Health Talk

The NUS Health Blog for Undergraduate Articles

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Natural Weight Loss Focuses on Taking Care of Your Body and Mind

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All too often, individuals who are choosing one path or another unfortunately get caught up in the cycle of comparison. We are living in such a connected modern world that we are so used to comparing ourselves to one another that it feels almost alien when we become confident enough in ourselves for that to be a practice of the past. However, that is exactly the attitude to aim for. Confidence is key and confidence is the powerplay that can change an individual’s entire approach to any aspect of their lives. This is true in any regard and it is especially true in regards to innovations like weight loss.

The weight loss journey is different for everyone. This much is certain. Regardless of how perfectly or imperfectly an approach to weight loss might seem for someone else, it is important to note that it is not necessarily (if at all) going to have the same impact for you. When it comes to natural weight loss (i.e. the healthiest approach to weight loss) for instance, there are many moving pieces that all play their own distinctive roles in making this approach the remarkable success story that it is for so many individuals around the globe.

Committing to consistent and ongoing exercise

There is a lot to be said about the monumental change that happens when you start to exercise – even for just half an hour – every other day. Getting outside and getting some valuable vitamin D is fantastic for you and so is getting your body moving. In many ways, exercise is one of the most important aspects of natural weight loss there is. Through active and consistent exercise, there is a lot to be said about the powerful effects that play out in an individual’s body and mind.

Having a diet full of fresh and healthy produce

What you eat also plays an instrumental role in your natural approach to weight loss. Your diet is so important because what you choose to fuel your body with, is what you give your body to work with. If you are not fuelling it the best way that you know how to, you end up doing yourself, your body, and your mind a disservice. Eating fresh and healthy produce on the daily is an excellent way to stay on top of your weight loss in a healthy and natural way.

Doing your research on natural weight loss supplements

And finally, if you are trying to find the best natural weight loss pill on the market to assist you in bridging any gaps you are experiencing in your journey, ensure that you are doing your research – and that you are doing so diligently. What you might think is the perfect supplement could turn out to be a nightmare for your body. Active and consistent research is so important and it is never an aspect of the natural approach to weight loss (or any other type of process towards weight loss, for that matter) that should ever be taken for granted or not taken seriously enough. Remember this – and remember it well.

The Remarkable Benefits of Portable Oxygen Machines

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Of all the positively life changing inventions to come out of the healthcare and medical industries, one of the best of them is without a doubt the portable oxygen machine. Once thought to be the stuff of imagination, these machines were introduced to the world many years ago now. Being able to finally give impacted individuals a way to be able to go about their lives with relative ease and efficiency literally revolutionised the healthcare and medical fields in at least that way. Over time, advancements and enhancements have made portable oxygen machines bolder and smarter all the time. 

Today, they are one of the most positively powerful inventions in healthcare and medicine to date. There are so many remarkable benefits of machines like portable oxygen machines, and each of these benefits are important in and of themselves and worth their weight in gold. These machines are about so much more than giving individuals access to oxygen on the go when it is needed (as if that were not enough). Portable oxygen machines are overwhelmingly positive inventions for a multitude of different reasons, all of which add to the interest and investment surrounding these extraordinarily life changing machines.

Freedom and flexibility

The freedom and flexibility of a portable oxygen machine is second to none. Whereas before impacted individuals had to stay hooked up to heavy, hard (if not impossible) to move machines to get their oxygen supply, the introduction of portable oxygen machines has meant that these impacted individuals have gained a sense of freedom and flexibility that was simply not possible before. In this way, portable oxygen machines have been innovative and life changing from the moment they were first introduced to the world and they continue to be now.

Independence 

The independence that comes with having access to a machine like a portable oxygen machine is a feeling that is challenging to accurately describe. There is a lot to be said about the power of having your independence given back to you. Rather than having to rely on others so much throughout the day and night, impacted individuals now have access to these portable oxygen machines that allow them to go about their day to day lives with relative ease and efficiency. This renewed sense of independence is profound.

