fmhsloudspeaker

A good nights rest

In Health & Lifestyles on November 12, 2010 at 7:59 pm

By: Courtney Harrington

Getting a good nights rest is very important in order for the brain to properly function the next day. Photo courtesy of Google images

            Over half of the world’s population is under the age of 30-years-old. Therefore, a good majority of those are students. It seems typical for a teenager or young adult to stay up late into the night doing little things besides getting the rest his or her body needs. When having to wake up early the next morning for classes, it is even more necessary for one to get enough rest to both function and stay alert in the classroom.

            Many think that sleep is not that important, and that they can get away with only a few short hours of rest. However, that is not the case. In order for the body’s nervous system to function properly, sleep is necessary. Not doing so can lead to impaired memory along with impaired physical performance. When students are staying up too late and preventing themselves from getting enough sleep, they could be at risk of putting their grades in jeopardy as well. Having had little sleep can reduce the ability to do things like solve a math problem correctly. Students would be unable to concentrate, and would seem very drowsy.

            According to experts, sleep allows the neurons in the brain to have a chance to “relax.” After being active all day, the brain needs to have time to shut down and recuperate for the new day. When the body is kept from getting rest, the neurons in the brain become so exhausted of energy that they can begin to malfunction. Also, without sleep the brain is unable to make neuronal connections that could end up deteriorating due to the lack of activity.

            On average, a teenager should be getting nine hours a night for sleep, and adults should be getting seven to eight hours. However, the amount of sleep may be different for each person. Some people only need five hours, and others ten. The amount of sleep a person needs is directly affected by how much sleep the body has received throughout the previous days. If a person feels the least bit drowsy throughout the day, experts say he or she has not received enough rest. Studies show that people driving while tired are as dangerous as, or even worse than, those intoxicated. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, there are 1,500 deaths a year and 100,000 accidents due to fatigue behind the wheel.

            A study was conducted at the University of Chicago to see how sleep affected the ability to learn new things. The test consisted of having about 200 college students learn to play a video game. Most of the people selected for the experiment were women who did not often play video games. There were groups of students playing the game at different times. One group would learn to play the game in the evening, go to sleep and then play the game again in the morning. Another group would learn the game in the morning and then be tested 24 hours later. A third group would learn to play in the morning and test in the evening. Twelve hours after learning how to play the game, the third group of students tested had forgotten the rules and techniques of playing the game. The study showed that after a good nights rest, students were able recollect how to play the game. Results also showed that those who learned to play the game at night and were tested the next morning had a higher improvement rate than those who learned the game in the morning and played later that night.

            Sleep is a vital aspect of everyday life. The body must have enough rest to simply function properly the next day. So tonight, provide the body with enough time to get the much needed rest it needs.

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