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Student nutrition

Importance of sleep to students

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Time is of the essence, especially if you need to manage a hectic schedule packed with classes and co-curricular activities. A day whizzes by, forcing you to work all night to complete piles of assignments, before hitting the sack for just a few hours of sleep.  

However, insufficient sleep can lead to fatigue accumulation and adverse effects on your health. Besides being the key to a healthy lifestyle, getting enough sleep also improves your ability to concentrate via these ways:

1. Improve memory
Many studies indicate that the quality and quantity of sleep can have a strong impact on memory and learning. Consolidation, which occurs during sleep, strengthens your memory and is essential for processing new information.

Sleep also plays a critical role in procedural memory – it improves your motor and visual learning, which you need when carrying out activities like playing the piano or roller-skating. Apart from this, sleep also strengthens the emotional components in our memories and spurs creativity.

On the other hand, sleep deprivation and low-quality sleep impacts our mood in a negative manner, and reduces our ability to remember new information.

2. Sharpen attention levels
Lack of adequate sleep affects an individual’s ability to focus his or her attention optimally, leading to inefficiency in learning and making it harder for him or her to absorb new information. Additionally, overworked, sleep-deprived people find it difficult to coordinate different pieces of information and face a hindered capability to recall previously acquired knowledge.

According to studies, children that lack sleep tend to display Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)-like symptoms affecting their ability to concentrate in school.

A low attention span also impairs our judgment as it negatively impacts our ability to accurately assess situations and make rational decisions.

3. Higher school grades
Students with sufficient sleep have been known to perform better in school as compared to their sleep-deprived peers. In various studies, college students with adequate sleep and those who rose earlier were known to achieve higher grade point averages (GPAs) compared to night owls.

4. Upping your game
We know that exercising is essential for us to keep fit and stay healthy. Did you know that getting more sleep is the simplest way to improve your physical performance?

Studies on college football players who slept at least 10 hours a night for seven to eight weeks suggested that these participants experienced less fatigue in the day, increased their stamina and improved their average sprint time.

As indicated by the points above, getting a good night of sleep keeps us refreshed, alert and ready to take on the world. To further improve the quality of sleep, it is essential to maintain a sleep routine that allows your body to tune its “internal clock”, making it easier for us to sleep and wake naturally.

Consolidated sleep is optimal for memory, and certainly effective in improving your concentration and performance at school. Now that you are aware of the benefits of sleep, make the choice to reward your body with sufficient sleep and improve the quality of your life!