Sleep and study

Emily Melynn Alexander considers how lack of sleep can impact on the lives of teens and young adults: can they study effectively without it?

We all need sleep

When you’re a student, it’s easy to think you can survive without sleep. After all, you’ve got far too much studying to do than worry about getting the right number of hours in bed each night. However, the truth is that lack of sleep can cause serious problems for students if not addressed quickly enough.

No one can survive without sleep. When we go to bed at night, we recover from the day’s events, ensuring that we have enough energy to manage what comes next. Sleep also helps to turn what we learn into long-term memories, as well as enhancing the immune system. If you’re not getting enough sleep because of your hectic study schedule, then you could be putting yourself at risk.


How much sleep do students need?

Depending on your age and background, you could need anywhere between seven and nine hours of sleep each night. Fail to get that amount of adequate rest, and you could suffer from more than just a grumpy attitude and bags under your eyes. Lack of sleep also puts you at risk of various chronic conditions, including heart disease, diabetes, and obesity. It can shorten your life expectancy too. Some common side effects of lost sleep include:

  • Increased blood pressure
  • Higher appetite
  • Increased feelings of stress and anxiety
  • Mood disorders
  • Diabetes
Common reasons why students don’t get enough sleep

So, how do you know if you’re getting enough sleep as a student? Generally, if you find yourself nodding off during your lectures or lessons, then you know that there’s a problem. Additionally, if you’re constantly struggling to concentrate in class, it could be because you’re not sleeping properly at night. Unfortunately, there are many things that can contribute to a bad night’s sleep for students, including:

  • The stress of schoolwork and deadlines for assignments
  • Anxiety and social worries
  • Over-exposure to caffeine
  • Changes in your sleeping schedule caused by early lectures
  • Nights without sleep caused by social media and other events

The longer you go without sleep, the worse the effects of sleeplessness become. Additionally, for students, sleeplessness can even make it difficult to succeed in their academic life. If high blood pressure, obesity, and heart disease wasn’t enough to scare you, how about the fact that your brain doesn’t work properly without adequate sleep.



Can you still learn without sleep?

The easy answer is no – not properly. While it’s clear that sleeplessness can affect your physical health, it can also have an impact on your emotional health and your academic future. For instance, when you’re sleepy, your brain starts to fog. This makes it harder for you to reach decisions or concentrate. Additionally, you might start to feel depressed, or more anxious than usual, and your risk of making mistakes on your work increases.

Sleep debt from failure to get the right number of hours of sleep can accumulate over time, harming the way that the brain functions. According to one article, the consequences of sleep deprivation can include lower grade point averages, compromised learning, and a higher risk of academic failure. Unfortunately, you can’t just make up for the sleep you lose by sleeping extra on the weekend either. Healthy sleep requires us to stick to a regular schedule each night. In addition, a good mattress can also aid you to sleep better, read more here for additional information.

Don’t get up on the wrong side of the bed

The next time you think that it’s a good idea to avoid sleep for a few extra hours when you want to fit in a bit more studying into your schedule, remember how dangerous sleeplessness can be to your health. You can’t be a good student without good sleep.


Emily Melynn Alexander is a Sleep Expert writing for  Sleep.Report.  She was born on the east coast of the USA but has called Colorado home since 2000. Emily has a degree in English and Political Science from Metropolitan State University of Denver and loves two things – sleep and travel. When she is not busy writing for, she treks and snoozes in different countries.



Feature Image: by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay

Support Image: sweetlouise from Pixabay