Physical Health Sleep

Sleep: A Necessity

We all have faint memories of our preschool era. It was a truly carefree time filled with arts and crafts, recess, snack time, and perhaps the most wonderful of all—nap time. Admittedly, many of us took this hour in our day for granted back then when we “had” to take a nap and would much rather have spent the time finding bugs or building sandcastles. However, given the opportunity to reinstate this lost form of relaxation, many a college student would do it in a heartbeat.

Naps, and sleep in general, are important throughout one’s life, not just in youth and adolescence. While our growth rate may level off, our bodies still use sleep as a time to restore structural damage and fight off infections. The athletes among us will testify that following a particularly grueling workout, their bodies can be incredibly sore. A very easy remedy to fix this delayed onset muscle soreness is to ice the area and sleep. When your body rests, it focuses more of your stored energy on fixing itself than when you’re awake (which costs a lot of energy, as you might imagine), and this will often result in decreased soreness. For us normal people, the same effect will be realized without the drastic change; we just notice being less tired (imagine that!).

One widespread phenomenon across college campuses (Berkeley, in particular) is the use of all-nighters to prepare for tests. These may work on sparsely for one-time occasions, but repeated use throughout a week or longer will have disastrous consequences. With your body forced to stay up all the time, it won’t have the resources available to fight off simple infections, so pathogens lying dormant inside you will enter the fray, or new strangers will start to attack. This would make testing so much worse than professors can ever dream to.

So, if it’s 4:00 in the morning and you are studying for that midterm that’s coming up, do your body and the five-year-old in you a favor—go to bed.

Article by Robert Potter

Feature Image Source: Independent