Sleep matters – especially for students


Importance of sleep

It’s officially National Bed Month, which means there’s no better time to focus on getting a great night’s sleep. For students in particular, getting a good eight hours of sleep per night isn’t just a matter of safeguarding health and well-being. A good night’s sleep however gives people of all ages the capacity for better learning.

Learning the significance of sleep and making steps to increase not just its quantity but quality will stand you in good stead for years to come. In this blog post, we take a closer look at why sleep matters and just what you can do to sleep more soundly, even in the midst of exam season and other stressful life events.

Is sleep really that important?

We’re all aware of when we don’t get enough sleep but when you do, on a regular basis, a variety of benefits can be unlocked. It’s no secret that sleep is the key to a healthy lifestyle, and getting enough will help to enhance your ability to concentrate, and take on classes and extra-curricular activities with gusto. A number of studies have highlighted the impact of sleep on memory and learning. Sleep helps you to consolidate, a process that aids the strengthening of memory and the processing of new information. In addition to improving your short and long term memory function, getting an adequate amount of sleep will sharpen attention levels, a quality that is sure to come in handy both inside and outside of the classroom.

Sleep has also been proven to boost immunity, spur creativity, increase performance, aid weight management, lower stress, and promote happiness and positivity.

How much sleep is enough?

Whilst the 8-hour rule is applicable to most, determining how much sleep is needed to be fully rested does come down to your age. The Sleep Foundation recommends that those aged between 14 and 17 years get between 8 and 10 hours of sleep per night. Any less than 7 hours or more than 11 hours is however not recommended. Young adults, those aged from 18 to 25, need slightly less sleep to reap the rewards mentioned above. Between 7 and 9 hours is recommended by the Sleep Foundation for young adults, whilst no less than 6 hours and no more than 11 hours is advised.

How can I get a better night’s sleep?

Now that we’re clear on the quantity of sleep required, next comes achieving the quality of sleep you need to thrive from day to day. The Sleep Council provides a handy seven step checklist for improving habits and realising better sleep quality:

“The 21st century lifestyle is typically fast paced, chaotic and jam-packed with technology. From the moment we wake up we switch on our brains with smart phones, and as our day progresses, we’re presented with even more triggers. The continuous content that’s fed from TV and radio, real time social feeds and our constant checking of emails all make for a non-stop stimulation… It’s no wonder that many of us can’t switch off or fall asleep, then struggle to wake up in the morning and spend a lot of time complaining “I can’t sleep!” There are simple ways to adjust your lifestyle to promote a better night’s sleep. These minor changes will help you to wind down and relax, removing you from the hectic, technology-crammed world that we live in.”

From embracing a tech-free bedroom environment and maintaining a regular bedtime routine to eating and exercising your way to better sleep, there are a number of steps you can take to improve sleeping habits.

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