Counting Sheep


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When I was a little kid I never wanted to go to sleep at night, but now that's all I want to do. I know I speak for many people when I say I wake up in the morning and can't wait to get back in bed that night. As college students it's important for us to get a good nights sleep whenever we can because studies at Harvard say it will boost your memory. It is known that "only 11% of students sleep well" while "40% only feel rested two days of the week". The cause of this? Anywhere from schoolwork and studying to extracurricular activities and social life. But we need to be mindful in what we are exposing ourselves to before we hit the hay. From this Harvard study they have found that "the most critical period of sleep for memory consolidation is in the hours following a lesson." The amount of sleep affects three learning processes that are important to your learning in school. The first, acquisition is how the brain receives and stores the information that you are putting in it. The second, consolidation is how the brain makes the memories/information stronger or weaker in your brain. And third, recall, which is how the brain uses the information that you stored. Without the proper amount of sleep these three steps aren't used to the best of their abilities making it hard for students to remember things they have learned. I know it seems like you should be up all night study for exams, but from this study sleep is important for remembering the information that you need too! So don't be afraid to sleep if you need to, it will definitely help you in the long run! 

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4 Comments

Sleep is always important to destress and keep our immune systems functioning properly. To me, it's not about working out a decent sleep schedule, it's about knocking out whenever possible or whenever I feel the need to. If you're overworked and find yourself falling asleep in class, take a few hours to take a nap and recharge for the day. It doesn't really matter about going to bed early if your body isn't used to it, and you're just lying awake until the late hours of the night. The best advice I've ever received is to sleep when I'm tired, and live when I'm not.

I am a firm believer in this! My roommate constantly stays up late hours, cramming in study time hours before her morning exam. However, I go for a different approach. I'd much rather start studying earlier in the week, and make sure I get a good night sleep.
I had an exam earlier today. Instead of staying up until 3a.m., I studied days prior, and last night until about 11p.m. I find it crucial to get in a good night's sleep, especially the day prior to an exam. However, I did recite my notes out loud right before I laid down and, I must admit, I think it helped!
The website link below discusses a study published in the journal "Child Development", where 535 students were followed for 14 consecutive days. Factors such as amount of sleep per day and general understanding of subject material presented in school were recorded. Click the link to see what they found! It's quite surprising, and supports your argument!

http://blogs.kqed.org/mindshift/2013/01/why-sleeping-may-be-more-important-than-studying/

I never caught on to the typical college "all-nighter" of studying straight through the night. I know that once I hit a certain point of tiredness, anything I try to study will be forgotten. Your article made it clear that college-aged students require a certain amount of shut-eye, and depriving ourselves has all kinds of consequences. Personally, I get sick when I don't get enough sleep, and it takes longer to get healthy again.

I found an article that expands on the benefits of adequate sleep, including improved memory, focus, and creativity and lowering stress levels.
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/02/02/sleep-health-benefits-_n_817803.html

I remember my friend telling me how he had learned this in one of his classes before! I've always felt like sleep was kind of a waste of time and this information has made me care way more about sleeping better and it's good to know there is a good cause behind it rather than "we sleep because we need sleep". This is a great reason to say we actually do! Another thing I have looked into with sleep are the REM cycles..here's a link that helps you figure out when to go to bed or get up so you complete all the REM cycles you started in your sleep to get a "good night's sleep".
http://sleepyti.me

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