5 Ways Sleeping Can Help You in School
Posted Wednesday, May 13, 2009 by
For years, scientists have been trying to unravel the mystery of sleep and identify its contributions to both the mind and body.
While the sleep’s specific mechanisms have yet to be fully explained, there are many discoveries researchers have made that can directly impact the quality of your learning experience.
For example:Sleep helps concentration.If you’ve ever had that “foggy” feeling due to lack of sleep, it should come as no surprise that sleep deprivation makes it very difficult to pay attention. Without enough sleep, words and images—whether read or heard—become just meaningless noise that’s immediately forgotten.
1. Sleep helps memory. Scientists have learned that REM sleep—the part of the sleep cycle during which we dream—is critical to arranging and imprinting long-term memories. Without sleep, what you learn one day may be all but forgotten the next.
2. Sleep helps recall. It’s one thing for the brain to create a memory, and still another for the conscious mind to be able to call up that memory on demand. With adequate sleep, you’ll be able to remember things faster and with better clarity than without.
3. Sleep helps judgment and interpretation. Before making an important decision, you’ve probably been advised to “sleep on it.” That’s because a good night’s sleep helps you see things clearer and more rationally. In other words, sleep helps you think better. And who doesn’t want to do that?
4. Sleep helps mood. When you’re tired, you are likely to be cranky, short-tempered and even depressed. Such a mood is not only likely to make it difficult to keep friends (or get dates), it also makes it almost impossible to learn. Sleep elevates the mood and makes you ready and eager to get to work.
5. Sleep can help your immune system. Sleep has also been linked to an improved immune system, heart health and even weight loss! (That’s right: the sleeping brain regulates the chemicals that control appetite. You can actually lose weight by sleeping more!)
So how much sleep is “enough”?
Most sleep researchers say adults usually require 6.5 to 8.5 hours nightly, depending on the individual. However, teenagers may need between 8.5 and 9.25 hours of nightly Z’s to operate at optimum levels. Just as important as the hours slept is the quality of that sleep.
To sleep deeply with minimal interruptions, you should try to go to bed and wake up around the same time every day (Yes, even on weekends!), and make the room as dark and quiet as possible.
If noise is a problem consider having a fan or electronic “white noise” machine in the room to provide a pleasant, noise-dampening rumble.
The bottom-line: With quality sleep you can get the most from a quality education––and go on to live a quality life.