baby-1151351_960_720.jpgIn this post I want to talk about sleep. Even as I write this, I am so tired and it feels like most of the time I am never fully rested. That’s why sleep is so important. Your body can’t function without sleep and it shuts down slowly, which is not good when you are trying to study or do anything for that matter. I understand that sleep seems like a fleeting thing while you are in school. 5 classes, maybe a work study or off campus job, and homework take up what seems like every waking minute of the day. Try throwing in having a basic social life and there goes even more time.

Your body needs about 8 hours of sleep a night and, believe me, it seems hard enough to find almost any time after all your responsibilities are done. But sleep is necessary. Part of this reflects back to my post on planning. Making time for sleep may seem dumb, but it is necessary sometimes. Plan to get in bed at similar times every night if possible or try to keep the times as close together as possible. If you get into a pattern of sleep, your body will adapt and be ready for sleep at those times which will help you have better, restful sleep.

Now I am not saying that you have to go to bed at 9 pm every night. I understand that some people work better at night. I know I definitely find my groove is stronger when it is dark out. But if you are a night owl, you have to plan to sleep in later the next day. So again it is back to planning. If you know that you will be awake late on a regular basis, plan your days accordingly. You probably do not want to take an 8 am class. But it goes the other way as well. Maybe you like to go to sleep early and wake up early. That works as well. Just plan according to that schedule. Like I said, your body ideally needs 8 hours of sleep to function at top performance, but I know that that can be hard to do, as being a student can be very demanding. But just do your best to get as much sleep as you can. Like I said, find what works for you and work to keep it consistent. So there are 3 areas that I want to talk about in regards to sleep and how it affects your success.

  • Sleep improves your memory.

Just like your body physically shuts down as you get tired, your brain does as well. Your brain is what keeps your body running and if it never gets to rest it wears out. Sleep is a time when your brain can rest, but also there are certain processes that your brain does to help you think better and retain information. The phrase “Let me sleep on it” when thinking about a big decision or problem is very true as your brain continues to subconsciously think about the things you thought about throughout the day.

  • Sleep improves mood and attitude.

Sleep is a large factor in mental health and attitude changes. As you continue to lose sleep and your brain slowly shuts down your attitude can take a change for the worse. You know how waking up from a good night’s sleep feels? It’s hard not to smile. Think about feeling like that every morning. I think that my point has been made.

  • Sleep builds a stronger immune system.

Now you might be wondering how this helps with success, but think about it: When you are sick what do you want to do? Study or lay there with your comfort food of choice and veg out? I know which one I would pick. Being sick is never fun and making sure you get that good sleep can help you avoid it. It is not a perfect sure way to not get sick but it sure can help.

I understand that not everyone can just sleep easily like a baby. You might try to sleep but toss and turn and not find any reprieve. Personally, I slept 8 hours a night, but I would wake up feeling like I had not slept in days. I went to the doctor and found out I had sleep apnea, a condition that made me think I was asleep and sleeping, but actually, for every 8 hours I thought I was asleep I was actually getting about an hour of sleep. You may not have sleep apnea, but if you are having trouble sleeping, try to find the reason. Maybe there are situations filling your mind, or stress, or it could be something physical. Whether it is medical or some other reason, do your best to find help or eliminate the issue. Sleep is your friend and it will definitely help your success overall. As always stay awesome and keep keeping it real.

About the Author:

Lee MLee M. 
Class of 2017 | Transfer 
Major: Communication and English 
Blog Theme: Struggling on the Pathway to Success
 - Thoughts of C Average Student

Please Note: The views of our student bloggers do not necessarily reflect the views of the UAlbany Advisement Services Center. These are their stories and their voices.

Established in March 2015, Project MyStory is a community building effort to help students better acclimate to UAlbany and to work more effectively toward their goals. We began in UAlbany’s Academic Support Center (ASC), where you will see many of the posters featured above. We are now co-housed in ASC and in the Center for International Education and Global Strategy (CIEGS).

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