Quality of life 

The overall quality of life that is given to an individual when they are finally able to invest in a portable oxygen machine is extraordinary. Portable oxygen machines allow individuals to live their best lives, even travelling the world as much as possible. These machines allow for a much stronger quality of life that gives the impacted individual a more definitive grasp on their ideal lifestyle and how to bring that lifestyle to the helm. Portable oxygen machines are one of the most powerful and popular inventions in healthcare and medicine for this exact reason, and because of the consistent (even rising) interest and investment, they will continue to be well into the future and beyond.

Understanding the Role of the Adjustable Electric Bed

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The ongoing advancement and enhancement of the digital era that now spans the globe is one that is being propelled forward with more and more interest and investment as we steadily become more aware and informed of just how beneficial the rise of the digital era and all that it brings with it, is and can be. More than ever before, the digital era is rising with incredible force, to the point that we are seeing it in just about every aspect of life as we know it and every corresponding industry. This is the way of the world now. There is no going back. Every industry has felt the weight of modernisation in its own way.

The healthcare industry, for instance, has come a long way over the years and it continues to become bolder and stronger all the time. More than anything else, the healthcare industry is such a phenomenally important industry because of the instrumental role that it plays in society. Healthcare and medicine are all about constantly doing the work to make the world a better and healthier place. There have been many innovations in healthcare over the years, all of them worth their weight in gold and important in their own right. One of the most positively incredible of them all is the evolution of the hospital bed.

Introducing the adjustable electric bed

The evolution of hospital beds over time is just one example of modernisation in healthcare, however it is one of the most prominent and life changing examples to date. Today, the modern hospital beds around the globe are adjustable electric beds, the likes of which have been made possible and brought forward thanks to the ongoing advancement and enhancement of the technology that makes them possible. In short, adjustable electric beds are essentially hospital beds that are designed and intended to function and thrive as convenient and efficient hospital beds that improve both overall healthcare facilities and also individual patient care around the globe. To this end, they have proven themselves successful.

Appreciating the adjustable electric bed

When it comes to not only getting to a point of awareness of an innovation like adjustable electric beds, but genuinely appreciating it, there is a lot of power in actively and consistently educating oneself on the advantages and benefits of adjustable electric beds. More than anything else, adjustable electric beds are all about modernising and overall improving healthcare’s response to patient care. Adjustable electric beds make every part of a sick or otherwise upended individual’s care easier and more efficient in just about every way. Whether that is by simple adjustments to make the patient more comfortable or wheeling a patient in and out of surgery and back into their room, this is an invention to be appreciated.

Understanding the adjustable electric bed

Ultimately, the adjustable electric bed is all about improving the entire process surrounding patient care tenfold. To this end, the invention and ongoing advancement and enhancement of the adjustable electric bed has been phenomenally successful. Today, more than ever, adjustable electric beds are more valued than they have ever been. Going forward, we can expect more of the same (and then some). Adjustable electric beds are almost a priceless healthcare invention, and they are only getting bolder and smarter all the time.

Alcoholism: How to Help Your Loved One

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Watching the person you care about drowning into alcohol each day is a painful experience you wouldn’t wish for anyone. There is no fun in any drug that can make one a slave or an addict. Unfortunately, most alcoholics’ do not realize that they have a big problem that requires help. It is a disease that not only interferes with their overall life but also their loved ones peace of mind. Families are in shock upon realizing that alcohol has taken a toll on their loved one’s lives, and they can no longer function usually. Alcoholism is a chronic disease that changes the brain’s chemistry. So the addict will have issues with his mental and physical health as well as social life. At this point, you can’t do magic to cure your loved one’s disease. You are also affected, and an active recovery program is what you may need.  

So, at what point does one become an alcoholic?

