With the hustle and bustle of college happening daily in a student’s life, it can be easy to see why sleep would not be the most important thing on their mind.
Between classes, homework, eating, and extracurricular activities, there is not enough time to do everything one would like to in a given day. Sleep is something many students end up sacrificing in favor of other activities. But in reality, students should be prioritizing their sleep in order to maintain good physical and mental health.
According to the University Health Center, sleeping is a vital part of everyone’s life, whether we realize it or not. On average, it accounts for one-third of a person’s existence. Humans require so much sleep because it is very beneficial to us. It helps restore our energy, fight off illnesses, strengthen our memories, and lift our moods up.
The National Sleep Foundation recommends that young adults get between 7-9 hours of sleep each night. Everyone is unique, however, and may need more or less sleep in order to function properly. Being tired throughout the day is a sign that more rest is required in order to be prepared for the day ahead.
College students must make sure they are not sleep deprived as it can cause a lot of issues in their everyday life. Academic performance is known to drop with little to no rest. Additionally, stress will rise and depression or anxiety could develop. Fatigue will also increase and immune systems will be weakened. A person’s mental and physical state are very dependent on the amount of sleep they obtain, says the University Health Center.
Students polled at Wilson College do not feel as if they are getting enough sleep. “I work and go to school and have to balance all of that with my sleep schedule,” says Julianne Skorski ’19.
Agreeing with her, Amber Loomis ’19 says, “I find it difficult to balance classes and homework, so I end up staying up late to study and complete assignments.” “We have too much work to do. If you’re in college, you have to minimize your sleep,” says Ebrima Jobe ’19.
The general consensus seems to be that students have too much to do in order to sleep adequately during the week. Despite this, there are a few ways to make the most out of your sleep.
The most impactful thing one can do is stick to a specific sleep schedule. Try to go to bed and wake up at the same time every day. The human body has natural, biological clocks and syncing your sleep schedule to these can help immensely. A good sleeping environment is beneficial as well. Personalize your dorm and make it feel more comfortable. Try to turn off all of your electronics before going to sleep. Set time aside to wind down for the evening before you lay your head on the pillow. Stress and anxiety prevent a person from getting to sleep, so taking time to relax and shed that stress off is liberating.
All of these tips, provided by the National Sleep Foundation, will have you sleeping more efficiently so you feel ready to tackle the days ahead.