With finals week upon us, the time is right to discuss one of the best study habits a student of any age can have: a good night’s sleep. Beyond cramming for tests and organizing study groups, getting the proper amount of rest can pay dividends when grades are released. It’s a habit that should follow students as they embark on their careers in the years to come.
According to a recent Centers for Disease Control and Prevention study that highlights the growing epidemic of sleep deprivation among America’s workforce, 30 percent of the nation’s work force, or 41 million adults, reports getting six hours or fewer of sleep each night. While sleep deprivation most notably affects concentration, it has also been linked to increased rates of obesity and diabetes. Lack of a proper sleep cycle in the long term can have detrimental effects to one’s health.
Recent studies also show that college students regularly stay up until 3 a.m. and pull at least one all-nighter per month. Much of this includes a mix of stimulants such as coffee or even Adderall to stay up, and they may use sedatives to help themselves fall sleep. The use of stimulants and sedatives is indicative of sleep cycles gone awry. A regular sleep schedule is just as important as the quantity of sleep attained.
Despite exhaustive research and data on sleep deprivation, common sense continues as the most effective tool when approaching one’s sleeping habits. Avoiding stimulants late into the evening and maintaining the same sleep schedule seven days a week remains the best advice.