Some people start to drink gradually in social gatherings like parties, clubs, and so on. But this can progress to more drinking until they are hooked. Such are the type that quickly develop alcohol dependency. Still, there are other things like genetics, history of drug abuse in the family, age factor, and so on, which determines a person’s vulnerability to taking alcohol. Surprisingly, people don’t know that some drinking problems can result from mental disorders. Those who suffer from stress, anxiety, depression, and other mental illnesses engage in drinking to cope with their problem.  

Is it time to seek assistance for your loved one’s alcoholism?

Living with an addict can be challenging. It reaches a point they no longer care about their cleanliness, paying bills, and attending work; you name it. Even relationships with their loved ones start souring. This is now the part that families must not abandon them to their fate. Love, care, support, and understanding can make them feel relevant in society and even realize they have a problem. Alcohol dependency has brought pain like death through drunk driving, job loss, and medical issues, to mention a few. Also, most addicts roll together since they feel withdrawn from society. And that makes it worse. 

Here is how you can assist your loved one:

1. Research thoroughly to identify treatment plans

Alcoholism requires treatment, such as detoxification. This will remove toxic substances from the victim’s body. Also, the procedure will minimize withdrawal symptoms like headache, nausea, and nervousness, among others

2. Find trustworthy rehabs, their programs and treatment methods

Identify an ongoing treatment plan and the steps involved to ensure one recovery ultimately. This may include support groups and The Twelve Step Programs for addiction recovery. Do your search to understand the details of the twelve-step alcohol recovery program.

3. Show support and care

Try to understand that alcoholism requires a careful approach. Bring the affected closer, talk to them in a loving way indicating you know what they are going through. Similarly, warn them of the consequences that the habit can bring into their lives and that of their families. Ensure you avoid confrontations by choosing your words carefully. This is why an expert is preferred to encourage and lead an addict to treatment.

It is not easy to cope with alcoholics, especially if you have to watch their habits every day. Fortunately, some realize they have a problem and seek help early enough. But what about others who need support to come out of the situation? Well, you can help them make healthy decisions when it comes to their overall health. This is why some treatment centers like San Antonio Drug Rehab are there to ensure your loved one recovers fully through accessible recovery programs.

The Process of Adequately Addressing Chronic Pain Management

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Health and wellbeing are two of the greatest and most precious gifts that any individual can ever hope to be given in their lifetime. More than ever before, this is ringing truer than true. We live in uncertain times right now, to say the least, and so there has been a significantly heightened focus on health and wellbeing and how our actions and reactions impact our health and wellbeing (not to mention overall quality of life).

While so many of us are lucky to be in phenomenally good health (if not peak health), for others they are living with various health ailments and struggles, including (but of course not limited to) aches and pains. For some individuals who experience said aches and pains, they are minimal and have little impact on how the affected individual goes about their day. For others, however, the aches and pains can persist, often proving to be chronically debilitating.

Understanding chronic pain

When it comes to chronic pain and dealing with it appropriately, it is more than fair to say that there are different ways to approach chronic pain and the management of that pain. Before one even begins to approach dealing with that pain, however, they must first take the active steps to understand the pain that they are feeling. As convenient as it would be, not all pains and the like physically show up for medical professionals to assess, and so it is in one’s best interest to actively and consistently work to familiarise themselves with and understand the type of pain they are experiencing.

Addressing chronic pain at its source

There is a lot to be said about stripping chronic pain back to its origins and establishing the source of the pain. While this is not by any means a new revelation, it is a revelation that more and more impacted individuals are finding themselves coming to terms with and prioritising. This is where it is important to book in an appointment with one’s doctor to have the chronic pain professionally assessed in a safe environment. Chronic pain can fester, becoming worse and worse unless it is properly addressed as early as possible, so it is of the utmost importance to ensure that one sees their doctor before trying to self remedy, especially if the chronic pain they are experiencing is a pain they are not at all familiar with.

