By Alison Malawey
When you type “how important” into Google search, the second option on the list that pops up is “how important is sleep.” How important is sleep? Are you getting enough of it?
As a college student, it seems like these are questions you should know the answer to.
Sleep is as necessary for the human body as food and water. Getting enough sleep can help protect your mental health, physical health, quality of life and safety.
I once was so tired while driving home to Lawton from Norman that I fell asleep for just a few seconds and missed the off ramp for the Pikepass.
I was extremely fortunate that the only inconvenience for me was that I didn’t have enough change for the automatic teller.
According to Healthline, it’s pretty rare for someone to die of sleep deprivation, but the longer you go without sleep, the more likely you risk getting yourself into a dangerous accident. Going without sleep for prolonged periods of time is stressful to your body, and we all know that stress can be a silent killer.
Stress can lead to problems such as headaches, depression, high blood pressure, a weakened immune system and an increased risk of heart attack just to name a few.
You might want to rethink that all nighter spent studying. Lack of sleep can affect cognitive function and development.
While you might be thinking you are preparing yourself for a test or presentation, you are actually slowing the function of your brain.
Does that sound like something you need for your big test or a day of learning? Alternatively, too much sleep is just as bad for you.
A 2014 study by a team at Paris Descartes University linked too much sleep with obesity, depression, high blood pressure and Type 2 diabetes.
Oversleeping can lead to higher risk of heart disease which is the leading cause of death for women in the United States. Studies show that women need more sleep than men. Not only do women often have busier schedules than men, but also women are just made differently than men.
So how much is enough?
Most experts suggest between seven and nine hours of sleep a night for the average adult depending on different variables, a couple of which being age and gender.
The Functional Medical Institute with Drs. Mark & Michele Sherwood proposes that it’s not the amount of sleep you get, but the intervals of time you get. They say a sleep cycle lasts for 90 minutes and suggest that waking up at the end of a sleep cycle is how to feel the most rested.
Going off what they suggest, getting multiples of 90 minutes, such as six hours, seven and a half hours, nine hours, is better than getting a full eight hours of sleep.
If you have problems sleeping, something that might help is keeping a sleep journal. Logging when you fall asleep and when you wake up will keep you more conscious of what your sleep pattern is and, therefore, make it much easier to alter it.
Keeping a sleep journal may seem tedious, but you can record your dreams and make it a dream journal too.
Stephenie Meyer made her fame and fortune off a dream.
If you are familiar with “Twilight,” which who isn’t, the famous meadow scene in which Edward takes Bella to his favorite spot, a meadow, and reveals to her how he sparkles in the sun came from a dream that Meyer had which she wrote about and expanded on.
As someone who has very vivid dreams, I only hope to make as much money from them one day as Stephenie Meyer does.
My advice to you: get your dream on.
Catch those Zs. Stay well rested.
There is such thing as too much of a good time. Try not to overdo it.
How you sleep deserves just as much attention as trying to eat healthy or stay hydrated.