As a swimmer here at EMU, I once sat in a mandatory lecture for Eastern’s athletes. During this lecture the speaker was talking to all of us athletes about being responsible adults.
The speaker went over the basics such as “don’t drink,” “don’t smoke,” “go to class”… the standard bits of good advice.
This guy was definitely put in a challenging position, and didn’t seem to get much applause.
While the lecture was somewhat boring, there is one story that the lecturer told that has stuck with me.
The lecturer was explaining to us that when policemen are trying to “crack” a suspect and get them to start talking, something they do to distress the suspect is to allow them to go to sleep for say 3 to 5 hours, but then they wake them up again.
This is a trick! The lecturer explained that policemen do this to, like I said, put the person in a state of distress from lack of sleep.
The lecturer then explained that the average college student gets 5-7 hours of sleep per night. “Congratulations?” he said.
If you are like most college students, chances are you’re not getting enough sleep. The preferable amount of sleep is 7-8 hours per night, or even more, but why is this important?
Without proper sleep you won’t be able to function at your best level. Good sleep is essential to being successful as well as feeling good.
In order to encourage you to get good sleep read the following reasons that sleep can improve your life!
- Strengthen the immune system and curb inflammation
According to a study conducted by the University of Texas Sleep Center, people who regularly get 8 hours of sleep every night have a stronger immune system and lower blood pressure than those who sleep 6 hours or less a night.
It’s not that sleep directly makes the immune stronger, but regular, adequate sleep keeps your immune system primed for attack!
“Sleeping Beauties” are also less likely to experience depression and they are more likely to have lower stress levels. This is because emotional stability is correlated with good sleep!
So, if you are wondering why you tend to feel a bit blue and sad, maybe you should ask yourself how many hours of sleep you are getting per night?
- Strengthen Your Memory – “Tired minds don’t sleep well. Sleep first, plan later.” – Walter Reisch
People tend to remember things better the next day. According to a study done by the University of Texas Memory Medic, good sleep is like a shield of protection against disruptive interfering experiences that are inevitable during wakefulness.
In other words, sleep help you maintain your memories, and arrange memories according to their relative importance, the person’s expectations, and what people need to remember.
- Spur Creativity – “The future is shaped by our dreams, so stop wasting time and go to sleep!” – Anonymous
Isn’t it ironic that you can lay in bed all night stressing about ideas for your class project when what you really need to do is go to sleep?
Sleeping is untying your left side of the brain. This side of your brain is responsible for imagination, music, insights, intuition and creativity.
The left side is constantly working hard even when you are not, and even when you are sleeping it is responsible for your dreams.
o, give it some rest if you want to use it properly!
- Better Athletic Performances
A Stanford University study found that college football players who tried to sleep at least 10 hours a night for seven to eight weeks improved their average sprint time and had less daytime fatigue and more stamina.
Not trying to throw anyone under the bus; but, hey eagles! How much sleep are you getting?! MAC is waiting for us to conquer it!
- Better Grades
It’s very simple! More sleep equals feeling more awake and less tiredness!
Less tiredness equals more focus in school and better performance throughout the day. We already said that sleeping unwinds the brain, spurs creativity, and protects your memory – all good things for a student!
If that still doesn’t convince you to sleep more, you should also know that enough sleep sharpens attention as well. Each of these gives you the opportunity to improve your grades!
- Helps Maintain a Healthy Weight
Besides the obvious fact that you cannot eat when you are sleeping (unless you are a creepy sleepwalker), a research study conducted by the University of Chicago, shows that people are more hungry when they are tired, because they need to fuel their body with an energy source.
“Sleep and metabolism are controlled by the same sectors of the brain,” Dr. Rapoport says in the study. “When you are sleepy, certain hormones go up in your blood, and those same hormones drive appetite.” Rapoport said.
Nevertheless, good sleep increase your metabolism and helps with weight balance.
- Better Driving
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, Drowsy driving was responsible for 72,000 crashes, 44,000 injuries, and 800 deaths in 2013.
Can you imagine?! 6,000 fatal crashes each year may be caused by sleepy drivers. That’s ridiculous!
If getting proper sleep can help save lives, sign me up!
Overall, good sleep holds the key to several different aspects of obtaining good health in our lives. Although a well night’s rest may seem daunting, it really is simple. Make new habits, get to bed early, visit Snow Health Center, drink some warm tea- whatever you need to do to get good sleep.
And just remember Eagles, don’t give up on your dreams, and GET TO SLEEP!
Michal Liberman is an swimmer at EMU. She is a junior, majoring in public relations. Michal is from Israel originally, works part time in the EMU Division of Communications, and is featured in EMU’s #YouAreWelcomeHere banner campaign.