Students have a higher tendency to miss out on sleep due to workload and, well, video games. It is no doubt that every student has ever studied through the night for an exam the next day. The continuous sleep deprivation continues for the entire week until finals are over. Today, Tutopiya shares with students why sleep is important and how it affects their brains and wellbeing.
7 ways sleep deprivation affects students
1 – Memory impairment
Without enough sleep, you are not giving your brain enough time to rest and consolidate all the information you have processed throughout the day. Lack of sleep reduces activity in your hippocampus – which is also known as the memory center of your brain. The core is what helps us remember information. Hence, it is always not recommended to burn midnight’s oil as you need time to encode and solidify your memory. And the only way to do that is to sleep.
2 – Slows down the healing process
Sleeping helps your body to heal internally. When you sleep, your heart is not hard at work. Sleeping helps wounds to heal faster but also restores sore or damaged muscles. This is because your body can create more white blood cells during sleep. White blood cells are the ones who help to fight viruses and bacteria that hinder your healing process. Hence, sleep deprivation causes a slow down in healing processes.
3 – Higher chances of making the wrong decisions
When you are sleepy, you are less likely to make right or rational decisions. One will experience impaired judgment and poor decision-making skills. This is due to decreased cognitive performance leading to the inability to make sound decisions.
4 – Lower alertness and attention span
Sleepiness causes students to be restless. When one is restless, one will be unable to focus and concentrate during lessons or completing tasks. Restlessness leads to procrastination. This only causes students to produce low-quality work or lower productivity in studying. Which is both cases are not ideal.
5 – Easily irritated and frustrated
You become distracted, grumpy, cranky, and easily annoyed. Simply because you lack sleep. This can lead to problems with relationships which only further dampen your mood.
6 – Reaction time is reduced
Microsleeps refer to short periods of sleep that are measured in seconds. Ever felt like you dozed off for a second working late at night on your assignment? That’s micro sleeping. Microsleeping causes you to be less alert and ultimately reduces your reaction time. Reduction in reaction time can lead to dire consequences.
7 – Risks of developing health problems
Sleep is the foundation of building a healthy body, With sufficient sleep, it is lightly that you will have increased risks of developing health problems related to health, reproduction, and mental wellbeing.
How to ensure your child gets sufficient rest time
1 – Schedule time for bed
It can be difficult at first to go to bed at a specific time, but you will get used to it. Your body will release melatonin, making you ready to go to bed as you continue to practice scheduled sleeping. It also helps to ensure that you clock that amount of hours you need so that you can start your day feeling afresh.
2 – Give sufficient time for a wind-down
Giving yourself time to relax and wind down before going to bed helps to prepare yourself for bed too.
3 – Avoid taking naps
Naps could be the cause of late-night sleeping or insomnia. Because of the extra energy boost we received in the afternoon, we are able to work later into the night, disrupting our sleep schedule. Hence, avoid taking naps, instead, if you are feeling sleepy, do other activities that help you to stay awake such as drinking a cup of coffee or taking a 30 minutes break.
4 – Avoid a heavy meal before sleep
It can be difficult to sleep with a full stomach, hence try to eat something light for dinner that is easy on your stomach. Avoid big meals and caffeinated drinks at least 3 to 4 hours before bedtime.
5 – Create a conducive environment for sleeping
Have trouble falling asleep even though you did not take naps? Try to dim the lights and shut the door. You could be sensitive to light or noise. Hence, find the most comfortable and conducive environment to rest in.
6 – Knowing the amount of sleep you need to perform
This magic number differs from person to person and age to age, younger children require more sleep than older people. The amount of sleep you need can also depend on your own habits.
Here is a table to serve as a guide for our fellow students and parents:
|Recommendation sleep duration
|3 to 5 years old
|10 to 13 hours including naps
|6 to 12 years old
|9 to 12 hours
|13 to 18 years old
|8 to 10 hours
|7 to 9 hours
|Older adults (65 and older)
|7 to 8 hours
In a nutshell, it is important that we get a good rest before the next day and prevent sleep deprivation. A night of good sleep is a good start to the new day. Additionally, having a good night’s sleep can have many positive effects on your life. Sleep is something that many neglects but it is one of the greatest assets to possess!