Culture, Health

The Relationship Between Sleep and Academic Performance

Nmesoma Okwudili


April 4, 2023

Humans sleep for a variety of reasons, including exhaustion, emotional stress, illness, and rest. Whatever reason one chooses to sleep, it is critical to remember that sleep is a necessity, not an indulgence. 

Sleep, as an essential part of life, improves mental, emotional, and physical health while balancing our daily activities. However, chronic sleep deprivation reduces our quality of life and endangers our health. According to Oswald’s restoration theory, the energy used during the day is restored at night through sleep. Sleeping allows the brain to recover and aids in necessary body repair. Several studies have shown that when people are taught a task and then sleep deprived, they struggle to remember it later. We process information, integrate memories, and engage in several maintenance processes while sleeping that allow us to function effectively during the day.

Sleep is also important in promoting academic success. It is based on stimulating memory and cognition, which aids in habitual learning, recharges our physical and mental batteries, and promotes healthy daily functioning in general.

Sleep may be the least important thing on a college student’s list, given their often hectic schedules and juggling academic activities such as schoolwork, extracurricular activities, and social life. As a result, a significant number of students do not get the recommended amount of sleep. Students, particularly college students, should get seven to nine hours of sleep per night. Students who get less than seven to nine hours of sleep per night are more likely to perform poorly in school than those who get the recommended seven to nine hours.

Consequences of Sleep Deprivation 

Poor cognition and attention are two of the consequences of sleep deprivation. Several studies on sleep deprivation have found that sleep deprivation not only causes fatigue but also impairs cognitive performance. According to experts, an individual awake for approximately seventeen hours has the same cognitive performance as someone with a blood alcohol concentration of 0.05%. It has also been demonstrated in non-laboratory studies that diligently poor sleepers have increased sleepiness, exhaustion, and penurious cognition when compared to diligently good sleepers.

Ferra and Genaro’s research also found a link between sleep deprivation and poor academic performance. Students who are constantly sleep-deprived may perform better in terms of learning skills such as attention, problem-solving tasks, and retentive memory.

According to experts, new evidence suggests that attempting to make up for a lack of sleep by sleeping more on weekends alters the brain’s structure, potentially influencing emotional control and academic performance.

How to Make Your Sleeping Habit Better 
  • Make a daily schedule that allows you to get nine to seven hours of sleep per night.
  • To help you fall asleep quickly, keep your room cool and dark.
  • Limit your screen time.
  • Allow your body to sleep enough.
  • Avoid eating large meals right before going to bed.
  • Limit long naps during the day.
  • Maintain a consistent sleep and waking schedule every day.
  • Schedule time for daily exercise.
  • Read every day, not just before exams.

The brain requires time to rest and rebuild. It gradually loses its ability to function at an optimal level due to a lack of sleep. Longer sleep duration, consistent sleep quality, and excellent sleep quality all unquestionably lead to improved academic performance. Sleep can help to strengthen neurological connections that would otherwise deteriorate. As a result, a consistent sleeping pattern should be used. Specifically by students to allow the brain and other organs in the body to develop, repair themselves, and form vitally important connections that aid in learning.

Sources 1#:~:text=Sleep%20and%20school%20achievements,poor%20academic%20achievement%20%5B24%5D.

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