Students should sleep more, use less caffeine

By By Gina Lea Nickl

By Gina Lea Nickl

NoDoze, coffee, energy drinks and caffeinated sodas are a part of many college students’ educational experience. More and more students are getting less sleep. This seems like an obvious problem8212;it isn’t hard to find tired students on campus. It is not unheard of to see someone dozing in class, on a bench or on the grass.

A study done in 2006 by Pamela Thacher at St. Lawrence University found that two-thirds of students had pulled all-nighters.

It is recommended that a person get six to 10 hours of sleep. With schedules filled with school, work, studying and socializing, it is hard to find time to get enough sleep.

With sleep being one of the main contributing factors that keep our bodies functioning, it is hard to see so many people not getting enough.
Being tired isn’t the only side effect of not getting enough sleep. says constant lack of sleep puts serious stresses on the heart and brain, making you more at risk for seizures and heart attacks later in life.

It is obvious to point out that when your body isn’t fully rested, you don’t perform at your best. Students’ actions show that sleep is not a priority. It should be.

By our own choices we aren’t getting enough sleep. Energy drinks and caffeinated sodas make it easier for us to do more harm to ourselves. Male teenagers and people in their 20s constitute the No. 1 group consuming energy drinks.

We need to wake up to the risks that come in those little cans. Just a few of the side effects are irregular heartbeat, headaches, dehydration, tremors, mood swings and aching joints.

These companies need to inform consumers of the risks involved. Until the energy drink companies step up and warn us of the adverse side effects, we as consumers need to be cautious. Instead of turning to energy drinks, we need to re-evaluate our sleep habits.

One way to obtain better rest is to unplug from electronic devices earlier in the evening. This gives your mind and body time to wind down from the stresses of the day.

Another idea to sleep better is to exercise. This invigorates the body and mind so they run at higher performance levels during the day. But it also is tiring, so when it is time to lie down, you get deeper sleep, faster.

But because exercise does energize, don’t do it close to bedtime.

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Gina Lea Nickl