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Enjoy the honey-heavy dew of slumber

ByDuncan Brown

Jan 22, 2018

There are a number of components of university life that come together to mean that students getting less sleep than recommended. Stress, lack of time, lengthy nights out, and so on all produce the same outcome: students turn up for classes worn out and half asleep rather than awake and alert. Why is it that students tend to sleep so poorly and what are the possible ramifications of having an irregular sleeping pattern?

Time is very likely a considerable factor in the lack of sleep students are getting. While trying to balance university work, hobbies, a social life, and for many students, a job, students are routinely having to sleep late and rise early. This is also indicative of the larger issue of just how much today’s students have to do in order to stay afloat and pursue a career.

The relationship between stress and sleep has been studied on numerous occasions and it seems apparent that stress can result in difficulty sleeping and disturbed sleep cycles. With the increasing number of students seeking counselling and therapy, the intense stress felt by many students is beginning to come to light. There is no doubt that stress is largely responsible for why so many students have such terrible sleeping patterns.

According to a 2016 study, irregular sleeping patterns in students are directly linked with poor academic performance. The study also mentions that lack of sleep in adults can contribute to a plethora of potential mental and physical health issues including cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes, and various psychiatric disorders. This study, along with many others, shows that sleep is vitally important not only for students’ ability to perform well in an academic setting but also for health reasons.

There also seems to be an almost competitive element regarding sleep among students. ‘I only got x hours of sleep last night’ is a common thing to hear on campus and it often sounds almost like a brag. It is as though we pride ourselves on the ability to function on little to no sleep despite the negative impact it has on almost every facet of our lives. In reality, not sleeping enough is far from something to pride ourselves on.

Ultimately, if you are a student, it is worth remembering that there is nothing more important than your mental and physical health, and sleep is a large part of that. While it can be difficult to achieve, getting a consistent amount of sleep each night will make your mind clearer, your body healthier, and will most likely improve your focus and performance at university.

It is all too easy to fall into poor sleep patterns but despite how difficult it can be to get to bed, it can be valuable to try. We all ought to remember the benefits of sleep and, as Shakespeare said, enjoy the honey-heavy dew of slumber.

Image: StockSnap via Pixbay

By Duncan Brown

Science and tech editor and teen heartthrob

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