Want your study efforts to pay off? Get enough sleep

When do you go to bed? 10 pm? 11 pm? Midnight? Later?  Did you know that most students don’t get enough sleep on school nights. Perhaps your homework takes longer than you planned.  Or you need to cram for a big test. Or you’re a night owl and getting to sleep means waiting until you’re exhausted.

Early school start times don’t make it any easier. Actually, there’s a biological shift that occurs in your teenage years. You’re very sleepy in the mornings because your melatonin levels are elevated. Melatonin is the hormone that makes you sleepy.

Here are the facts. There’s a strong correlation between sleep and memory. Sleep is the #1 strategy to promote learning. The National Sleep Foundation reports teens need 8-10 hours of sleep each night.  I know that seems unrealistic, especially given course work demands. But try experimenting with better sleep habits.

Why sleep matters: while you sleep, your brain:

  • consolidates what you’re studying so that you can recall the information later
  • embeds those physical moves your body practices during the day to use later on the field, court, or in the water

Plan your sleep time. Whether you’re a college student or middle or a high school student, determine when you need to turn the lights out each night to allow your brain to do what it does best.

Make getting enough sleep Sunday night through Thursday a priority. Go to bed well before 11 pm.