The Importance of A Good Night's Rest
By: Ashonda Bethea-Ruth
Today most Americans don't get the right amount of sleep to function at their best. College students especially, between their studies, extracurricular activities, and having fun, sleep comes last, and it's usually not near enough. College students have a freedom that most teenagers and grown adults don't have. Many of them don't have full-time jobs, so they have "time to burn" between and after classes. This newfound freedom sometimes puts many students in sticky situations. Staying up until 3.00 a.m. may seem like an average day, but having an 8 a.m. class doesn't leave much room for a good night's rest. This often makes the student choose getting a decent night's rest and skipping class, or going to class less alert, groggy, and less functional. This is an all too common scenario among students.
Many people underestimate the importance of sleep today. Many people don't know the healthy amount of sleep they need. Those who do function off of little sleep a day often find themselves tired earlier on in the day, often drinking coffee and energy drinks to boost their energy, just to sustain themselves. People who don't sleep well or don't get enough sleep for extended periods of time, make themselves more susceptible to colds, flu, and more serious diseases. The average recommended amount of sleep for an adult to function at their best is between six and ten hours of sleep a night. Though, it can be difficult to get enough sleep in today's fast-paced society, but with a little discipline, one can start to lead a more health longer life.
Some tips on getting a more effective sleep schedule would be to start writing your daily plans and activities in a planner. Managing your time helps you to know when certain things need to be completed, so that you won't overwork or lose the time, so you can get to sleep earlier, this is important especially for students. Make sure you make time to study, so the times where you need to focus on school and want to have fun, wont overlap. Have a certain program that you love to watch that comes on late at night? Record it if you can, and watch it the next day at breakfast. Or if you can't record it, most television programs have a website where you can watch the previous episode online free of charge. Make sure you eat 2 to 3 hours before heading off to bed, so you won't toss and turn in your best as your body is digesting the food. So try and stay away from late night cravings. And if you have to have a snack, go for mixed nuts rather than a heftier snack such as chips, cookies, or leftover pizza. Mixed nuts help curb your hunger so you can get to sleep hassle free. Take a nap if you can. Short naps, around 15 to 20 minutes will help perk you up. Don't oversleep however, because that can make you groggy and less alert for the remainder of your day. It is a common misconception that you can makeup on sleep on the weekends. When most people do this, they oversleep leaving them more tired than they have felt all week, and often waste days in bed.And remember to exercise. Exercise during the day to help boost your energy and metabolism, and or before dinner. Some studies show that because exercise alters metabolism, it helps set your body for a more restful slumber. Try to be predictable, head to bead around the same time every night. And keep stress away from the bedroom; if it keeps your mind a buzz during the day, it definitely will not make your night pleasant.