Getting enough sleep is one of the most important things for humans, especially college students.

Mien Le, Columnist

I don’t need to be a therapist to talk about sleep. Growing up doesn’t mean we work so hard and don’t need five to six hours of sleep. In fact, sleeping helps students a lot with many great benefits. But first, we have to admit that we don’t really pay attention to the quality of our sleep every night.

There are a ton of reasons why college students cannot fall asleep—some of their own choosing, and some from trying to meet class and school requirements.

Most of us are attracted to YouTube, Instagram, Snapchat and many kinds of funny things on social media. When college students go to bed they turn on their phones and see their friend’s story on Instagram. As a result, their eyes stick on the phone screen. And ta-da, they stay up late until 2 a.m. surfing from Instagram to Snapchat and after that, they sleep until 8 a.m. Students actually sleep for six hours, because they need to go to class. In many cases, they skip class to sleep more. It is an example of students making their own choices.

In addition, stress is a popular cause which makes it hard for college students to fall asleep. They reduce the amount of sleeping time to finish their homework assignments, meet deadlines, prepare for  quizzes and do a lot of different things beyond schoolwork.

Moreover, registering for classes is a factor that can affect whether students get enough sleep or not. If they can register for classes which will start at 10 a.m., they can have time to sleep if they stay up late the night before. But, if they cannot, they may have to wake up at least at 7:30 a.m. to prepare to go to class. As a result, not getting enough sleep is the issue they face every day. It stems from meeting class and school requirements.

“I think stress from exam or homework that makes students not get enough sleep,” exchange student Melanie Rose said. “We also want to do so many things in a day, therefore we go to bed as late as possible to finish them.”

In fact, lack of sleep makes our physical and mental health worse.

It can affect your ability to think and to remember and process information. You cannot remember many things exactly, which negatively affects your studies. In addition, it can make you feel moody, and you can become more likely to have conflicts with others. It means you can have serious and stressful conversations with your parents or your friends, and even your roommates. As a result, you may break your relationships with others around you, just because you don’t get enough sleep. Moreover, lack of sleep may reduce the quality of students’ life. You may become less likely to participate in normal daily activities or to exercise.

So, what are the benefits if you get enough sleep? I have to say the advantages of sleep are amazing. It helps you to reduce the risk of obesity or gaining weight because it improves calorie regulation better. Moreover, it also provides a stronger immune system. A piece of happy news for Hamline students who are athletes is that getting enough sleep can improve athletic performance such as quick bodily healing, more energy and faster speed. Another amazing benefit of sleep is helping students develop social and emotional intelligence as well as preventing depression. It means you not only improve your mood, but you also help others to be happy and avoid depression.

“Your attention span is better, and you can get less stress if you have enough sleep,” sophomore Annika Roe told me. “My dad told me that it would make your IQ higher.”

So, what should we do to get eight hours of sleep? I would say establishing a regular, relaxing bedtime routine. We are mature enough to be aware of our sleeping time. Therefore, set a certain time and be strict with yourself to go to sleep on time. Limiting daytime naps to 30 minutes and exercising to promote good quality sleep are also good solutions.

“Students should study more continually instead of last-minute cramming,” junior Caleb Rosenthal said. “I also believe that proper intake of caffeine and a sleep schedule is imperative.”

Don’t wait until your health becomes worse because of a lack of sleep. Dare to sleep to be a better version of yourself.