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Are You Getting Enough Sleep?

Whether you’re out in New Haven or sitting in your room watching TV (maybe even doing homework!), the clock seems to move faster and faster as the time approaches the wee hours of the morning.
 
While college students are famous for their sleep-until-the-afternoon attitude and actions, the majority of students do not get enough sleep each night.
 
According to the National Sleep Foundation, adults (ages 18 and up) need between seven to nine hours of sleep a night and need to “make sleep a priority”.
 
If you have taken Psych 101, you may know all about the sleep cycles and how putting your head on the pillow does some magical things for your body. If you haven’t, know that sleeping helps regulate hormones and relaxes your body, among other things.
 
When you are sleeping, your body goes through several stages in cycles beginning with wakeful sleep and allowing for a deep slumber.

 
Sleep deprivation is a problem most students think about only when they’re tired or not doing well in school but skipping out on zzz’s can really make a difference in the way your body works.
 
For most college students, it’s ironic that the restful ideal of a weekend is synonymous with heading out to house parties and Toads.
 
Alcohol on the weekends may be your fun time but combined with sleep deprivation it can become very dangerous. Because of the way alcohols chemicals affect our bodies, drinking and not sleeping can cause people to become incredibly anxious, have a high heart rate and wake up many times throughout the night, resulting in missing deep sleep.
 
Not sleeping at night also causes health problems without alcohol. Obesity, low blood pressure and depression are only a few of the problems that sleep can attribute to.
 
Your body isn’t the only thing that will suffer either. The biggest thing negatively affected from not sleeping is your grades. As Collegiettes™, good grades should be what you’re striving for. However, attending school and going out mixed with nights spent away from the bed create a lethal combination for your GPA.
 
It’s actually kind of obvious: when you are tired, your mind can’t perform at its best capacity. When reading, your sleepy brain won’t comprehend sentences or remember them. Simpler than that, when you’re tired motivation goes down. That assignment due in three days might be put off till the last minute or not at all which could have a detrimental effect on your class average.
 
Many attribute the combination of work and school to not sleeping (and a lower GPA). If that’s the case for you, be careful driving home from your job. A CNN article quoted an Australian study where results “people who drive after being awake for 17 to 19 hours performed worse than those with a blood alcohol level of .05 percent”.  To compare, a 135-lb girl would be at 0.05 percent after taking about two shots and at the legal driving limit in many countries in Europe.
 
Staying up late may be part of your lifestyle but think about how you may be harming yourself and others if you take a break from dreamland.

Photo Credit: williamdiong.blogspot.com

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