The treatments making all the difference

Whether it is the best CBD oil available on the market or consistent physio appointments, the fact of the matter is that there are multiple treatments and solutions that make all the difference in the world when it comes to properly treating and dealing with chronic pain. More than anything else, the treatment that one ultimately decides to go with should be a treatment that makes them feel better and that works with them to improve their pain management and the severity of the pain, over time. This is paramount.

The Science of Sleep – 5 Curious Facts About Sleep Explained

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We all know that sleep is extremely important for the proper functioning of our bodies. If you’re not convinced, a couple of sleepless nights are more than enough to show you just how crucial sleep is for your overall well-being. Even so, most of us are guilty of cheating when it comes to healthy sleep habits

It’s obvious that sleep is an indispensable part of our lives, considering we spend one-third of our existence sleeping. But although it’s such a vital mechanism, there’s a lot about sleep we still don’t know or understand. The most relevant research on sleep has been conducted in the past 25 years, therefore we’ve learned most of what we know today from recent studies—making sleep a fascinating and fairly new territory to explore for scientists. That means there are many more mysteries about the science of sleep we’ve yet to unravel. 

But let’s start with the essentials and try to answer two basic questions: what is sleep and how much sleep do we actually need? 

  • According to experts, although sleep is usually regarded as a temporary shut-down phase, it’s actually a very active stage when many of the body’s restorative processes occur. It’s not clear why we are programmed to sleep, but what we do know is that sleep is critical for physical and mental health.
  • Experts agree that the average person needs 8 hours of sleep per night. But there are exceptions to this rule. Depending on each individual, the ideal amount of sleep varies between five to ten hours per night. Also, as we age, we tend to sleep less, even though there’s not a significant decrease in the amount of sleep we need.

That being said, making sure you get a good night’s sleep is the best investment in your health you could make. There are many things you can do to improve the quality of your sleep right now: 

  • Stick with a clear sleep schedule 
  • Increase sunlight exposure in the morning
  • Avoid long daytime naps
  • Avoid screen time in the evening
  • Create a relaxing bedroom environment by minimizing noise and external light
  • Look for a mattress for a more comfortable bed
  • Try relaxation techniques before bed—take a hot bath or practice mindful breathing
  • Don’t drink caffeine 
  • Exercise regularly during the day

Getting to the fun part, let’s take a look at some of the most interesting facts about sleep and see what scientists have to say about them:

The need to sleep can’t be explained

Although all scientists agree that sleep is indispensable, they still can’t explain why. Evolution doesn’t quite explain why we sleep. Besides spending much of our lives doing nothing, we are extremely vulnerable while we sleep. Some experts believe that sleep helps the brain get rid of all the metabolic waste products gathered during the waking hours, functioning like a reset button that readies us for the next day. Also, it’s believed that sleep helps us retain important information. 

Training yourself to sleep less is a myth

As a guideline, adults between 18 and 60 years old should get seven to nine hours of sleep per night. Those who are older can get by with a little less. But it’s also true that there are people who can function properly with a lot less sleep than the average individual. However, if you think you can reach their performance through different techniques, you’ll be disappointed. Sleeping is not a competition and you can’t train yourself to sleep less. In fact, the amount of sleep each of us needs is 80% determined by our genes, and it’s obvious you can’t change your genetic inheritance. 

Our brains are active during sleep

The idea that our brains are not active during sleep couldn’t be further from the truth. On the contrary, there are many metabolic processes that happen while we sleep. There are two distinct parts of a sleep cycle: non-REM sleep, which comprises four stages, and REM (rapid eye movement) sleep. The first two sleep stages are fairly light and don’t bring any regenerative benefits. In stages three and four we go into a deep (or slow-wave) sleep. During this time our bodies go through a series of restorative processes. REM sleep usually starts 90 minutes after falling asleep, when our brains become more active and most dreams occur. During REM, our brains process and store information in long-term memory. 

