5 reasons Sleep is the BEST!

Although sleep is absolutely necessary, many people have a love-hate relationship with it. In fact, it isn’t uncommon to hear students say, “I’ll sleep when I’m dead.” That viewpoint may help you cram in deadlines and parties, but it’s definitely not doing you any favours in the long run or even the short term.

Here are our top 5 reasons we think sleep is the best, and why it can be your best ally as a student!

1. Sleep stops you getting ill
Even a small loss of sleep has been shown to impair immune function (24). One large two-week study monitored the development of the common cold after giving people nasal drops with the cold virus (25). They found that those who slept less than seven hours were almost three times more likely to develop a cold than those who slept eight hours or more. If you often get colds, ensuring that you get at least eight hours of sleep per night could be very helpful. Eating more garlic can help as well.

2. You will be a better student

Sleep is important for various aspects of brain function. This includes cognition, concentration, productivity and performance (7). All of these are negatively affected by sleep deprivation.

A study on medical interns provides a good example. Interns on a traditional schedule with extended work hours of more than 24 hours made 36% more serious medical errors than interns on a schedule that allowed more sleep (8).
Another study found that short sleep can negatively impact some aspects of brain function to a similar degree as alcohol intoxication (9).
On the other hand, good sleep has been shown to improve problem-solving skills and enhance memory performance of both children and adults (10, 11, 12). Pretty crucial as student to be in top brain capacity!

3. It’ll help you remember your presentations and exam answers!

If you have a big test or presentation tomorrow, the absolute best thing you can do for yourself is to get a good night’s sleep. This is because researchers have determined that there is a strong link between sleep and cognitive performance. When you don’t get enough sleep, your brain will experience reduced blood flow. As a result, your cognitive speed, attention to detail, memory retention and recall, decision-making skills, and emotional intelligence will all begin to plummet.
Even if you sleep a solid eight hours tonight, these issues will begin to show up approximately 16 hours after you wake up. This helps highlight just how bad of an idea it is to pull an all-nighter.

4. Napping is cool

Studies by NASA and Dr. Sara C. Mednick have found that naps serve another vital function in our overall sleep needs. In fact, if you take a nap of at least 26 minutes between 1 and 4 p.m., you’ll experience a productivity boost of up to 34 percent. When you consider the impact that productivity levels can have on everything from your job performance to completing personal tasks, it becomes easy to see why everyone should be given a nap break during the day.
You may not be able to get your employer to sanction this idea, but consider using part of your lunch break to help you catch a few extra ZZZs.

5. Sleeping is like your brain’s daily shower

While we sleep — and only while we sleep — our brains are literally flushed with fluid in order to remove waste products that build up throughout the day. These substances include beta-amyloid plaques which are infamously implicated in the development of neurodegenerative disorders, such as Alzheimer’s. [13]
This cerebrospinal fluid only performs this flushing action while the brain is asleep, with barely any entering the brain tissue while we are awake. This is why many sleep experts believe this cleaning function is the primary purpose of sleep.


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