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Monday, October 19, 2020

Why sleep is important for your finals week

By Sandra Rees-Bowen

While you may be stressing for finals week and thinking about putting sleep off, studies have shown that’s not the best idea.

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Thirty-one percent of 619 students said they have a hard time falling asleep due to stress related to academic success, according to the 2016 National College Health Assessment survey.

Dr. Gail Knops, a certified family physician at Western’s Student Health Center, said being overly stressed can impede the ability to rest.

“When we are worried, active thoughts can surface as our brains try to clean house, which is what it does as we sleep,” Dr. Knops said in an email. “So, our alertness goes back up and makes it hard to get back to sleep or even get to sleep in the first place.”

This difficulty has caused some students to drop a course, receive a lower grade, or receive an incomplete grade in their class, Michelle Langstraat, a Prevention and Health Services coordinator, wrote in an email.

Lack of sleep can cause students to stress more, and makes it more likely students will get sick, gain weight or have decreased academic performance. It can also have mental effects, such as depression and anxiety, Langstraat said.

So how can you make sure you get enough sleep? Here are some tips.

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