Print Edition: January 21, 2015
If school is good for anything, it’s for screwing with your sleep schedule. It’s a common misconception that the average amount of sleep needed every night is eight hours. In actuality, we need more like nine and a half. How much do we actually get? About six. This averages to roughly 24 hours of sleep a week that we miss out on.
According to WebMD.com, sleep will not give you immunity from disease. However, you will be at lower risk of serious health problems such as heart disease, heart attacks, diabetes, and obesity. You’ll also be in better control of your weight. When you’re overtired, you have less energy to cook healthy food or to exercise.
Something a lot of people don’t know is how dangerous it is to be tired. About one-fifth of car accidents are a result of drowsy driving, since you lack your usual perceptiveness and judgement. This equals one million crashes a year, 500,000 injuries, and 8,000 deaths a year in the US, reports a study on health by Harvard students.
One of the main causes of lack of sleep is simply not being able to fall asleep at night. BusinessInsider.com has a few tips to help get rid of this issue. First of all, remove the tempting electronics from your bedroom. This means no sitting on the bed to do homework on your laptop, and mainly no phones. This is probably the toughest, since we treat our phones like our firstborn children. But once you’re curled up in bed, your mind and body prepare to work. If you also use your phone as an alarm clock (like everyone else does), that needs to stop, too. If you start to get restless at any point during the night, you’ll start playing on your phone.
Is something on your mind keeping you up? Write all your thoughts down. Try turning the temperature in your room down or opening your window, and count down from 100 in increments of three. It will occupy your mind and tire you out.
If waking up in the morning is something you struggle with, it’s tough to get used to. Try to have something to motivate you, whether it be a morning exercise or the promise of a fantastic breakfast you cannot possibly pass up. It’s also a good idea to leave some of your homework from the night before to finish up in the morning. This way your school schedule doesn’t have to ruin your sleep schedule, and you can turn it around for your own benefit.