The importance of a good night’s sleep

If you have heard it once, you have heard it a million times; getting a good night’s sleep is tremendously important for your health. As college students, we probably have the worst collective sleep schedule of any group of people in the world. Whether we are studying for a test, partying with friends or just laying in bed unable to fall asleep, college students routinely experience what is referred to as “sleep debt,” or lack of a decent amount of sleep. While it may not seem like it at first, sleep debt will catch up to you, and can affect you in many important aspects of your life. Lack of sleep can and will cause both mental and physical exhaustion. When you wake up not only do you feel tired, your body feels drained, and on top of that now you have a whole day of classes to get through. It would be like if someone woke you up at 3 a.m. to go on a two mile hike. Even if you go to class and make it through the day, you are still capable of putting your best effort forward. One of the most famous physical ramifications of sleep debt is blurred vision. The most obvious way to tell if someone is tired is if they keep rubbing their eyes. Simply put, this is your eyes telling you to get some sleep.
Here are some tips to ensure you get a good night’s sleep when you need it. First, avoid anything with a screen at least half an hour before you go to bed. Staring at a screen for too long only adds to the amount of time it will take you to fall asleep. Second, avoid any drinks that are high in caffeine, such as coffee or energy drinks. Lastly, if you need help slowing yourself down, do some deep breathing exercises which, after a while, should help you control your breathing and slow your heart rate down enough so you can get some rest. All in all, while I understand that there are times that warrant staying up late, getting a good night’s sleep on a regular basis will make your body and your mind feel much more clear and ready for the day.