Studies have shown that children and adolescents who don’t get enough sleep have cognitive, emotional, and mental health issues. The amount of sleep children get is concerning to everyone today. This is why there’s a movement for school start times to move to later in the morning so that there are more opportunities to sleep. It’s believed that less sleep irregularity will help them do better both academically and socially. Of course, the type of sleep must also be sufficient for them to function at an optimal level.
Just because someone isn’t getting irregular sleep doesn’t mean that they’re getting a higher quality of sleep. For instance, they may struggle to fall asleep. They may also suffer from other types of sleep irregularity such as frequently waking up throughout the night.
The poor timing of sleep may also result in irregular sleep and mental health issues. It’s important to understand that sleep is best when you maintain a sleep schedule and sleep for about the same number of hours each night. For instance, if you sleep 8 hours one night but you’re accustomed to sleeping 6 – 10 hours per night you main suffer from sleep irregularity resulting in you not getting optimal benefits from the sleep you do get. The same is also true if you’re accustomed to going to bed at 10 PM but choose to stay up until 2 AM on some nights. Everything that has to do with how irregular sleep is to the duration and quality of the sleep is important in maintaining good mental health.
Irregular Sleep and College Students’ Mental Health
College students who don’t suffer from sleep irregularity (e.g. they get enough sufficient quality sleep) are rare. You’ll find that most of them suffer from irregular sleep patterns even when they didn’t do so in high school. This is typical because they have a class schedule that varies from day to day. Of course, having the newfound freedom to be able to set their bedtime and wake time is another factor.
There’s one study that confirms that when college students don’t get regular sleep their well-being suffers. In this study, 223 undergraduate students’ data was collected from them wearing actigraphs that monitored when they went to sleep when they woke up, and other aspects of their sleep for a month. Each day they were also asked to rate their own well-being according to whether they were sleepy or alert; happy or sad; sluggish or energetic; sick or healthy, and calm or stressed. Researchers discovered that students’ well-being was better when they maintained regular sleep patterns.
Unfortunately, those college students who are freshmen or sophomores already tend to have more mental health issues due to how big of an adjustment college life is. This is seen by the high number of students who are availing themselves to counseling services today – a rate that’s never been higher.
Helping college students improve their sleep patterns may significantly impact their well-being. This is why there are a lot of therapists who see college students that are discussing the importance of sleep with them today. Of course, another factor that’d be helpful is if classes were scheduled on a more regular basis.
When you’re in college and find yourself struggling with sleep irregularity contact TMS Advantage in Clearwater and St Petersburg, FL to get the help you need.
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