The Importance of Sleep & How To Deal With Poor Sleep Habits For Students?

Being a student, it is not uncommon to hit the sack late. Embracing a healthy sleep routine can be a boring factor, especially if you’re living in a hostel. But sleep is important for all of us and plays an extra role of importance for student’s wellbeing. Healthy sleeping habits are certainly one of the critical requirements for the human body to function properly. On average, humans spend almost one-third of their lives sleeping. It is during sleep, that our brain revives and rejuvenates all the organs of the body. A good sleep cycle is not just necessary to feel relaxed but also to perform well in whatever tasks you do. Sleep is of the utmost importance to kids and students as it is for adults. But why is sleep so very important to us? Read on to know more about the facts and importance of healthy sleep.

It plays a vital role in the development, growth, and well-being of the mind and body. Students and kids, especially, need to get enough sleep as it helps them stay alert and focused. Kids also get smarter over the course following good sleeping habits.

According to a 2006 survey from the National Sleep Foundation, about 87 percent of American high school students are chronically sleep-deprived.

Many children within the age of 10-12 end up going to sleep at around midnight.

The common reasons for bad sleeping habits include:

Sleep Cycle of a Student

Here are some disturbing facts about a poor sleep cycle and the problems it causes.

Sleep Cycle of a Student-AlignThoughts

Students need to get enough sleep to perform better in their academics and life. However, based on what I have come across, students are infamous and known for staying up late.

How Much Sleep Is Important?

As per experts, an average child should get at least 7 to 8 hours of sleep minimum, the more the better. But statistics reveal that almost 54% of boys and 62% of girls are victims of sleep deprivation. 

An average of 3 in 5 children suffers from sleep deprivation.

In general, children and pregnant women require more sleep compared to other people.

Sleep Requirements For Children

The National Sleep Foundation recommends certain sleep requirements for children. According to this, school-going children must get a sleep of 9-11 hours every day.

Earlier this year, a study of nearly 28,000 suburban high school students was published in the Journal of Youth and Adolescence.

It found that each hour of lost sleep is associated with a 38% increased risk of hopelessness or feeling sad and a 58% increase in suicide attempts.

Sleep and Health Benefits

Sleep and health are two parts of the same coin. For students, sleep has far more effects on their health.

  • Getting adequate sleep can be a vital factor in reducing stress about studies and personal things.
  • Sleep also helps in lowering blood pressure.
  • As per some research studies, not getting enough sleep may lead to type 2 diabetes.
  • Sleep can also act as a natural pain killer as it relaxes your body.

Interesting Fact: Did you know sleeping on your front can aid digestion.

  • Sleep helps students remain calm, composed, refreshed, and controlled which plays an important role during exam season.
  • Sleeping also helps your body produce extra protein molecules and increases immunity.
  • However, sleep deprivation is far more dangerous than food deprivation and can even kill you.

Problems Caused Due to Bad Sleeping Habits

Students must understand the importance of sleep before it is too late. Apart from affecting health, poor sleep habits can have severe consequences on a student’s life too:

1. Insufficient Sleep Can Affect Your Skin

A good night’s sleep is always associated with good skin health. Students need to understand the importance of sleep for health as well as beauty.

Dark circles, breakouts, dull skin, etc. are just some of the ways a lack of sleep can affect your skin.

When you don’t get enough sleep, your body secretes more stress hormone cortisol. Moreover, bad sleeping habits accelerates aging due to the imbalanced pH level of the skin.

2. Poor Performance

Moreover, bad sleep habits also affect student’s academics. Students who don’t get enough sleep tend to perform very poorly in exams, sports, and even ditch their favorite hobbies.

If your child is constantly getting poor grades even after studying hard and pulling an all-nighter, then you need to check on his/her sleep schedule and make sure they get enough sleep regularly.

3. Mood Swings

Mood swings are another major problem caused when you are sleep deprived.

You can easily get upset, sad, or angry at anyone/anything. This can also affect your relationships with your loved ones.

You may end up saying or doing things, unconsciously to hurt their feelings. Apart from this, students who haven’t slept well may also seem depressed and low.

4. Inability to Think and Act At Your Best

Insufficient sleep can hamper your ability to think and concentrate clearly on what task you are doing. If you are reading a book, attending a class, or completing your homework, you may not be able to do it properly due to sleep deprivation.

The following quote highlights how improper sleep can affect your ability to think and do activities.

See this: How to cultivate good eating habits?

5. Fatigue And Stress

Students may easily feel tired and fatigued due to insufficient sleep. Additionally, they may skip doing their favorite activities or playing games or participating in sports.

Disturbed sleep can lead to increased stress. Also, an interesting fact about insufficient sleep is that it can lead to weight gain.

6. Memory Problems

The memory span of students is also affected by the amount of sleep they get. It is vitally involved in memory encoding and working memory in children and adolescents.

If a student doesn’t get enough sleep, their memory span may be extremely short. It may cause forgetfulness and difficulty in remembering things. Thus, the importance of sleep for students can’t be stressed enough.

7. ADHD

In extreme cases, students with improper sleeping habits have also shown signs similar to ADHD. They may act hyperactive and restless quite often. As per statistics, as many as 50% of children with ADHD suffer from sleep problems.

