The key to success in school is… sleep?

written by: Cosme Lozano

We are all probably guilty at some point in our lives of trying to either catch some Z’s in class, or even worse, missing class to sleep. School is a tool that offers students the ability to open more doors for themselves. I don’t know about you, but I do not feel like opening doors when I have so little energy and sleep. Because of this, is is imperative that we build good sleep schedules to avoid this. Getting poor sleep can play a role in negatively impacting your school life, but more importantly, it shows up big in your personal life.

Before I drop some data on you, I want to first go over my own personal experience with sleep and sleep cycles. For a lot of my early school life I had no sleep schedule. I just simply went to sleep whenever I felt tired enough. It wasn’t really till my junior year of high school where I decided I wanted and needed to change it. Long random nights can be fun, but they do you no good in the classroom the next morning at 8 am.

I was always a B or C student for about half of my high school career. It was a random day, mid way through my first semester of junior year, where I really wanted to change the narrative I had been building for myself. I wanted to be more committed to my studies and I knew a good place to start was with my sleep. I built a sleep schedule where I was going to sleep at set times for set days. Immediately, I saw better results in my grades and I also noticed more energy. I think what it really comes down to is a formula, or system. I am one of those people who really do well in systems, and this was the start of my personal school system.

I now want to list off some information that is useful in regard to sleeping..

  1. Coming from the National Heart Lung and Blood Institute, “Sleep plays a vital role in good health and well-being throughout your life. Getting enough quality sleep at the right times can help protect your mental health, physical health, quality of life, and safety” (NIH, 2021)
  2. Sleep plays a crucial role in growth and development of young children and teens. Both physically and mentally
  3. Improves concentration within the classroom (more concentration -> better focus -> better retention -> better grades)
  4. Poor sleep is linked to physical problems such as a weakened immune system and mental health problems such as anxiety and depression via MentalHealth.org.UK
  5. If you are lacking sleep, you are more likely to eat junk food or eat before you go to bed. These can both lead to weight gain.
  6. Good sleep builds stronger memories
  7. Sleep plays a huge role for athletes too. In a study done by Stanford University, they found, “men’s basketball players who extended their sleep to 10 hours a night found several positive outcomes. The players ran faster in both half-court and full-court sprints. Their shooting improved by at least 9%8 for both free throws and three-point shots. The athletes also reported improved physical and mental well-being.” (SleepFoundation, 2021)
  8. Lack of sleep in college students is known to cause academic failure, compromised learning, agitation, and an impaired mood (NCBI, 2014)

If you are going to take anything away from this article, it’s that sleep is good and it positively impacts you on a day to day scale. Academically, physically, mentally and socially.

Sleep is good. Go to sleep.

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