Time to sleep

Sleep deprivation is a major problem among college students. A 2001 study revealed that 11% of college students have good sleep quality while 73% have sleep problems. Sleep deprivation in students has been linked to lower GPAs because sleep affects concentration, memory and the ability to learn.

If you are like most of us, your sleep might be suffering during the COVID-19 emergency. Stress and anxiety are taking a toll on our daily routines, including our sleep patterns. But according to Dr. Suzanne Bertish, a contributor to Harvard Health magazine, despite the threat of the coronavirus and its rapid and pervasive disruption to our daily lives, many of us are in a position to control our behaviors and dampen the impact of the emerging pandemic on our sleep.

Here are some of Dr. Bertish suggestions to develop better sleep behaviors:

During day-time

  • Keep a consistent routine
  • Get some natural sun light
  • Exercise during the day

During night-time

  • Have a blackout of news and electronics
  • Minimize alcohol intake
  • Set a regular bedtime schedule

When it comes to sleep, it’s also very important to focus both on quality and quantity. According to guidelines suggested by the National Sleep Foundation, the 18-25-years age group should be aiming to sleep between seven and nine hours per day. Here’s the full list of sleep-time recommendations:

  • Newborns (0-3 months): Sleep range narrowed to 14-17 hours each day (previously it was 12-18)
  • Infants (4-11 months): Sleep range widened two hours to 12-15 hours (previously it was 14-15)
  • Toddlers (1-2 years): Sleep range widened by one hour to 11-14 hours (previously it was 12-14)
  • Preschoolers (3-5): Sleep range widened by one hour to 10-13 hours (previously it was 11-13)
  • School age children (6-13): Sleep range widened by one hour to 9-11 hours (previously it was 10-11)
  • Teenagers (14-17): Sleep range widened by one hour to 8-10 hours (previously it was 8.5-9.5)
  • Younger adults (18-25): Sleep range is 7-9 hours (new age category)
  • Adults (26-64): Sleep range did not change and remains 7-9 hours
  • Older adults (65+): Sleep range is 7-8 hours (new age category)

Watch the following TED Ed video for an explanation of the benefits of a good night’s sleep and the effects of sleep on your cognitive abilities: