Dakota Student

The necessity of sleep to college students

How important is getting your zzzzzs?

Getting restful, quality sleep is key for all students, but especially so for those in college.

Hernan Sanchez

Getting restful, quality sleep is key for all students, but especially so for those in college.

Jill Morton, Staff Writer

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How often do you wake up wanting more than anything to throw your alarm clock across the room and crawl back under your warm blankets? Turns out, a lot of people feel this way most mornings. An article in the Huffington Post noted one in three Americans are getting less than the necessary amount needed every night. Teenagers should be getting between eight and ten hours of sleep, and adults need between seven and nine hours according to the Sleep Association.

College kids are notorious for not getting enough sleep. We pull all-nighters far too often, and stay up late to study for tomorrow’s test more frequently than is healthy. Then on the weekend it’s no better because so many people stay out late and never actually get a chance to fully catch up on sleep. 

“College kids are notorious for not getting enough sleep. We pull all-nighters far too often, and stay up late to study for tomorrow’s test more frequently than is healthy.””

— Jill Morton, Staff writer

The Huffington Post reports that 10 percent of Americans get less than five hours of sleep each night. I would bet nine percent of those people are college students. I realize sleeping doesn’t always seem like the most important thing in your life with so many other things going on. However, the rest of your life will be easier if you are well rested. Studying for a test is plenty important, but if you start falling asleep during the test because you stayed up so late, that certainly won’t help you. You also become more forgetful when you’re sleep deprived, which will undoubtedly hinder your ability to remember important facts for your test.

It’s also key to sleep enough because according to the US Department of Health, sleeping improves learning, and the whole point of going to college should be the school part. Also, the less you sleep, the less well you can function, and then it takes longer to finish even simple tasks. If you just got enough sleep in the first place, you wouldn’t struggle so much with easy tasks and you would get done sooner so that you can then sleep more, which is the goal of most college students.

Sleep is essential for many reasons, mainly to hold onto the health benefits that go along with a full night’s sleep. The Huffington Post states that getting enough sleep can help reduce the risk of diabetes, high blood pressure and other health concerns. Lack of sleep can also make your skin worse and lead to obesity. If you’re too tired, you will acquire an increase in appetite.

Naps might not actually be as great as you’d think. Humans really need to sleep in one big chunk according to Dr. Jamie Zeitzer, a psychiatry and behavioral science professor at Stanford University. Napping should be a supplement rather than a substitute for a good night’s sleep. A good rule of thumb to know if you’re sleeping enough is if you sleep in on the weekends, it means you’re not sleeping enough throughout the rest of the week.

Jill Morton is a staff writer for Dakota Student. She can be reached at j[email protected]

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The necessity of sleep to college students