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Stanford expert: Students shouldn’t sacrifice sleep

4138097843_8152e69505I admit it. I'm absolutely horrible at getting to bed at a reasonable hour, and sleep is the first thing to go when my schedule gets busy. This is why today's post on the Stanford Sleep Center's blog on Huffington Post resonated with me. In the blog, Stanford sleep expert Rafael Pelayo, MD, discusses a common problem that affects many students (and adults) - finding time to get the appropriate amount of sleep.

About the common practice of teens sleeping in on weekends he writes:

[It] may be one of life's small luxuries, and for many adults it is. However, when it comes to teenagers, sleeping in on weekends may be the first sign of an emerging sleep problem. Adolescents are typically very sleep deprived during the school week. Parents realize this and may even feel guilty about how over-worked their child is. Parents and teens may think that sleeping in on weekends is normal. It may be common, but it is not normal. Think about it, does your body need more calories on weekends than on weekdays? Why should you need more sleep on weekends? Nobody should ever wake up feeling tired. We do not leave fine restaurants feeling hungry, so why should we wake feeling tired?

He goes on to tell readers:

Making sleep a priority is a lifestyle choice that quickly pays off. Thousands of Stanford University students have learned the benefits of better sleep. Better sleep helps young people learn more efficiently and improves their mood and athletic performance. Sleeping well simply makes life more fun.

Holly MacCormick is a writing intern in the medical school’s Office of Communication & Public Affairs. She is a graduate student in ecology and evolutionary biology at University of California-Santa Cruz.

Previously: Discussing the effects of long-term exercise for insomniacsWhat puts you to sleep? Experts weigh inTips for fighting fatigue after a sleepless nightStanford center launches Huffington Post blog on the “very mysterious process” of sleepWant to curb junk food cravings? Get more sleep and What are the consequences of sleep deprivation?
Photo by Jing Yang

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