Sleep Recommendations For Good Academic Performance

Whether you’re studying for a masters degree, or a high school student trying to pass exams, you know sleep deprivation is bad news. You may think cramming at all hours of the night or pulling an all-nighter for a tough project is helpful, but it’s actually seriously impacting your studies in a negative way. Lack of sleep has such a profound effect, the American Academy of Pediatrics has actually begun advocating for schooldays that start at 8:30 a.m. or even later. The increase of early mornings, coupled with the increasing hours of homework is causing serious sleep deficiencies in students of all ages.

Problems Caused by Sleep Deficiency

There are a lot of health issues associated with lack of sleep. Most of them affect cognitive function, that is, they work against your brain’s ability to absorb and retain information. Sleep deprivation affects everything from memory, concentration, abstract thinking, even verbal communication. That means you’re going to struggle to learn new skills, memorize facts, and make yourself understood. There are even studies that suggest that sleepiness can mimic ADHD. That might help to explain the increase in ADHD in both kids and adults.

Sleep is very important to the learning process. . During sleep, the brain retains useful information, filters out useless, and even reorders your memories. Sleep is clearly important to your natural learning process, even in early childhood and infancy!

Recommended Hours of Sleep

The National Sleep Foundation recommends children 3 to five years old get 10 to 13 hours of sleep. School-age children, up to 13, should be sleeping at least 9 to 11 hours. High school is a time of a lot of changes and growth spurts. You may have times when you sleep 7 hours a night and feel fine, but there may be other times when your body needs up to 11 hours of sleep. Between the ages of 18-25, in your college years, you can get by with 7 to 9 hours of sleep, but you shouldn’t try for less than that, no matter how much you need to cram!

Sleep Tips

There are times when sleep can be harder to come by. Stressing over exams, worrying about money, or living in a crowded dorm room are common among college students. Good tips for a good night’s sleep include.

  • Get a good sleep routine. Your body has an internal clock, and setting a bedtime and wake up time daily, and sticking to it, can have a huge impact on your sleep.
  • Eat light in the few hours before bed. You don’t want to wake up because your stomach is empty, but you don’t want to feel bloated, either.
  • Skip caffeine up to five hours before bed. Stick with herbal teas that’ll help you sleep, like chamomile.

We all like getting toasty warm under the covers, but the optimal temperature for sleep is actually to stay a bit cooler. The room should stay dark, without a lamp or light. Use a portable AC to keep your bedroom cool in the summertime, and get a good night’s sleep.

How To Beat Sleep Disruptions

Even with all these tips, there are still things that can disrupt your sleep pattern. The LED lights in your computer, tablets and television is designed to mimic natural sunlight, so it can be disrupting to your natural sleep patterns.

Turn off your phone an hour before sleep, and make sure you can’t be woken up by stray text messages. If you’re living in a college dorm, and you have roommates to worry about, you can always use a sleep mask to block out light, and white noise machine will help block out noise.

Sleep is one of the single most important factors in academic success. From school-aged, to high school, and into college, students are among the groups most likely to suffer sleep deprivation.

High school students are particularly vulnerable, since they’re experiencing a lot of growth spurts, and need more sleep than in the school-aged or even college years. But no matter where you are academically, a lack of sleep can lead to a lack of concentration, poor memory, poor verbal skills, and difficulty retaining information.

Given how important it is for cognitive development, getting the right amount of sleep is an essential to your academic success. So if you prioritize making the grade, leave hitting the books for the daylight hours, and hit the pillow at night.

Patrick Holmes is an indoor air quality specialist at Home Air Quality Guides. His passion is to help people create cleaner, healthier and more comforting environments inside their homes by sharing expert advice that’s easy to follow. He enjoys writing in-depth articles on air purification, household cleaning tips, home maintenance advice and more.


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