Raggedy REM: Why Good Sleep Matters

Photo posted by @daniellasdigest on Instagram

It’s nearing midnight, and you still have to tackle a mound of schoolwork before your 9 a.m. class. Do you stay up into the early hours of the morning to stay on track with school, or do you compromise your academic performance to get a good night’s sleep? This is a dilemma that many college students face on a daily basis. Although it might be tempting to sacrifice your slumber in an effort to cross off the tasks on your to-do list, VALLEY is here to tell you why it might be best to get your beauty rest.

Life presents many obstacles that make it difficult to maintain a regular sleep schedule, but there are many benefits to going to bed and waking up at the same time each day. The human body operates according to a circadian rhythm, which is essentially the body’s internal clock. Have you ever noticed that your alarm clock displays the wrong time after its usual function is disrupted by a power outage or another irregularity? The human body’s internal clock operates in a similar way. If you “set” your internal clock to a regular circadian rhythm, it will function properly as long as you avoid disruptions like pulling an all-nighter to study for your exam the next morning. If your circadian rhythm is regularly disrupted, you could be causing severe damage to your mind and body.

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A regular circadian rhythm can contribute to better-quality rest, lower risk of heart disease, higher metabolism and better overall brain function. As a result of better overall brain function and stability, individuals can experience improved learning, easier decision-making, better emotional well-being and increased overall performance as compared to those that receive less or lower-quality sleep. Furthermore, there are countless physical benefits that result from regular, quality sleep. In addition to lowered risk of heart disease and higher metabolism levels, those sweet slumbers allow for better immune function, proper hormone production and healthier body composition.

Photo posted by @daniellasdigest on Instagram

Though it’s true that all individuals can benefit from regulating their circadian rhythms and getting better-quality sleep, it can be daunting to figure out what an ideal sleep schedule might look like for you. Biological factors such as age, gender, and chronotype—whether you are a “night owl” or a “morning person”—can determine many of your personal sleep needs. In addition, factors like job demands, class schedule and other external factors can contribute to the process of crafting a proper sleep schedule. Through trial and error, you are sure to find a perfect routine for a night of superb snoozing. Tweet us, @VALLEYmag, to share your favorite night-time rituals for bountiful beauty sleep!

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