College is fun. College nights are fun (except those spent in the library…). But really, sometimes it seems like there aren’t enough hours in the day to study for classes, do your homework, conduct research, prep for grad school admissions tests, captain the synchronized scuba diving team, spend time with your friends, and… the list goes on. For a lot of students, sleep can be moved to the backburner to make time for all of the other items on their to-do lists – this is a bad idea. So, why should getting at least 8 hours of sleep every night be a top priority?
Research shows that students who get enough sleep earn higher GPAs due to improved concentration, memory, and focus. Think about how you can take that test running on an hour’s worth of sleep – do you think you’ll really be able to solve that tough physics problem, or will you instead be struggling to stay awake? For those of you who think that pulling all-nighters helps you get more study time in, think about how studies suggest that students who stay up all night are more likely to have lower GPAs.
Improved coping mechanisms
When you run yourself into the ground, you put your body at risk for mental health issues, eating disorders, and substance abuse. Getting sufficient sleep allows your body to cope on its own without the use of drugs, pills, or alcohol.
If you can’t get yourself to bed before 3 AM, chances are, you’re going to miss your 7:30 AM math lecture. Or at the very least, you’re going to show up bleary-eyed fifteen minutes late, looking disorganized and scattered. Sleeping enough gives you the rest you need to show up to your classes on time and ready to learn.
Better overall health
Sleep helps with tissue repair and immune function, which prevent injuries and illness. Not giving your body sufficient sleep puts you at higher risk for colds and illnesses. Unless you want to miss a week’s worth of classes to drink chicken soup in bed, making enough time for sleep sounds like the better deal.
Students who don’t catch up on their Z’s are often cranky and irritable. Sleep plays a key role in boosting your mood and keeping you feel bright and energized to tackle your day. We all know how busy college students are – don’t you want to check things off your to-do list with gusto, rather than with grogginess?
About the Author:
Catherine supports Magoosh’s future grad school students by unlocking tricks of the test prep and application trade. Catherine spends her free time checking out local farmer’s markets, reading food and lifestyle blogs, and watching Bravo. She is forever in search of the best Mexican and Italian food in any given city.