Sleep. A beautiful commodity that can only be purchased with the sacrifice of your social life or school life.
You can literally die if you don’t get enough of it, but even so there are countless students around campus with the battle scars of all nighters present under their eyes in the form of dark circles. College students are notoriously sleep deprived and who can blame them when social and school pressures beckon them away from the alluring comfort of their beds? However, despite all the reasons to stay awake, catching enough shut eye is essential in maintaining proper health and brain function. With finals looming over the horizon, it is as important as ever to realize the harm you can cause yourself by skipping a snooze session and losing out on all the benefits a full nights rest can give you.
Multiple studies have shown that getting enough sleep is as essential to bodily health as drinking water and a healthy diet. The National Sleep Foundation recommends that adults aged 18-25 to get 7-9 hours of sleep to perform at their best, but also reports that only 1 in 5 adults were found to not be getting enough sleep. According to The American Academy of Sleep Medicine, sleep deprivation can result in: irritability, anxiety, symptoms of depression, forgetfulness, a lack of coordination and a myriad of other performance and mood effects. The AASM also found that sleep deprivation has been associated with an increased risk of: high blood pressure, obesity, heart attack and diabetes. Although the issues found by the AASM are more likely to affect older people, sleep deprivation can still hurt young adults as well. In a study done in 2013, it was found that “acute sleep loss increases food intake in adults.” Aside from sleepiness contributing to or maintaining the freshman 15, sleepiness negatively affects drivers every day as well. Although drowsiness can negatively affect every driver on the road, the NSF, named a list of high risk individuals which included young people, especially men under the age of 25, shift workers, jet lagged individuals and commercial truck drivers. The NSF suggests that having 6 or few hours of sleep in a night can increases your risk of having a fatigue related crash three times over. Now, it’s no secret that you shouldn’t operate heavy machinery while drowsy, but is it actually worth it to stay up all night to cram before an exam? Well, in a study done by the NSF it was found that sleep deprivation, even for just one night, can result in problems recollecting information.
Although it is easier said than done, you need to sleep. Fatigue and drowsiness related car crashes and increased health risks are all an easily avoidable fate if you just turn out the light. No matter how much we think it matters, no test, paper or quiz is more important than your wellbeing.