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Did you know that humans are the only mammal willing to delay sleep? Well, now you do. Before light bulbs, people would go to sleep and wake up with the sun. After all, they could hardly do much when it was completely dark. But then Thomas Edison (who, fittingly, was famously opposed to sleep, thought it was a waste of time and only slept four hours a night) invented the common light bulb and good sleep was ruined forever.
Well, not quite ruined.
Sleep is something most people think they can go without. Well. Let’s clear one thing up right now. You can’t. We need it to function. The longest time recorded was 11 days without any sleep. It’s not known how long we can survive without it, but only 3-4 night’s without any can cause us to hallucinate.
Let’s start with the benefits of good sleep!
- Get sick less often
- Get along better with people
- Reduce Stress
- Improve your overall mood
- Lower your risk for serious health problems, like diabetes and heart disease.
- Think more clearly
- Do better in school
- YOU WON’T BE TIRED!!!!! (or as tired at least)
One of my biggest pet peeve’s is when people (who don’t get any sleep) say how tired they are. Honestly. You had the choice and yet you sat up, knowing you were gonna be tired the next day. Okay, if you were actually doing something and you could not go to sleep, that’s alright, OCCASIONALLY. But if you tell me everyday that you’re tired, and you didn’t sleep because you didn’t want to, I am literally going to explode. (Sorry if you’re someone who does this, but you need sleep, okay?)
Importance of Sleep for Students
Research from the last 20 years shows that students get more from sleep than just energy. It actually helps us learn, memorise, recall, retain and use our knowledge to come up with good solutions. It also helps us to stay focused, and improve academic performance. Without enough sleep children and teens (and adults, of course) can have problems including attention, memory and problem solving. Sleep deprivation can also contribute to behaviour problems and emotional issues.
Sleep should be a priority for people who want to succeed in anything (except pulling all-nighters and staying up as long as you can).
During sleep, our brains deal with all the information we have gathered during the day. The brain also clears bad things (plaque forming amyloids and tau proteins) associated with Alzheimer’s disease.
“There’s a cleanup process that happens in the brain when we sleep.”St-Onge
How the nerve cells (neurons) communicate with each other in our brains is also affected by sleep. Our bodies and brains stay remarkably active whilst we appear to be doing absolutely nothing!
What affects the quality of sleep?
- Too much caffine
- A bad sleep schedule
How do we improve the quality?
So. Light is the first thing that needs to go! I use an eye mask to stop any light from affecting me. Make sure you use a good quality mask, otherwise you might find yourself being able to see light even with the mask on.
Temperature is something that is a bit harder to control, but there are some things we can do. In my country, we don’t have AC’s in every house like they do in other countries. Instead we have to sleep in boiling conditions during the summer. The best thing you can do for that is to purchase a fan, in order to keep your bedroom cool. In the winter you can turn up the heating, and pile on the blankets and fluffy PJ’s!
The only thing you can do about noise is to shout at everyone else you live with to be quite. Or you could use a white noise machine, but there are other options like using a white noise playlist on Spotify if you want white noise but don’t want to buy a machine.
Make sure you’re sleeping on a good mattress. Also, don’t purchase bed sheets or PJ’s that feel bad. This will just make you hate your bed. It’s so hard to get to sleep when you’re uncomfortable, although, fortunately, it is possible.
Why are you even drinking caffeine? I understand that some people love coffee. I personally have never had any so I can’t say much (except for it smells bad). But why are you drinking coffee in the afternoon? Coffee, as far as I know, should be a morning drink (or at least an early afternoon drink!).
As for a bad schedule, you need to be going to sleep and waking up at the same time every day! This will eventually make it a lot easier to fall asleep at night and get up in the mornings.
Products I like and would recommend!
- First of all, I’ve already discussed this one – an eye mask! I just can’t sleep without one any more, especially in the summer when it doesn’t get dark until super late!
- I also like to use a Lavender pillow spray because it’s such a nice smell, and it’s supposed to help you sleep (but I haven’t noticed much of a difference when I don’t use it).
- A journal is a must if you always have way too many thoughts at the end of the day! It’s impossible to go to sleep when you spend all your time thinking about the day you just had and what tomorrow will bring. Journalling means that you’ve already sorted through you thoughts by the time you get into bed.
- I don’t actually own a fan, but I used one once whilst I was staying at my grandparents house in the summer holidays and I slept SO WELL! This year I will definitely be buying one when it starts to get a bit warmer!
Famous People on Sleep
“Early to bed and early to rise makes a man healthy, wealthy and wise.”Benjamin Franklin
“People, almost certainly, need seven to eight hours of sleep a night, even if you’ve convinced yourself otherwise.”Bill Gates
So. Let’s summarise. Thomas Edison thought sleeping was a waste of time – how wrong was he? Sleep is essential for big success. Oh and Benjamin Franklin knew how to rhyme. Is that it? If you have any sleep tips, comment them below!
Thank you for reading this post – it’s a bit longer than usual, I know! Don’t forget that I post every Wednesday and Sunday at 12:00. Don’t miss out!