The Importance of Sleep

Russel Kule, Staff Writer

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Sleep is something that confuses people in terms of knowing how much is enough, too much, or too little. Getting good sleep can boost your mental health, physical health, and quality of life. Not getting enough sleep could lead to many short term and long term problems. Effects of not getting enough sleep are things such as memory issues, trouble concentrating, high blood pressure and more (NIH, 2018). While everyone should be getting a sufficient amount of sleep, many people don’t because of reasons such as drinking too much caffeine, eating and drinking late, stress and more (SHF, 2019).

While in class, you see the students who are awake and ready to learn, and the students who are missing the whole lesson sleeping to make up for missed nighttime sleep. As students, we are all guilty of using our phones more than we should be, not realizing that it is one of the factors impacting our sleep in a negative way. According to Numerology professor Phyllis C. Zee, the artificial light coming from our phones has been able to fool us into thinking it is still daylight when it’s not, causing us to sleep later (everydayhealth.com, 2019). A lot of students in high school also have jobs, and their shifts could be affecting their sleep. Many students have shifts that change a lot, which causes them to have inconsistent sleep time. Some days they will sleep later than others, which will make it more difficult for them to find a regular sleep pattern (SHF, 2019).

The effects of getting no sleep go way beyond just being tired. Some short term effects such as lack of alertness, memory loss, and quality of life could all be results from not getting enough sleep. That is why trying to fix your sleeping problem as soon as you can is important. If you’re missing sleep on a nightly basis without trying to solve the issue, the effects will become chronic. High blood pressure, diabetes, heart failure, and depression are long term effects caused by not sleeping at night (Clevelandclinic.org, 2015). The thought of having to deal with lifelong issues may overwhelm someone who is having trouble sleeping. While trying to get back on track  won’t be easy, there is a fix to it, and there are ways that we could help ourselves get the best amount of sleep possible.

When you aren’t getting enough sleep at night, you are setting yourself up for a tough day. However, when you aren’t doing anything about not getting enough sleep at night, you are setting yourself up for issues that could affect you years down the line. One way to fix your sleeping hours is to avoid sleeping in on weekends. Sleeping in will cause you to disturb the consistency between the time you go to sleep and the time you wake up (Helpguide.org, 2019). Another way is to not confuse your internal clock into thinking it is daytime when it is not. Ways you can do that include not watching TV or staying on your phone too late, keeping the lights in your room dimmed down before you go to bed, and spending more time outside during the day (Helpguide.org, 2019). Doing those will help you feel the need to sleep at the right time and wake up at the right time.

When we sleep, our body is doing a lot of strengthening, restoring, and processing (sleepfoundation.org). When we aren’t getting enough sleep, our body is missing out on those important functions. As students, we have a lot on our shoulders, balancing school work with our jobs outside of school. That makes it tougher to find a consistent sleep schedule that we can follow every day of our lives. However, finding it is important for us and our health, both short term and long term. Taking it one day at a time is vital, and once we can follow the right routine that fits us, it will show in many ways.