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The Importance Of Sleep (Coming From A Sleep-Deprived Girl)

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at VCU chapter.

Before coming to VCU, I didn’t realize how important sleep is when doing everyday tasks and activities. Sleep is so important, and I can’t stress this enough. Even though it sounds like common knowledge, I feel like it’s so important to highlight the benefits that a good night’s rest can bring. 

I really noticed the importance of sleep when I was driving back to my hometown, Virginia Beach,  from Richmond. The night before, I hadn’t gone to sleep until 4 a.m. but had to be on the road by 8:30 a.m. When I was driving, I noticed that I was zoning out and falling asleep, which led me to swerve my car from the lane I was in. Although I was fine after the drive, it was still so scary and especially dangerous to be driving in the very sleepy state that I was in. 

After this experience, I’ve started to prioritize my sleep more. I’ve noticed that I started to feel more awake and energized to start the day. Although it’s still a struggle to go to bed before 3 a.m. sometimes, there are so many benefits that come with going to sleep on time. 

According to the Sleep Foundation, getting better quality sleep can lead to improved mood, a healthy heart, regulated blood sugar, improved mental function, restored immune system, stress relief, better athletic performance and healthy weight. This shows that sleep is so important for many reasons other than just to rest. 

This all sounds really nice, right? But, how do you get more sleep? According to the Sleep Foundation, there are many ways to improve the quality of your sleep and how much sleep you get. Some tips include creating a consistent sleep schedule that realistically works for you, making a quality and comfortable sleep environment, avoiding caffeine before bedtime and in the late afternoon, exercising during the day, avoiding screens and blue light before bedtime and even talking to a doctor about sleep. 

All of these tips are extremely helpful, and you should all the more try them to see if they work for you. But, for me, with being a stressed-out teenage student, sometimes these tips are simply unrealistic. Although they sound really nice, sometimes I have late nights doing assignments or simply am just on my phone because I can’t sleep. So, what works for students like me?

Although I can’t give one whole solution that works for everyone, I can tell you what’s been working for me. Simply changing my mindset has led me to gradually go to sleep earlier. Training my brain to value sleep over working on assignments or staying up scrolling through Pinterest has allowed me to feel less guilty if I decide to have an early night. 

Getting a good night’s rest isn’t easy for everyone, but it is so important especially if you’re a burnt-out college student (like me, LOL). It can be the thing that keeps you from completely burning out. I encourage everyone reading this article to go to sleep at least 15 minutes earlier than you usually do. You never know, it could be really helpful. 

Amanda Vallieres is a class of 2027 VCU student. She is currently majoring in Psychology. Her interests are writing, fashion, reading, and painting. Also, her favorite subject to write about for hercampus is pop culture. She enjoys reading about any subject, but her favorite one to read about is science fiction. At VCU, she’s also apart of other clubs such as FACT (Filipino Americans Coming Together), VSA (Vietnamese Student Association), KAPWA, and Vintage Threads.