8. Hallucinations

Bad sleeping habits can make children hallucinate.

Hallucination is a situation in which you see or hear or feel something that does not exist. Many students, due to insufficient sleep, hear weird sounds, or see things that do not exist.

10 Brilliant Ways to Deal With Poor Sleeping Habits

poor-sleeping-habits-alignthoughts

AlignThoughts brings you ten ways to deal with poor sleeping habits.

1. Maintain And Stick To A Schedule

Early to bed, early to rise. It is a common notion you must have heard. Even successful people follow this and maintain a healthy morning routine that gives them the extra energy to do things they love.

Maintain a sleeping routine or schedule and follow it daily. It is said that between 8 pm to 10 pm is a healthy time to start sleeping.

Following this routine can help you get a good night’s sleep and wake up early as well. There is no need to have a stressful morning waking up late.

Think about it!

2. Say No to Gadgets and iPhones

One of the reasons students don’t get enough sleep is their gadgets. Students spend late nights chatting with their friends on smartphones or playing some games on some other gadgets.

To improve your sleeping habits, keep your phone and gadgets far away from you. If you sleep in the bedroom, leave all your electronics in the living room.

See also: How young is too young for having an iPhone?

3. Binge Watch During The Day, Not Night

If you like binge-watching Netflix or TV shows or even reading novels, do it during the day time. Try to avoid or reduce watching series that you watch especially after 9 pm. It is necessary to inculcate healthy sleeping habits.

4. Don’t Take Too Many Naps

Too many naps during the day may keep you awake at night. Hence avoid napping too much. Keep your naps short and sweet. Use an alarm to get up or ask someone to wake you up from your nap.

Interesting Fact: Did you know it should only take you around 10-15 mins to fall asleep. However, if it takes you less than five minutes, chances are you are sleep deprived.

5. Wear Comfortable Clothes

Make sure the room you sleep in is comfortable. A cool and well-ventilated room with a comfortable bed can help you sleep better.

Always wear loose and comfortable clothing at night while going to sleep. Remove any tight clothing (including inner garments) that make you feel uncomfortable.

6. Relax and Meditate

Listen to calming music before sleeping. Music affects your heart rate and helps you feel relaxed. Follow simple breathing exercises as you lay in your bed. Meditation also helps you to get rid of stress and get a good night’s sleep.

I would recommend you listen to meditating music which is scientifically designed to help you relax.

7. Minimize Lights and Sound

Sometimes, healthy sleep may come down to tricking your body and mind to make it relax. Dim or turn off the lights and tune out all the loud sounds. If you live amid a noisy area, close your windows before sleeping to shut out all the music.

8.  Avoid Caffeine

Caffeine is not recommended for young children at all. But if you are someone who drinks tea or coffee, limit the intake. Instead, simple almond, turmeric, and milk mixture will help you get better sleep.

Read also: Start your day with these healthy alternatives to coffee

9. Avoid Late Night Studies

Some are day time learners; some are night owls. If you are a night owl, make sure you don’t stay up too late. Keep checking your watch and set a particular time to close your books and go to sleep.

10. Avoid Big or Heavy Meals For Dinner

Lastly, avoid big meals.

Stay away from oily or junk food during the night. Have a simple and light dinner. If you feel bloated and heavy, walk it off for some time before going to bed. See below for dinner ideas.

Final Thoughts on Sleeping Habits,

I would like to conclude this article with a small yet strong saying that my mother would always tell me when I was a kid and would avoid sleeping. “Sleep peacefully when you get a chance to sleep.

Therefore, get enough sleep when you are young. Because once you become a grown-up, the only time you will be able to sleep peacefully will be in your grave.”

Key Takeaways On Importance Of Sleep For Students

  • Healthy sleep is not just necessary to feel relaxed but also to perform well all the tasks you do.
  • Students need to get enough sleep to perform better in their academics and life.
  • Sleep and health are two parts of the same coin. Insufficient sleep can be a vital factor in increasing stress for women especially.
  • Bad sleeping habits can accelerate aging in youngsters. Dark circles, breakouts, dull skin, etc. are just some of the ways insufficient sleep can affect your skin.
  • It also highly affects academic performance. Students may easily feel tired and fatigued due to insufficient sleep.
  • You can also suffer from mood swings and get depressed easily.
  • If a student doesn’t get enough sleep, their memory span may be extremely short. It may cause forgetfulness and difficulty in remembering things.
  • For a good night’s sleep: Follow a good sleep routine, keep your gadgets far away, don’t nap too much during the day, meditate, make your room comfortable, avoid caffeine as well as heavy dinner and dim or turn off the lights and tune out all the loud sounds.
  • Similarly, avoid studying or binge-watching during late nights.

Your Thoughts On Sleeping Habits,

We hope these simple tips will help you improve your sleeping habits and get a night of healthy and peaceful sleep. Share this article and help students understand the importance of sleep. Check this article, to learn about good sleeping habits.

Also, do share your sleeping tips and tricks in the comment section.

Felicia is a full-time teacher and a freelancer with an interest in blogging. She is also a die-hard fan of the 'Friends' series.