This topic actually applies to me right now… with all the cramming and parties that college students are a part of during the week and weekend it’s hard to get enough sleep, or so we think. Last night I went to sleep at around 4:30 in the morning cramming for an exam and I woke up way earlier than I usually do for work and had amazing energy throughout the day. This confuses me so much. Parents and teachers are always throwing the whole “get a good night’s sleep” in which they mean 8 or more hours of sleep. We’ve been told this since before we can remember, and yes getting 8 hours or more of sleep is extremely important, but most of the time it’s almost impossible for students and even adults with work, families, etc. I’ve heard from a lot of friends throughout high school and especially now that when someone gets less sleep than usual they are usually more alert the next day. Why is this?
It is shown that the less sleep you get the more active some parts of your brain become, while others become more inactive. When you sleep longer than you should or less than you should, you disturb your sleeping patterns, or circadian rhythm. This causes you to either wake up during a REM(deep sleep) cycle and feel even more tired or to wake up before you even hit the deep sleep cycle and be more alert. However, I’m not saying people shouldn’t sleep…especially students. Sleep actually enhances a person’s memory and learning ability. The more you sleep the better your brain can perform and the more information you can retain. When you’re fully awake is the best time to encounter new information and begin to memorize it, when you’re sleeping is when you actually retain the memory and it sticks in your brain. Sleep is still very important and necessary in everyone’s life. Would you pull all-nighters if you knew you’d be less tired in the morning?