Thompson Rivers University

The Wonderful World of Sleep

October 22, 2012

Did you know, an estimated 3.3 million Canadians age 15 or older have problems getting enough sleep?

You may be thinking, “So what? I don’t need to sleep, I’ll just drink coffee.” Well the truth is you do need to sleep in order to function properly and no amount of coffee can help you with that. Lack of sleep can affect the immune system and in serious cases can lead to health problems such as heart disease, stroke, diabetes, obesity and depression.

Still worth that cup of coffee?

Although these health problems are not common strictly due to lack of sleep, immediate adverse effects of lack of sleep include daytime fatigue and sleepiness, impaired memory, mood and sexuality. Researchers at the University of Chicago discovered that sleep loss could reduce the body’s ability to regulate hormones that control hunger, subsequently resulting in weight gain over long periods of time.

As university students, we are under a lot of pressure to maintain our academics, work and have a decent social life. We tend to tell ourselves that we can accomplish more in a day if we cut out a few hours of sleep, but those few hours can affect our performance the next day and even beyond.

Napping can be beneficial if one is experiencing daytime fatigue and low productivity due to exhaustion. According to the National Sleep Foundation, “While naps do not necessarily make up for inadequate or poor quality night-time sleep, a short nap of 20-30 minutes can help to improve mood, alertness and performance.” Below are a few types of naps that one can experience and may find to be beneficial:

Happy Sleeping!


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