Staff editorial: Give your body a rest, sleep more

In college, it’s an ongoing battle between sleeping, working, studying and partying- and it feels like there are not enough hours in the day. As we spend our nights studying for finals and writing papers, staying up late watching TV or partying in the Grove, we make sleep our last priority and unfortunately develop bad sleeping habits.

We’re all aware that we should be getting an average of eight hours of sleep every night, and it’s common sense that we can’t do our best work when we’re sleep deprived.

Let’s be realistic: Bags under the eyes and incessant yawning are not attractive. And how long can you really rely on NoDoz, caffeine and other stimulants?

To most students, all-nighters seem to be the most effective way to succeed in school. But a psychology professor from St. Lawrence University in Canton, N.Y. studied the sleeping patterns and transcripts of 111 students to see the association between sleep and their GPAs. He found that if you pull all-nighters, your GPA is slightly lower than those students who get their recommended hours of nightly sleep.

Sleep deprivation not only reduces alertness, but also impairs your memory and ability to process information. According to WebMD, reducing our nighttime sleep by even just 90 minutes can drastically reduce our daytime alertness by as much as 32 percent.

When you reach the point where lack of sleep is negatively impacting your grades and is affecting your performance in the classroom, try to set a routine bedtime for yourself.

Some of the best ways to get the right amount of sleep are by exercising and taking daily naps. Studies have shown that exercising during the day, which releases tension and anxiety, will make falling asleep at night easier. Not to mention, taking a 30-minute nap before 3 p.m. can re-energize your body and improve your mental well-being.

So, do yourself a huge favor and give your body the rest it needs. Not only will your body thank you, but your brain might surprise you too.

Editorials represent the majority view of The Miami Hurricane editorial board.