How Much Sleep Do College Students Really Need?

Sleep is a foundation of healthy and well-balanced life as well as great academic performance. Although the importance of sufficient sleep is not a secret, a lot of learners still disregard the recommended norms. In this article, you’ll learn all about why it is essential, how much students should sleep, and how you can improve your habits.

Do You Get Enough Sleep?

As to be expected, the majority of college students do not get enough sleep. Pulling all-nighters is a pretty common practice. Often the case, learners have difficulties managing their time and responsibilities and choose to sacrifice rest. The usual norm for people between 18 and 25 years old is 7-9 hours per night.

Sleeping is essential for students because it is directly linked to higher GPAs and academic performance. Studies show that about 50% of students experience daytime sleepiness, and 70% claim to have insufficient sleep. Those who get 9+ hours of rest at night have higher GPAs (3.24) than learners that get 6 or fewer hours of rest (2.74).

One of the main reasons why students have trouble with that is the academic workload. When combined with part-time employment and social life, it can be challenging to meet all the deadlines. Students can be overwhelmed with written assignments, classes, and personal duties. In such a case, it might be reasonable to opt for an online paper writer for hire to get immediate help with papers. This way, students can keep up with the tasks and still have time for a well-balanced life.

Professional academic writers offer writing, editing, and proofreading even at the shortest notice. So whether you forgot about the deadline or do not feel confident in your paper, it is a valid option. It allows polishing the paper to excellence and learning skills from cooperating with an expert. Also, this helps navigate college responsibilities without harm to health.

Sleep Deprivation Dangers

The consequences of sleep deprivation vary based on how severe the situation is. Overall, lack of rest hurts productivity and cognitive functioning. In the best-case scenario, you will experience brain fog, lack of focus, and energy.

Other dangers related to this issue include:

  • Fatigue and tiredness;
  • Irritation and short temper;
  • Constant mood swings;
  • Lack of concentration;
  • Worsen memory;
  • Inability to deal with stress in a healthy manner;
  • Brain fog.

Moreover, if this becomes a habit, the consequences become even more dangerous. Sleep deprivation can significantly affect the physical and mental health of students. This may result in weight changes, cardiovascular diseases, and even type 2 diabetes.

According to the Harvard Medical School, there is a correlation between sleep deprivation and hallucinations, anxiety, and depression.

It is also worth noting that lack of rest affects the body and mind similarly to alcohol. The CDC data shows that if you stay awake for 18 hours, you will experience the same state as if your BAC was 0.05%. However, being awake for 24 hours equals 0.10% BAC, which is higher than the legal norm.

This means worse cognitive functioning, harder decision-making, and possibly reckless driving. Overall, it significantly increases the risks of making bad choices and performing badly in all tasks, from college assignments to work.

Factors That Affect Sleep

For many students, it is not a choice to stay awake. They might experience difficulties with falling asleep, which is a worrying symptom on its own. The ability to rest depends on general physical health. But it can also be impaired by several factors, namely:

  • Caffeine (it is better to stay away from it after 1 pm);
  • Blue light from screens (student can use blue light blocking glasses or do not use gadgets 2 hours before bed);
  • Irregular sleep routine (it is better to wake up and go to bed at the same time every day);
  • Physical exercise;
  • Nutrition;
  • Alcohol (it decreases the quality of rest);
  • Nicotine;
  • Specific medication.

As a result, students might be more prone to academic burnout and inability to perform to the best of their competency.

How to Improve Your Sleep

The first step to improving your habits is to analyze the current situation and evaluate how bad it is. The second one is to figure out the main factors that contribute to it. This will help you find ways to optimize your routine.

For instance, if the main reason for deprivation is poor time management, it is better to start from that. Students might have trouble keeping up with all duties. Learn how to manage the schedule, prioritize tasks, optimize workflow, and cut something you do not need to do. It is also essential to learn to say “no” to some things. There are only 24 hours in a day, and you won’t be able to do all the things in the world.

If the main reason comes from an inability to fall asleep, students need to find the contributing factors. Maybe it is alcohol, caffeine, or prescribed medication. Consider consultation with a medical professional if you are not sure what the problem is.

The general tips on getting better rest are:

  1. Have enough time (at least 7-9 hours);
  2. Adjust your sleep cycle gradually – by getting to bed a bit earlier every day;
  3. Create a calming atmosphere in the bedroom without bright lights or distractions;
  4. Start exercising regularly (but do not do it before going to bed unless it is stretching or relaxing yoga);
  5. Have the same schedule for weekends and vacations as well;
  6. Try taking a warm bath before bed or drinking hot tea;
  7. If possible, do not use your smartphone at least 2 hours before bed;
  8. Consider cutting down on alcohol, nicotine, and caffeine consumption.

Another useful tip is to create a relaxing routine to make yourself fall asleep faster. It can include self-care, meditation, reading, or any other type of activity that makes you feel at ease.

In Summary

The recommended amount of sleep is from 7 to 9 hours for young adults. The majority of college students do not meet this requirement due to various reasons. As a result, they put their physical and mental health in danger. It is essential to create a healthy routine for academic success and overall well-being.

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