Understanding the Importance of Sleep for Students

Do you stay awake all night trying to finish school work or study for your finals? Staying up all night to study may be a common practice amongst students, as many take it to be the most effective way to keep up with their studies. However, it’s time to quit this habit and avoid taking sleep for granted. 

There’s no question about it – student life is challenging. However, it’s essential to emphasise the importance of sleep as it can affect your well-being and eventually, your studies. Sleep should also be prioritised even if you’re trying to keep up with academic demands or struggling to find the right balance between school and your personal life.

Why is sleep important? The primary reason is that it allows the brain to “cleanse” and rest itself.  The brain is always very active, carrying out a range of crucial functions, and when we sleep, the brain takes on a “housekeeping” role, clearing any toxins built up when we’re awake. Sleep also plays an important role in how neurons communicate with each other and the maintenance of pathways in the brain. All of these are essential to how we learn, create new memories, process new information, concentrate, and respond to stimuli.

How Much Sleep Should You Get?

Now that we know the importance of sleep, this brings us to the next question – what’s the recommended amount of sleep? Preschoolers aged 3 to 5 need an average of 10-13 hours of sleep daily, including their naps. In the case of primary school students, 9-12 hours of sleep per day is recommended. Students aged 13 to 18, need to sleep at least 8-10 hours a day. Those above 18 require at least 7 hours of sleep. Getting the right amount of sleep is also dependent on one’s sleeping habits, diet, and physical activity.

Causes and Effects of Sleep Deprivation

To learn how to get more sleep, we have to first understand the factors causing sleep deprivation. Identifying the causes of why you’re losing sleep can help you find the right solutions to your sleep-related problems. And you’d be surprised at how the amount of sleep you regularly get can affect your physical, emotional, and mental health. While feeling tired and sluggish can be a result of a lack of sleep, there are other side effects that make it all the more important to grasp the importance of sleep.

1. Poor Sleeping Patterns

One cause of sleep deprivation is poor sleeping patterns. Poor sleeping patterns are characterised by the lack of a regular sleeping schedule and regularly waking up in the middle of the night. It may also be manifested when you have a hard time falling asleep or it takes you more than 30 minutes before you start feeling drowsy. This can lead to some of the most common physical effects of sleep deprivation including fatigue and feeling sluggish. Over time, this can lead to mood swings, cause you to feel stressed, and have a hard time managing all the external stressors.

2. Too Much Screen Time

Lying in bed and waiting to fall asleep while browsing through your mobile devices isn’t helpful. Too much screen time means your brain is still being stimulated as you’re still keeping it active while using your gadgets. This can be linked to exposure to blue light. Blue light is a part of the visible light spectrum, which can affect your alertness. Since computer screens and other electronic devices contain high levels of blue light, it can disrupt your sleep by keeping your brain active. Achieving balance with screen time is thus important so that you can get more sleep.

3. Burning the Midnight Oil

Students usually stay up late at night because of school work. Whether you’re cramming for an exam or you’re trying to finish your homework, burning the midnight oil will do more harm than good to your academic performance and your health. Lack of sleep weakens your immune system so you are prone to getting sick, putting you at risk for more serious health conditions. Sleep deprivation can also cause you to have difficulty in processing and remembering new information as it affects your short-term and long-term memory. It may also affect your ability to focus, solve problems, and be creative – all of which directly impact your academic performance.

How to Get More Sleep

It’s important to get the right amount of sleep; however, it’s also necessary to take note of the quality of sleep you’re getting. Even if you’ve slept for more than seven hours, you might still feel tired and drained if you didn’t get quality sleep. Knowing the right techniques on how to get more sleep can help you have a good night’s rest without any disturbances.

1. Establish a Bedtime Routine

You need a bedtime routine that’s easy to follow. It should be consistent as your main goal is to make it a habit. Establish a specific time to sleep and to wake up. The time to sleep and the time to wake up varies from one person to another because of the difference in lifestyle, work schedules, and time zones. According to experts, the best time for students to fall asleep is between 9 to 10.30 pm, as most classes begin at 7:30 am. Of course, it’s best to adjust the sleeping schedule to ensure that you are getting at least the minimum amount of recommended sleep.

2. Set Up a Sleep-Inducing Environment

Create a setting that’s conducive to sleep. Avoid using your mobile phone or other gadgets when you’re already in bed to avoid stimulating your brain. You need a room that’s quiet with dimmed lights to help you get drowsy. Adding night lights is helpful to create a sleep-inducing ambiance for your bedroom. This indirectly helps maintain your body’s circadian rhythm, which is your body’s internal clock that naturally responds to light and dark to control your daily schedule for sleep and wakefulness.

3. Hire a Private Tuition Teacher

Since one of the main reasons students don’t get enough sleep is because of studying, seeking professional help from a home tuition agency is a great way to catch up. Hiring a private tuition teacher can help you with your academics whether you just need to understand your subjects better or you need to keep up with your schoolwork. Online tuition is a convenient yet effective way to improve or maintain your academic performance. As a result of the additional help you’ll be getting, you won’t need to cram or study late at night as frequently.

How Can FamilyTutor Help?

Sleep is important for students as it allows the brain to have a break from all school activities. Lack of sleep can cause you to feel physically, emotionally, and mentally exhausted. If you’re losing sleep over your academics, it’s best to hire a private tuition teacher. Private tuition teachers can provide you with a personalised lesson plan that allows you to better understand subjects and concepts at your own pace. They can also help you develop better study habits that mitigate the need to stay up late for constant revision.

FamilyTutor is a private tuition in Singapore that provides private tuition services to help parents and students with their academic-related concerns. We offer tutorial services for various subjects, including Maths, Economics, Science, English, and Chinese. Contact us for any enquiries about our programmes. You can also fill out our Tutor Request Form and we’ll match you to the right tutor.



Carelle is a teacher who has been through the ups and downs of the teacher and learner life. She wishes for every learner to gain educational satisfaction that will help embody the people they want to be in the future.

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