How important is sleep, anyway?

By LAUREN BARTLETT

Living Editor

It is hard to believe, but the dreaded time of finals are almost upon us. Millions of college students around the world are preparing to take their exams, and while they prepare with long study sessions, lots of caffeine and moral support of their friends, most are missing the most important step: sleep. 

Evonne Jones, the student counselor at Piedmont College said, “Having a regular sleep schedule or ritual is necessary.  Going to bed and waking up at the same times are more supportive of establishing a healthy sleep schedule.” 

College students tend to put sleep lower on their list of priorities. 

A lot of people say, “Oh, I’ll sleep when I’m dead.” 

That, however, is not the healthy way to go about viewing such a vital part of your life. Not getting enough sleep can affect you mentally, emotionally and physically. Not sleeping enough can cause irritability and lack of focus, and it can lead to affect your grades, relationships and social life. 

According to the Center for Disease Control, lack of sleep can be a risk factor for many chronic diseases such as diabetes, obesity and depression. 

They also said, “Students who work or study long hours may not get enough sleep at night. As a result, they may be sleepy and sluggish during the day and have trouble concentrating, participating in class, taking tests or making decisions.”

Napping is something that almost every college student not only does, but also looks forward to. Evonne Jones said that when it comes to napping, it is better to nap earlier in the day. 

She continued to say, “However, if that nap lasts longer than 20-30 minutes or if you still feel tired after 20-30 minutes of napping, that could be a sign that you are not getting enough sleep at night or have gotten off track with your regular sleep schedule.” 

Sometimes, students think that just because we are young, that our sleep is not vital. But, the next time you’re thinking about how unimportant sleep is, remember what all it can change and how it can affect your health.