Binge sleeping can’t help make up for lost nights

Some people believe they can make up for lost nights by binge sleeping afterward. Students, we’re looking at you! However, studies reveal that it’s impossible to force the brain to “catch up on sleep.” Even if recovery sleep can help you feel more refreshed, it’s been proven that it can’t counter all the negative effects of sleep deprivation. Basic functions such as memory or attention are still going to be impaired if you have a poor sleep schedule. 

Lack of sleep leads to awkward consequences 

Sleep deprivation can lead to serious health issues. Mood swings, memory loss, and hallucinations are common symptoms people with severe sleep deprivation experience. These are the most concerning effects when you skip on sleep constantly, but studies found other surprising outcomes as well. Here are some strange effects of sleep deprivation that scientists have noticed:

  • Lack of sleep makes people have low pain tolerance
  • People who sleep less have a hard time recognizing emotions
  • Sleep-deprived individuals show lower empathy levels
  • Sleep deprivation makes people feel disconnected from their bodies and thoughts
  • Sleep-deprived people who take time-reaction tests can’t asses their performance properly 

Creating a Healthy and Strong Link Between Beauty and Health

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It is no secret that the world has struggled with creating a healthy and strong link between beauty and health as dominant industries and motions in life. Historically, the beauty industry has, for decades, instilled a decidedly unhealthy view of what it means to be beautiful into the minds of men and women alike. For so long, runways showcased one specific body type, and magazines airbrushed and refined their models and cover women and men until they no longer even looked themselves. For generations, this is the approach to “beauty” that we were told was the most desirable, the strongest, the prettiest, and best.

And of course, the individuals who fit so keenly into that construct naturally were lucky. They belonged. Today, the global beauty standards are far healthier, with people of all shapes, sizes, and colours being represented and feeling like they finally belong. No longer are people starving themselves and altering their appearances (and even their insides, like their rib cages) to fit the standard of beauty they have been told for so long was the right one. Now, beauty and health go hand in hand, and we are nowhere near done celebrating this newfound innovation – not by a long shot.

Creating an open and supportive community

This newfound strong and true link between beauty and health has been made possible largely (if not entirely) by the outpouring of encouragement and support, from one person to another. There is a newfound sense of empowerment, inspiration, excitement, and belonging that every person now feels, because they are no longer excluded from the beauty standards that society long taught them were the goal…they belong in every sense of the word, and they are flourishing and thriving because of it. This is a testament to when we all lift each other up, we feel our best.

Embracing what makes us feel our most beautiful and healthy

Today, to be beautiful means to truly love oneself. When you love the skin you’re in, you radiate beauty, and you live our healthiest life. Regardless of if that means buying the perfect perfume online, going meat-free in one’s diet, cutting out sugary drinks and processed foods, or investing in a whole new wardrobe or make-up kit, if you feel beautiful and confident, then chances are you are healthy too. Gone are the days where health had to be sacrificed for society’s idea of ultimate beauty, and vice versa.

Understanding that true beauty is an inside job

The thing about understanding the nature of beauty is that we are now having to rewire our preconceived notion of what it means to be beautiful. We do this by eliminating the negative connotations that go hand in hand with what the beauty industry has always, up until recently, insisted is the perfect norm. This new sense of peace and excitement about what the beauty industry is encouraging now, is worlds away from where it used to stand. And this new notion is better, brighter, in every sense of the words. 

The Rise of Global DNA Testing Companies Continues to Reach Unprecedented Heights

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We are curious creatures, human beings, and so naturally we are inevitably always learning. Considering this trait, it comes as no surprise that we are constantly searching for more ways to learn about not only ourselves and the ways we can work towards a better, healthier future, but also the past and how that past has impacted us all as individuals and as a species. There are many technological advancements that have made their impact in this field over time, all of them having their own key strengths and values.

Perhaps the most important of them all is the discovery and ongoing exploration of DNA. Our DNA is literally the genetic make-up that explains, in scientific clarity, who we are, where we came from, and what is going on in our bodies at the time of any administered DNA tests. Never has the inclination towards ongoing growth and understanding of DNA testing been so strong, and never has the future for DNA testing looked so promising.

