Our mission at Vitalized Future is to help you live your healthiest life possible.
One of the most underrated aspects of good health is that being healthy helps other areas of your life too:
- Looking great as a result of good health will help you attract your future lover
- Being in top shape will help you win Olympic medals as an athlete
- Having lots of energy as a result of good health will help you grind out 12-hour workdays
If you’ve read our other articles, I’m sure you’ll be aware just how important good quality sleep is for your health in general.
However, you may not be aware of how important sleep is for your academic life.
Which is exactly what this article covers.
That’s right, this article breaks down 6 reasons why sleep is so important for students.
These reasons are supported by solid science, as well as my experience as a student.
So boil the kettle, make yourself a brew and enjoy!
6. Sleep is important for memory retention
One of the most important aspects of studying is being able to recall the information studied.
After all, what’s the point of learning new information if you’re just going to forget it?
As an ex-student myself, I can say with confidence that a good night’s sleep helped me massively when it comes to retaining new information.
On the other hand, pulling off all nighters in library had the opposite effect.
But don’t just take my word for it – science backs this up too.
A study showed that during slow wave sleep, the brain replays information that was learned while awake, leading to memory retention.
So next time you consider a 4am caffeine-fuelled library session, just forget about it.
(If you excuse the pun.)
5. Sleep will help conserve energy
Did you know that during sleep, your body temperature can decrease by up to 10%?
The reason for this is to conserve energy.
Feeling awake and full of energy will give you the jolt you need to pick up your pen and start writing.
Whereas missing out on a good night’s sleep will pretty much guarantee you feeling groggy the next day.
And speaking from experience, the last thing on your mind when you’re tired is writing an essay or studying a textbook.
4. Sleep will help you focus
Unsurprisingly, the most noticeable effect of a lack of sleep is feeling sleepy throughout the day.
Instead of being able to focus on that algebra you need to solve, your brain is thinking about when you’ll be able to go to sleep.
This affects your focus in 2 ways:
- Obviously, thinking about sleep takes your mind off the task at hand.
- Trying to study whilst simultaneously thinking of sleep causes your brain to use more energy than normal, leading to even more tiredness, which repeats the cycle.
On the other hand, getting enough sleep will ensure you’re sharp and alert throughout the day, making your assignments much more bearable.
3. Sleep will help prevent illness
Have you ever tried writing a 5,000 word essay when your nose is blocked, throat is swollen and head is throbbing?
Let me tell you, it isn’t fun.
Well if you don’t get enough sleep, I have bad news for you:
A study showed that participants who got less than 7 hours sleep were nearly 3x more likely to develop a cold, compared to those who got more than 8 hours.
To add insult to injury, a lack of sleep can increase your recovery time if you do become ill.
By sleeping optimally however, your immune system will be more effective at keeping the pesky cold virus at bay.
2. Sleep will boost your mental health
With lots of new responsibilities, debts, and a lack of direction, it’s a sad truth that 42% of students suffer from anxiety and 37% suffer from depression nowadays.
And whilst I haven’t suffered from anxiety or depression, it’s safe to assume that they negatively affect your student life.
A study showed that even partial sleep deprivation has a significant effect on mood:
Researchers found that subjects who were limited to only 4.5 hours of sleep a night for one week reported feeling more sad, angry, stressed, and mentally exhausted.
When the subjects resumed normal sleep, they reported a dramatic improvement in mood.
So please, for the sake of your mental wellbeing and academic success, get your sleep!
1. Sleep will keep your blood sugar stable
Did you know that only 1 night of sleep deprivation can induce insulin resistance, even in healthy individuals? (Study)
When you’re insulin resistant, your cells can’t take in glucose for energy, resulting in high blood sugar levels.
This can result in brain fog, leading to difficulty in concentrating.
(A simple way to witness brain fog for yourself is to eat a pack of donuts, then try reading a book 30 minutes later… it will be very difficult!)
On the other hand, a good night’s sleep will keep your blood sugar levels stable, which will help you concentrate.
By now, you hopefully realise just how important good quality sleep is for students.
And as an ex-student myself, I can verify how much better my studying was when I was fully rested, compared to sleep deprived.
Regardless of whether you are or aren’t a student, getting good quality sleep is vital to a long, healthy life.
Thanks for sticking to the end and I’ll see you in the next article.