Sleep is for the healthy, not the weak

By this point in the semester, you’ve probably heard the phrase that embodies every student’s day-to-day routine: sleep, study, socialize — pick two. Many of us tend to forgo sleep in favor of the others without realizing how detrimental this choice can truly be.

Sure, sleep seems the natural option to disregard. What exactly do we accomplish while doing this anyway? Quite a bit actually. In fact, sleep enhances both your studying habits and socializing skills.

Sleep has been found to improve memory. Your mind is by no means inactive while you slumber. Research has found that part of the purpose of sleep is to process data from short-term memory to long-term memory, a process known as consolidation.

In addition, declarative memories, which are long- term memories that can be consciously recalled, such as facts and events, become more cohesive and more thoroughly engrained in our minds while we sleep. This is precisely why professors urge you to get a good night’s sleep before the day of the exam. You’ll be prepared to perform optimally if you’re well rested.

Furthermore, our memories are reconstructed and reorganized and their emotional components strengthened while we slumber, resulting in greater creativity. Statistics prove that college students who fail to get enough sleep have lower grades than their peers who do get sufficient amounts of sleep.

Sleep deficiency causes a lack of attention and an inability to focus, which in turn lead to inefficient study habits and a loss of productivity. Fall behind on sleep and you’ll fall behind in your academics in no time.

The relationship between sleep and stress has been found to be inversely related — more sleep means less stress. A less stressed student is a more successful student.

A few of sleep’s benefits for studying apply to socializing as well. Less stress is a significant mood enhancer. The better your mood, the more pleasant your presence. In addition, a deficit of sleep can lead to depression, because sleep diminishes our anxiety and gives us greater emotional stability.

A healthy sleep schedule also leads to an overall healthier lifestyle which results in a healthier body. The body essentially undergoes house cleaning while you sleep — your cells produce more protein which repair damage caused by stress, sun exposure and so on. Your radiant, well-rested self will be sure to turn a few heads on campus.

Low self-esteem has been found to be a byproduct of constant fatigue. Confidence is the key to a multitude of endeavors that you will be unable to undertake if you aren’t mentally and physically up to par. You’ll be missing out on important, enjoyable opportunities if you’re suffering from a lack of sleep.

Sleep, study, socialize — pick three.