OP/ED: Stress, Study, Sleep

OP/ED: Stress, Study, Sleep

Just like lack of sleep or too much sleep, stress affects the way a student learns and the way they perform in class.

Sleep isn’t a word in every college students vocabulary, but stress definitely is.

According to wedmd.com “stress is the body’s reaction to any change that requires an adjustment or response. The body reacts to these changes with physical, mental, and emotional responses.”

There is change that happens in the lives of college students every day: more course work, harder course work or a change of environment. Students deal with multiple classes, different course work and to commit a lot of our time to school work.

Nearly Forty-three percent of all adults suffer adverse health effects from stress. Seventy-five percent to 90 percent of all doctor’s office visits are for stress-related ailments and complaints, says WebMD. Stress can also play a part in problems such as headaches, high blood pressure, heart problems, diabetes, skin conditions, asthma, arthritis, depression, and anxiety.

Students who are stressed have problems when they are in class. From personal experience, when I am in class but I’m stressed, I tend to not pay attention and give as much as I normally do. If I have something that is stressing me out such as other school work I don’t pay attention in class which makes me fall behind in that course work, which adds to my stress level.

According to mayoclinic.com, the top ten stress relievers is to get active, meditate, laugh, have social contact, assert yourself, do yoga, sleep, write in a journal, get musical and seek counseling.

  • Active: physical activity pumps up your feel-good endorphins and refocuses your mind on your body’s movements; improving your mood and helping the day’s irritations fade away, says mayoclinic.com.Think about walking, jogging, gardening, house cleaning, biking, swimming, weightlifting or anything else that gets your body active.
  • Meditate: meditation gives you a sense of calm, peace and balance that helps both your emotional well-being and your overall health.
  • Laugh: laughter fires up and then cools-down your stress response and it increases your heart rate and blood pressure; this gives you a happy feeling.
  • Social connect: having social connect instead of wrapping yourself in a cocoon when you are stressed will help you make feel better.
  • Assert Yourself: learn how to say no to some things because saying yes to every favor everyone asks you may lead you to have a very stressful life.
  • Yoga: slow pace and easy movement yoga is a change of pace of the fast stressful life some may lead, so take your time and relax by doing yoga.
  • Sleep: sleep is the time when your body and brain recharges and de- stresses so give your body a routine time to rest.
  • Journal: writing out your thoughts is a great way to vent out without feeling like you are bothering other people. Don’t think about what you have to write — just let it happen.
  • Get musical: listening or playing music is a good stress reliever because it offers a mental distraction, reduces muscle tension and decreases stress hormones. Raise the volume on your iPod and float away in the lyrics.
  • Seek counsel: if stress leaves you feeling trapped then professional therapy or counseling would be the best way to go. Professionals will be able identify your stress source and help you learn new cooping tools.

De-stressing will help you get through college a lot easier and so will the right amount of sleep.

According to sleepfoundation.org, it is recommended to have seven to nine hours of sleep as an adult a night. Students who get six hours of sleep consider themselves lucky. Early morning classes, late night study sessions and simply not being comfortable stop most college students from sleeping and having a normal sleeping pattern.

Sleep is vital for a person to lead a productive day. Students go to class almost every day out of the week besides Saturday and Sunday usually, but it is very important to find time to sleep.

Deprivation of sleep leads to “increased risk of motor vehicle accidents, increase in body mass index – a greater likelihood of obesity due to an increased appetite caused by sleep deprivation, increased risk of diabetes and heart problems, increased risk for psychiatric conditions including depression and substance abuse and decreased ability to pay attention, react to signals or remember new information,” states The Sleep Foundation. Sleep is very important to the human body especially if you are expected to absorb new information after every class.

I’m pretty sure professors’ deal with the same problems, but at the end of the semester, they are the people who give us grades, not vice versa, so it is essential to give our bodies rest to be able to earn these good grades we all look for.

Put down the books after 11 p.m. if you have an 8:30 a.m. class, shut off the television and the video games and GO TO SLEEP. Most students have a problem doing this because it is easy to get distracted at night time when you are not tired from either music, computers, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, texting. Stop depriving your body from what it really needs, and get some rest.

If you have a class at 2:50 p.m. or 11:40 a.m., don’t wake up late and go to sleep late because it messes up your sleeping pattern for the rest of the week. Make your day productive and don’t sleep in late either. Get the essential hours you need and don’t overdo it.

Sleeping more hours than your body needs may also harm your body. There isn’t any scientific proof yet but scientists say that sleeping too much is associated with illness, accidents and mortality.

“Currently, there is no strong evidence that sleeping too much has detrimental health consequences, or even evidence that our bodies will allow us to sleep much beyond what is required,” says Kristen L. Knutson, PhD, Department of Health Studies, University of Chicago. “There is laboratory evidence that short sleep durations of four to five hours have negative physiological and neurobehavioral consequences. We need similar laboratory and intervention studies to determine whether long sleep durations (if they can be obtained) result in physiological changes that could lead to disease before we make any recommendations against sleep extension.”

Even though there isn’t proof that a lengthy sleep affects our bodies, from personal experience I think it does. I sleep like a hibernating bear during the weekends and I hate getting up early any day of the week but I noticed that when I do sleep in late during the weekends I tend to be very tired and weary all day. Then during the night, I become energized and don’t go back to sleep until three or four in the morning. This is a huge problem that I am dealing with myself. At first, it was the new atmosphere that I was sleeping in, then it was the noise in my hallway but now it has become a pattern and it is problem.

Remember, rest your body and your mind, and your stress levels will fade away.