Only around 11 percent of college students report that they consistently gain enough sleep each night because sleep deprivation is an ongoing epidemic on college campuses.
Sleep deprivation may seem like the new norm, but depriving your body of much needed rest can hurt your GPA, lead to ongoing health problems, and result in a threat to your life.
When you’re not getting enough sleep each night it affects your three learning processes: Acquisition, the ability to store information, Consolidation, your brain making use of the information, and Recall, the ability to access your memories. The Rundown compares sleep deprivation to both binge drinking and drug use, stating that all three have similar affects on student’s test scores.
In this regard, CBSNews said that driver’s without enough sleep are four times as likely to getting in an accident as those who had the recommended seven to eight hours of sleep. If you’re someone who uses a car on campus, you could be a risk to not only yourself, but others around you.
Sixty percent of people admit to drowsy driving and over a third of people have fallen asleep at the wheel. If you’ve gone a full 24 hours without sleep it is the same as driving with a blood alcohol level of .10, according to the National Sleep Foundation.
Huffington Post adds that 20 percent of young adults are receiving only less than five hours of sleep each night. This can lead to numerous health problems like depression, attention deficits, higher risk of obesity, and dependence on sleep and anxiety medications.
Interestingly enough, NPR noted that that women on average go to bed earlier, wake up earlier, and for biological reasons still need more sleep than men! While around 11 percent of male college students suffer from insomnia, nearly 30 percent of female college students suffer the same, so make sure you’re getting your beauty sleep ladies!
there are many ways you can combat this campus-wide epidemic. Make sure you have your daily routine down. It’s too easy to come home, jump into bed and type Netflix into your browser. Sit at your desk (and not your bed because your brain will begin to associate it with productivity) and do some homework. Then you can reward yourself with snacks and whatever else tickles your fancy, then end the night with something relaxing like a book, bath, or playing with your dog.
Even a new pillow or, if you can afford it, a mattress pad can aid your sleep game. Dorm room beds were basically made for jail cells and everyone loves new pillows, so you shouldn’t let your sleep patterns be affected by something so simple. Stay comfortable!
Finally, eliminate your go-to things which may include, caffeine, television, cellphone, laptop, and any screen usage, and alcohol before bed. While sometimes it’s inevitable to avoid the sleepless study nights, there are things you can do to help get a better nights rest.