When discussing the matter of sleeping and its benefits, it is known that many people lack what is needed for a typical healthy lifestyle.The amount of sleep you get in one cycle typically affects your mental, physical and spiritual health for the next day to the next several days. Upon talking with several different faculty members, one fact became extremely clear: sleep is essential in several ways for everyone.
One topic that came up was the need for sleep for academic purposes. While we sleep, our brains are busy storing memorized facts, organizing those facts and helping to repair our inner and outer wounds. Without sleep, our bodies are unable to do these things to our potential. We learn quicker and are able to remember information more effectively when we have had a good night’s sleep. Therefore, staying up and studying for that exam may not be the wisest decision. As Fern Smith Hall’s Resident Director Natalie Wheeler puts it, sleep “helps us maintain a healthy brain, which then leads to a good, successful day.”
Sleep also helps with keeping our bodily health in check. In fact, sleep deprivation can lead to several serious health defects. Most young adults need 9-10 hours of sleep at night. When we do not get those hours towards rest, it is proven that it can lead to heart disease and dementia, which can have several serious implications on a human being’s life. Though it may be fun to stay up late talking to your roommate, lack of sleep is often a great contender in younger aged deaths.
What happens if one gets good sleep? Oftentimes, if you get good rest with the right number of hours, you may experience improved moods, grades and friendships. Without sleep, you may be slow to react to things, act moody throughout the day and feel groggy. As college students and professors, it can be extremely hard to get the necessary amount of sleep in a day, whether that be weekend or weekday.
Sleep also affects us spiritually. Pastor Tim Breen, who also teaches here at NW, said that “our bodies are the temples of God’s spirit… without rest we cannot have the understanding that God is in control.”
Though sleep and rest are such an important piece of our lives, the act of it looks different to different people. Some people don’t need as much sleep as others may need. Along with that, different people rest in different ways. Wheeler said that she rests by taking the beloved dorm dog, Oakley, out for walks later at night. She then returns and sometimes journals. “It slows me down,” she continued, “which enables me to have a good night’s rest.”
Breen mentioned a similar motion but continued more in depth on resting during the daytime. “I like to spend time outdoors,” said Breen. “It helps me try for eight hours of sleep a night.”
Suzanne Haverdink from the Wellness Center, has been working to give insightful tips on how to achieve a good state of rest to students. She said to avoid drinking caffeine late at night and to be wary of how we eat during the day. She also mentioned how we should stay consistent in our bedtime routines. Furthermore, she concluded that exercise typically induces a better sleep schedule.
Whatever you do before sleeping, it is important that it helps you to get good rest. With fall break right around the corner, it is extremely important that we respect our bodies and give it the rest it deserves.