The appeal of DNA testing companies

DNA is an interesting concept that houses a great deal of understanding and the like. Think of the appeal of DNA testing and the rising force of the surrounding industry, for instance. The appeal and trust in DNA testing companies stems from the outward desire to simply understand more. We want to know more about life and ourselves, and we want to be given access to the capabilities that allow that kind of in-depth understanding to be accessed.

An industry that continues to go from strength to strength

The DNA testing sub-field of the science industry has effectively gone from strength to strength over the years. This is a field of interest that has always been incredible to watch unfold, and yet it is also a field that has continued to reach all-new, entirely unprecedented heights. From the direct-to-consumer DNA test kits available on the market, to the organisations building their entire platforms around the nature of discovery and exploration of DNA testing, the field of DNA testing is becoming more and more pronounced.

The rise of global DNA testing companies

Today, there are more global DNA testing companies out there than ever. Once individuals realised the immense value in DNA testing, this was always an inevitability, but the sheer force and speed at which these DNA testing companies are coming out of the woodwork is thrilling to witness. This is the newfound reality, and this is a reality that is only becoming more pronounced all the time.

With more DNA testing companies out there than ever, it should come as no surprise that the world is more heavily invested in DNA testing companies than ever. Going forward, we can likely (if not certainly) expect more of the same. Now that we have become comfortable and familiar with DNA testing, it is safe to say that there is no going back. We can only move forward from this point on, and that is a fact that most people are more than okay with adhering to.

Why Health Insurance Is So Important For Families

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When it comes to adequately understanding and responding to the healthcare systems in place around the world, it goes without saying that it can be easier said than done. All over the world, healthcare is handled differently, with some differences being definitively drastic, while others are seemingly subtle. All in all, it is widely agreed that any healthcare system is better than nothing, but that does not mean that there is not room for improvement to be found. In fact, in some instances, that room for improvement is quite significant. One of the most differing aspects of any healthcare system is the approach and handling of health insurance.

In different parts of the world, health insurance is always handled differently, and that is largely because of the ways that different nations and regions choose to approach health insurance from the onset. Priorities are different in different parts of the world, but the one constant is the sheer importance (acknowledged or not) of understanding and adequately treating and responding to our health. These days, health insurance is more important than ever, but why exactly is that?

The importance of health insurance in general

Our health has always been our greatest gift. This is definitive, the surest and truest fact there is. Over the years, we have become more and more aware of all things health. It is an awareness that has come hand in hand with the steadily increasing numbers of individuals who suffer with various health issues. The more aware we become, the more experience we gain, the more important health insurance becomes. Why? Because health insurance is the protective and preserving structure we have in place to help when it is needed. As individuals, health insurance is of course important, but there are some circumstances where health insurance becomes even more important (if that were even possible).

The importance of health insurance for families

Health insurance policies for families, for instance, are on a whole other level. Here’s why: individuals without children often have more financial income to go towards emergency care should they need it. It is no secret that having children costs more money than simply paying your own way through life. So, there is less savings (in most cases) to go towards unforeseen costs (including medical care, of course). This is precisely why is so important that health insurance is available and affordable for families. It does not matter if the family unit is one that is made up of two parents or a single parent; if you need access to health insurance for yourself or your children, it (literally) pays to have the best health insurance cover possible.

The ongoing moves improving health insurance

More and more often, people are finding that their priorities are shifting as the current era we are navigating continues to flourish and thrive, evolving from one age to the next. Health insurance is more of a priority than ever, especially for families. Now, going forward, health insurance will hopefully continue to be improved and made more affordable and more readily available not only for families, but for everyone. Today, we are seeing more emphasis on the values of health insurance (if you want to know more about iSelect private insurances, for example, you can look online), and tomorrow, that emphasis will only continue to grow.

Is Academic Performance Affected by Sleep?

Sleep.jpgSleeping 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. 

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