Sleep: a student’s best friend

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When the dreaded 9am lecture rolls around we’ve all had the temptation to switch off our awful alarm, drift back into a lovely sleep in a cosy warm bed to think, ‘I’ll get the notes off LUVLE’. However, I’ve discovered a cure for all students, myself included, who can’t bear to be up at such a horrendously early hour. The answer is sleep. By this I don’t mean turn off the alarm and forget your lecture, I mean clock up at least seven hours rest the night before.

A good night’s sleep is amazingly beneficial. Just resist going out to town or browsing endlessly on Facebook and I am sure you will be able to face that 9.00am horror much more easily. It worked for me anyway. After getting a good nine hours of sleep I hopped out of bed singing and dancing all the way to my lecture. This may be a slight exaggeration but in all seriousness it was easier to get up.

Other than helping you drag yourself out of bed a good night of sleep has other incredible benefits. Sleep reduces stress as it helps lower blood pressure and elevated levels of stress hormones which are already a natural result of the endless assignments and coursework that we poor students have to endure. High blood pressure can produce wear and tear on your body so sleep helps to slow down these effects and encourages a state of relaxation. We’ve all seen the visible effects of a night with little sleep either on ourselves or others. I tend to look like I have played a part in a horror movie; the dark circles and the droopy eyes, not to mention the bad mood. The eight hour beauty sleep really does exist so make good use of it to prevent scaring your flat mates.

Believe it or not there are a host of health benefits that come with the package of a good night of sleep including keeping your heart healthy. Sleep reduces the constant pressure that your body is under and can also help control body weight issues. Now I’m not saying that after a good night’s sleep you will have the body of Cheryl Cole, but sleep does help to regulate the hormones that affect and control your appetite. Studies have shown that when your body is deprived of sleep the normal hormone balances are interrupted and your appetite increases. Unfortunately this increase in appetite doesn’t lead to a craving for fruits and veggies but instead your body longs for foods high in calories, fats and carbohydrates. Does anyone have the occasional midnight feast when they can’t sleep? Now you know why, resist the temptation and go back to the duvet instead.

Yes, we love a good nap but a full night’s sleep is exceedingly advantageous. Not only can it help you with early morning starts but also there are numerous health and lifestyle benefits. Sleeping well improves the quality of your day and allows you to become far more productive. So get a good eight hours tonight because sadly, those essays won’t write themselves.

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