How Sleep is the Key to College Success
Sleep deprivation effects on the brain
In general sleep is seen to be important for health and wellbeing. At the end of 2016 the RAND research group launched a study into sleep deprivation effects on the brain. They determined that sleep is vital for good cognitive function. Good sleep consolidates memories helping you to remember what you have learned during the day, while a lack of sleep can impair your ability to multitask as well as to make decisions. It is also thought that a lack of sleep makes you less creative.
Sleep deprivation and academic performance research
A number of studies have been done into the effects of sleep deprivation on students, all of which found a correlation between poor sleep and poor attainment. Kelly & Colleagues, in 2001 found that “people who slept 9 hours or more in a 24-hour period had significantly higher GPA’s than short sleepers who sleep 6 hours or less in a 24-hour period. These short sleepers also tended to show signs of anxiousness, were less creative, more neurotic, and more prone to hallucinate as well.”
This underlines the importance of sleep for students
From the results of this research it’s clear that sleep deprivation in college students is a real issue, perhaps preventing them from achieving all that they are capable of. However, with levels of stress and the excitement of being away from home for perhaps the first time, mixed with the social pressures of college life, it is easy to see why students may struggle to sleep.
When we begin to understand how sleep affects school performance we see why it’s so important that our children take steps to address this issue before it has an effect on their future.
So how can students maximize their sleep?
When you’re trying to combat the effect of sleep deprivation on academic performance, the best answer is to sleep more. To spend more time in bed. But when the kids are studying, socializing and potentially working too, things are not necessarily that straightforward. Instead, why not take steps to ensure that the time the children do spend in bed gives them better quality sleep?
And creating a relaxing, sleep-inducing environment in their dorm is key:
Help them create a haven in their dorm
Help them create a little oasis away from the stresses of campus life. You may not be able to repaint, but by adding relaxing pictures, rugs, cushions, candles and plants you can create a haven for your college freshman. Don’t underestimate the effect that a calming room can have on their ability to fall asleep quickly.
Invest in a college mattress pad
With tens, if not hundreds, of previous incumbents, dorm room furniture can often be a little uncomfortable. If the bed feels lumpy, or is nothing more than a slab of foam, why not treat them to a college mattress pad? Placed on top of the mattress to create a soft, even surface, a mattress topper can work wonders to make even the hardest of beds into a cozy nest.
The best mattress pad for a college dorm bed will be one that is not too thick for easy transit but provides the right level of comfort. Wool mattress toppers are naturally resistant to dust mites and spores meaning that no matter how infrequently you clean them (!) they’ll remain allergy-friendly.
What’s the best college dorm bedding?
We all know students are notorious for leaving the bed sheets on until they can practically get up and walk away by themselves, so it stands to reason that the best dorm bedding is low maintenance.
Choosing the best comforters for college dorms
Living in dorm rooms, perhaps even sharing a room means they’ll have very little control over the temperature of their nighttime environment. If they usually struggle to sleep when it’s too hot or too cold, why not choose a comforter that can help to regulate body temperature? Wool comforters can do just that thanks to wool’s natural ability to take moisture from the surface of your skin and desorbing it leaving you dry and comfortable for sleep. And don’t worry – you can wash them easily too.
What’s the best college dorm bedding?
By choosing a natural wool mattress topper and comforter the bed will stay hygienic, free from dust mites causing nighttime allergies, and at a comfortable temperature. Don’t then ruin it by choosing synthetic bedding. Opting for breathable, easy-care cotton will allow the skin to breathe and will not interfere with wool’s scientifically proven sleep-increasing qualities.
Combatting sleep deprivation in college students
When you learn how sleep deprivation affects the brain it’s not difficult to see the importance of sleep for students both in terms of their attainment but also their general health.
If you’re looking for ways to counter the effects and increase the amount and quality of sleep the kids are getting, make sure you choose the best dorm bedding you can. Make sure your college student doesn’t learn first hand the effects of sleep deprivation on academic performance.
If you are looking for more ideas about how to sleep better at night naturally, visit our Sleep Health & Advice hub.