Friday, April 17, 2015

Why do nerds become successful in college?

College admission letters go out this month. Most recipients (Students and their parents) will place great emphasis on which universities said; Yes and which said No. A growing body of evidence however suggests that the most significant thing about college is not where you go, but what you do once you get there. Going to college is not enough. You also have to study the right subjects, set your goals and become a successful student.

Everyone knows about successful-straight-A-students, right?!
We see them frequently in TV sitcoms and in movies like "Revenge of the Nerds". They get high grades, all right, but only by becoming dull grinds, their noses always stuck in a book.
This is stereotypical, however, it is not untrue.
In this topic however I'm not going to post a quick tips on being a successful college nerd. Neither am I not going to share with you any secret of the holly nerdology science. In this blog post I’m going to share some very surprising benefits of sleep that works 100% for every nerd at every campus worldwide.

So, yes - SLEEP, is the one of the physiological needs required for human survival especially in campus. Exactly like food, air and sex (not sure about the last one about nerds) - sleep is a mostly important thing in your campus life.
"Students who slept better improved GRADES by 12% more". Rebbeca S. RobbinsPhD Candidate, Co-Author of Sleep for success: Everything you must know about sleep but are too tired to ask
Sleep takes a third of your college time. You better think how you would invest in your sleep for better college education and high grades.

Do you know college students are one of the most sleep-deprived populations? Sleep deprivation in students has been linked to lower GPAs because sleep affects concentration, memory and the ability to learn. The average adult sleeps less than seven hours each night, while most need eight or more hours.

Daytime sleepiness, sleep deprivation and irregular sleep schedules are highly prevalent among college students. 50% report daytime sleepiness and 70% attain insufficient sleep. The consequences of sleep deprivation and daytime sleepiness are especially problematic to college students and can result in lower grade point averages, increased risk of academic failure, compromised learning, impaired mood and increased risk of motor vehicle accidents.

So, how does sleep relate to nerds and what can you do on regular basis to empower your Mojo for better sleep?! Here are very easy-to-follow tips:

·      Nerds aren't smoke a much, if any.
Try to limit Caffeine and Nicotine and see what nerds aren't missing. Caffeine and nicotine are stimulants, which disrupt sleep. It is best to stay away from these after lunchtime.  If you are up late studying or just need a little more energy, try a small energy-boosting snack instead of a caffeinated beverage.  If you feel you must have caffeinated coffee when up late studying, try to limit the amount of caffeine by filling half your cup with decaffeinated coffee. 

·      Nerds avoiding alcohol naturally.
Sleep experts recommend avoiding alcohol at least four to six hours prior to bed.A common but inaccurate belief is that alcohol helps people sleep. Although it may help people fall asleep faster, research has shown that alcohol disrupts sleep throughout the night. Alcohol aggravates snoring and sleep apnea. Sleep apnea has been linked to chronic medical conditions including hypertension and other cardiovascular diseases.Drinking alcohol while on medications such as psychiatric medications, can further worsen sleeping problems and side effects.

·      Just like a nerd, try to get homework done in time and avoid all-nighters.

While all-nighters and late-night study sessions may appear to give you more time to cram, they are also likely to drain your brainpower. Sleep deprivation hinders your ability to perform complex cognitive tasks like those required on exams. And it is unlikely that you will retain much information that you study while sleep-deprived. It is better to sleep the night before an exam, even if it means studying for fewer hours. Remember: research has shown that a good night of sleep is more beneficial for learning than staying up late cramming.

·      Minimize Sleep Disruptions.
Living in places like residence halls, apartments, houses or fraternities/sororities with many people can make it very difficult to control your sleep environment.  Your roommate might be up studying late with lights on, or your housemates may decide to entertain until very late.
 You can be creative in finding ways to reduce the disruptions that keep you from getting a good night’s sleep. Below are some suggestions:

  • Talk to your roommates about setting a regular sleep time so they can be respectful of your need for a quiet environment.
  • Purchase a white noise machine to block sounds from within your own room or even outside. Instead of or in addition to the white noise machine, ear plugs or a small fan may be helpful.
  • You might think this will make you look stupid but, use a sleep mask to block out any unwanted light. This could be a great compromise with your residence hall roommate who may prefer to stay up later to study. And yes it's supper nerdish. 
  • Purchase a desk lamp for you and each roommate to avoid using the overhead lights when one of you is sleeping.
  • Create a comfortable sleeping area to improve your ability to fall asleep and stay asleep. If you have the option, choose the pillows, mattress, and bedding that are most comfortable for you.
  • Keep the bedroom at a comfortable temperature (ideally slightly cool), and well-ventilated.

College is a time of intellectual growth, development and young adults’ transition from adolescence to adulthood. Although the worth of college in terms of increased productivity and higher earning potential is rarely debated, there is a significant personal and societal cost of college both in terms of time and money. For optimal return on the investment of time, effort and money, students need to maximize their learning, academic and personal growth. Sleepiness from any cause can compromise these goals through impact on learning, memory, grades, perception of effort, driving performance and mood.

For many students even those who recognize the importance of sleep—balancing work, college, friends, social activities and personal time can be difficult. Sleep is often one of the first activities to get squeezed out.  So if you wishing to success in college just set your goals and make them real, but do not debt on sleep - Sleep Debt Hard to Repay, as hard as lower GPAs.

Bottom line: Sleep can often be a barometer of your overall health. If you’re getting sleep deprived get a help.  You may need a sleep specialist if a sleep disorder is interfering with your daily life. A doctor or accredited sleep disorder center may be able to help.

As reference, either a doctor or an accredited sleep-disorder center/clinic may be the right place to go to contact:

This is an organization of doctors and researchers that is dedicated to the advancement of sleep medicine and related research. 

·      Sleep ASAP
A Worldwide Social enterprise for sleep-management education through technology.

The National Sleep Foundation is dedicated to improving health and well-being through sleep education and advocacy.

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