Why Is Rest Important for Students?
Do you have trouble getting out of bed every day? Do you feel like you have to drag yourself to class every day? Are you having trouble concentrating on what your teacher is saying? Do you often have to ask them to repeat what they have said because you had trouble understanding the first time? Do you easily fall asleep in class? If you answered yes to most of these questions, chances are you may be sleep deprived.
Sleep deprivation is very common among students, especially during exams period. If you are not getting enough rest, there could be dire negative effects that can put you at a disadvantage during such an important time in your academic journey. Not getting enough sleep and rest affects your mood, your physical well-being, your mental health, and how you take in information and concentrate in class.
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What causes sleep deprivation?
You may not immediately notice when you are deprived of sleep. Sometimes, spending a night or two staying up late may not cause any issues for you. However, that is exactly one of the causes of sleep deprivation. A student would be staying up too late studying, especially closer to the exam day. To get good grades, students forego their time for sleep in order to have more time for reviewing or studying for their upcoming exams.
And while it’s easy to blame it all on studying for the coming exams, some students use this same time for other reasons. Some students do stay up late, not to study, but to use their time to enjoy entertainment. Some students stay up late to catch up on TV shows they’ve missed during the day while they were in school. Some students use this time for their own hobbies, like reading or drawing.
Teenagers typically go to bed two hours later than adults, which causes their sleep cycle to shift toward later times and results in them waking up later. However, students must wake up earlier because of the early start to the school day, missing out on a few more hours of additional sleep.
What are the consequences of not getting enough rest?
Staying up late and basically procrastinating resting is just something very common that almost everyone does, especially during the age of social media when everyone loses track of time by the time they open up their app of choice. However, it should be noted that sleep deprivation and not getting enough rest are detrimental to our health. And sometimes, the effects may not be as noticeable now that you are still young. In addition, it also doesn’t just affect your health, but also your way to academic success.
Here are also some of the other effects of sleep deprivation:
1. Weakens your immune system
According to studies, those who don’t get enough or good sleep are more likely to become ill after contracting a virus like the one that causes the common cold. In the event that you do become ill, lack of sleep may slow down your recovery.
2. Trouble concentrating
As mentioned before, you will have trouble concentrating and thinking if you lack sleep. You will have a harder time focusing and paying attention, making you more susceptible to confusion. Your capacity to carry out jobs requiring complicated thought or logical reasoning is hampered by this.
3. Mood swings
The brain’s amygdala, in particular, controls how you feel. The amygdala works overtime when you’re sleep deprived. It causes more ferocious emotional responses to trying circumstances.
These are only some of the consequences that students have to take into consideration. Aside from these, lack of sleep and rest can also negatively impact your short and long-term memory, and cognitive performance, and can even make you more susceptible to anxiety and depression. When we don’t get enough sleep, we have trouble focusing in class and don’t perform as well.
Since our moods are also impacted by lack of sleep and we get angrier and experience extreme mood swings, this has an impact on how we interact with others as well. Some relationships we have may become strained because of our emotions when we are sleep-deprived. For instance, we can discover that it is challenging to work with our group members when we are more irritated with them. This can affect the group’s performance and teamwork.
How to get more sleep and rest?
If one is sleep deprived, the logical answer to battling it would be to get more sleep, right? And how can one get more sleep and rest? A no-brainer would be to try and sleep earlier and get more hours of rest. However, that can be harder to follow, especially during exam periods. While we don’t promote staying up late to study, it may be understandable why students do so during their preparations.
Read also: The Importance of Sleep For Students
So, here are some of the other ways to help get more sleep:
1. Work on your circadian rhythm
A circadian rhythm, also known as a circadian cycle, is a normal, endogenous process that controls the cycle of sleep and wakefulness and occurs roughly every 24 hours. And this also helps in making sure you get the sleep and rest you need for your growing body. Go to sleep at the same time every night and wake up at the same time every morning. This way, you’d be training your body’s cycle so it knows exactly when it’s time to slow down, making sleep come easier for you.
2. Stay away from caffeine late in the day
Coffee or energy drinks cause a spike in your sugar levels, giving you that “boost” that you need to get through the day. However, taking them so late in the day can cause your body to stay up longer than it needs to. You may have trouble falling asleep because of this.
3. Dark, quiet, and cosy room
A dark room or surroundings helps with the production of melatonin in the body, helping you fall asleep. A quiet and cosy room also helps to ensure you get the best quality sleep and rest you need.
4. No screen time an hour before bed
We are all guilty of using our devices before bed. However, it can be distracting you from getting the rest you need. You may spend only a few minutes scrolling through only to realize later that you have spent hours and only have a few more left before you have to wake up and get ready for school.
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