Sleep is exceedingly important for academic success. With too little sleep, not only will attending school be more difficult, but studying attempts will be for naught. Why is sleeping so crucial to learning? It has to do with REM.
REM Sleep and Memory
REM (rapid eye movement) sleep is a part of deep sleep that typically occurs 90 minutes after you fall asleep. During this time, the brain absorbs the information of the day, including information learned during your study periods. Sleep is a cycle that repeats throughout the night, so the longer you remain in REM sleep, the more you will retain.
Getting enough REM sleep directly affects the brain’s ability to assimilate all the information we were exposed to during the day. The brain needs an appropriate amount of sleep to correctly store our memories and newly learned information.
Not only does sleep help with retaining information, but it also facilitates clearer thinking. Missing out on sleep has an effect on how brain cells operate. Feeling tired causes a delay in brain cell communication. This delay has a direct effect on one’s reflection process. When the brain is denied a chance to rest, the effectiveness of our thinking slows in turn, and a lot more effort is therefore needed.
If you are lacking sleep, it is common for one’s judgment and the speed of decision-making processes to drop as well. This often leads to a lack of problem-solving ability. These undesirable effects make study much more challenging and nigh impossible.
Hours of Sleep Needed
How much sleep is generally required? It varies according to age. Children require 9 to 11 hours of sleep each day to reach the necessary REM cycles. A teenager needs 8 to 10 hours of sleep and an adult needs 7 to 9 hours. Ensuring that children get enough sleep is imperative to supporting their academic success.
Sleep is one of the best kept secrets to successful studying, and it is often foregone in favor of extra study time and late night sessions. With the right amount of sleep, a student will be able to remember what they have learned throughout the day. They will be able to focus, think critically, and will find problem-solving more accessible. If academic success is the ultimate goal, a quality night’s sleep should be high on the list of priorities!