Sleeping is an integral part of our lives. Having slept well, we wake up feeling energized and refreshed and are able to stay alert as we perform our routines. The quality of our sleep affects our mental and physical health, safety and quality of lives. The ways we feel when we are awake are dependent upon the quality of sleep we have had. When we sleep, our bodies are working very hard to maintain our physical health and the functioning of our healthy brains.
What Makes Us Sleep?
Many factors contribute to preparing our bodies for sleeping and waking up. We all have these internal “body clocks” that control when we are ready to sleep and when we are awake. This body clock has a 24-hour rhythm, known as circadian rhythm, that is controlled via two processes. The first process involves a compound called adenosine being gradually released in our brains when we are awake. The level of this compound rises until we fall asleep. Such compound level at a point in time is proportional to the degree of sleepiness we feel at that point in time. As we sleep, this compound breaks down. The second process entails our internal body locks. Our body clocks analyse the environments we are in, looking for clues, such as light and darkness, in order to determine whether we should feel awake or drowsy. As our environments get dark, our bodies release a type of hormone known as melatonin. This hormone lets our bodies know that it is time to prepare for sleep, making us feel drowsy. This amount of such hormone peaks as the evening ends. On the other hand, as the run rises, lightening up our environments, our bodies release cortisol, which is another hormone, preparing our bodies to wake up.
Why Is Getting Enough Sleep of High Quality So Important for Students?
A good night’ rest requires a combination of quality sleeping patterns and sleep sufficiency. A few studies have linked the sleep patterns of students to their academic performance. One of the Studies has shown that students who get good quality sleep perform better academically as their learning abilities and the functioning of their brains are not impaired. Students must also maintain consistent sleep schedules as a research has found that students who don’t go to sleep at consistent times every day are likely to attain lower grades. A student’s ability to attain information is also influenced by the quality of sleep that the student has had.
Strategies to Get Enough High-Quality Sleep and Maintain Proper Sleeping Patterns
Students should go to bed and wake up at consistent times and also try to keep the same sleeping schedules on weekends and weeknights. They should sleep in an environment where light is limited and avoid watching TVs or using their smartphones before their bedtime. Being physically active and spending time outside every day will also improve their quality of sleep. Taking a nap every day may boost a student’s performance and alertness. However, if the student has trouble falling asleep at night, napping should be limited.