sleep is all it takes to kill you, which means those who stay up all finals week are taking a huge risk. Students who skip sleep are in danger of weight gain, lower academic performance and a lowered immune system. In addition, excessive sleepiness is one of the biggest factors in automobile accidents.
Students who feel like they don’t have time to get sleep each night will be surprised to find that some of the busiest people on the ACU campus are still finding ways to sleep at least five to six hours each night.
Dylan Benac, the president of the Students’ Association as well as a pledge of Pi Kappa, said he gets six and a half hours of sleep per night. Rodney Johnson, vice president of SA and member of Gamma Sigma Phi, said he maintains five hours of sleep per night. Still not convinced? Jace Reinhard, star of the Homecoming Musical Les Miserables, said he makes sure to get seven hours of sleep per night. Heather Young, the newly crowned Homecoming Queen, said she gets five to seven hours of sleep each night. The list goes on and on.
Students need to realize that sleeping shouldn’t be a last on their list of priorities. Time needs to be made for sleep because not only does it renew the brain and prevent illness, it will keep students alert enough to ace those tests and finish that homework.