What Are the Effects of Lack of Sleep? 4 Ways to Improve Sleep

Lack of Sleep?

UBIS – From ZZZ’s to A’s:

Is lack of sleep affecting your grades?

Lack of sleep is a big problem facing college students today.  Students are sleeping less and not getting a healthy amount.  70 to 96 percent of college students get less than eight hours of sleep each weeknight.  And over half of college students sleep less than seven hours per night.  Is lack of sleep affecting your performance academically?  Sleep affects your ability to learn and process new information so students with poor sleep quality are more likely to get bad grades.  On the other hand, sleep promotes cognition and memory, facilitates learning, recharges our mental and physical batteries, and generally helps us make the most out of our days.  With plentiful sleep, we improve our mental and physical health, reduce stress, and maintain the routine that is critical to healthy daily functioning.

Check out this cool Study Guide to Getting Sleep During Final Exams!

Why Sleep Is Important?

Within the busy schedules of college students, sleep is often the first thing to go when trying to squeeze in all of the academic, social, and extracurricular activities that are often part of uni life.  Regarding Online Education, students must agree that it is hard to unplug these days.  With work meetings and classes, we are glued to our screens more than ever.  Plus, laptops, tablets, and mobile phones have become the main source of entertainment and connection with other people.

Experts say that electronic devices emit artificial blue light that suppresses the amount of melatonin released in the body.  This is how the natural circadian rhythm is disrupted by time spent on computers, mobile phones, and in front of the television.  Plus, spending the day indoors and staying up late with the lights on, adds to our exposure to artificial light.  In the long-term, difficulty falling and staying asleep leads to sleep deprivation which increases the risk of other real health problems.

How Do You Know If You Suffer From Lack of Sleep?

Lack of sleep can be hard to detect by yourself.  How to know if your body need more rest? Look at the statements below, and if a significant number of the statements below are true for you, you may want to keep on reading!

  1. You can’t get out of bed when the alarm sounds.
  2. You worry about getting enough sleep most nights of the week.
  3. When you wake up in the night, you can’t get back to sleep.
  4. You use sleeping pills or other remedies help you sleep.
  5. Do you feel exhausted from lack of sleep?
  6. You sleep in or take daytime naps to make up for lack of sleep.
  7. You get drowsy during the day or need caffeine to stay alert.
  8. It takes you at least an hour to fall asleep every night of the week.


Tips To Improve Lack of Sleep

Structure your day:

To avoid lack of sleep you must get organized.   With distance learning, most students do not have a rigid timetable.  For remote workers, their ‘new normal’ schedule is much more flexible.  But we also find ourselves juggling more unscheduled activities.  This type of chaos causes extra stress, decreases the time left for relaxation and self-care, and disrupts the regular sleep schedule.


Create Good Bedroom Habits:

We help our bodies understand that it is time for sleep is by supporting the association of the bed and bedroom with relaxation.  But if you have been using your bedroom as your virtual classroom, this association gets mixed up. Suddenly, the bedroom has become a stressful environment and it can be hard to disconnect.  Without the definition of limits and boundaries in space, it is easy to literally bring your work to bed.


Limit or Do Without Those Power Naps:

If you feel you are suffering from lack of sleep, taking naps in the day can make it even harder to fall asleep at night. If you must take a nap, try to limit it to 20 or 30 minutes before 3 pm.  This will help you avoid waking up feeling groggy and stop it from disrupting your sleep at night.


Avoid Caffeine:

Many of us love a coffee fix in the morning to wake us up and start the day.  Try to limit your caffeine intake in the afternoon and evening.  Caffeine is a stimulant found in coffee, tea, soda and some chocolate. It can stay in your system for 3 to 5 hours and make it difficult to go to sleep.

Sleep is one of those things we often take for granted.  Yet it is the foundation for our mental and physical health, job performance and productivity and career success!  To read more about the topic, click here.

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