Your Guide to Good Sleep and Better Grades
Stressing out about your G.P.A.? One simple change in your daily habits can boost your grades—plus help you lose weight, enhance your looks, enjoy better health, sustain energy, and even live longer.
For most people, making this change is easy, even enjoyable. And it’s absolutely free, no strings attached.
The top-secret change? GET MORE SLEEP.
Sleep is not a luxury—it’s a necessity! Most people consider sleep down-time and imagine that our sleeping selves are like computers that have been turned off.
In fact, many parts of your brain are busier when you sleep than when you’re awake. That’s because as you blissfully snooze, your body repairs itself from everyday wear and tear. Chemicals are released during slow-wave sleep that repair body tissues, increase muscle mass, thicken bones, and strengthen skin.
Meanwhile, your brain sorts and stores new information you’ve encountered that day—your history professor’s class lecture, for instance—so it can easily be retrieved when you sit down to take your history exam.
Because your brain takes in an incredible amount of data every day, those data aren’t immediately logged and recorded. Everything first needs to be processed and stored, and this all happens when you sleep.
Overnight, information is transferred from short-term memory to more reliable long-term memory. And this “Save” feature isn’t fully activated if you don’t get enough sleep.
So no matter how long you study for that exam, if you don’t sleep enough, your brain doesn’t have time to sort and file the information you studied so that you can easily access it.
And that’s just a small part of what sleep deprivation can do to you.
Sure, you might say, but everyone I know is sleep deprived. The average college student should sleep between seven and nine hours a night, but most students average only about six hours of sleep a night. The effects of this lost sleep can be just as detrimental as frequent partying.
In a recent study, researchers surveyed over 43,000 undergraduate college students across the country, and sleep problems were just as strong a predictor of poor academic performance as substance abuse.
So how can you change your sleep habits? Easily. Improving the length and quality of your sleep just one night a week can elevate your academic performance significantly.
Want to sleep smarter? See these Student Life Sleep Hacks.