The Importance of Sleep for the Online Student

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Posted on February 11th, 2011

We all know that sleep is one of the most important elements in a successful academic life. But as students, sleep is often the first thing to fall into the background. Online students have the opportunity to make a living or raise a family while also attending classes and earning a degree. However, this advantage can sometimes come with a cost. As an online student, balancing school, work, family, and other responsibilities can weigh heavily on your ability to get the appropriate amount of sleep.

Sleep deprivation results in decreased immune system function, problems with concentration, problems with memory, irritability, and depression. All of these things deter you from performing your best in the academic world. In order to have a productive day you must have a restful night.

Many online students do not realize the specific difficulties online learning can pose for their sleeping habits. Online learning allows for a greater amount of freedom in the learner’s schedule. This means that a student can attend class online at any time of day or night. Because of this, many students may be inclined to push their school time off so far into the night that it has negative effects on their sleep schedule. An online student must set aside the appropriate amount of time to do schoolwork during the day and then train themselves to stick to this routine. Extra flexibility makes it easy for procrastination and loss of precious nighttime hours.

Many students also overlook the effects the computer screen has on their ability to sleep. The light emitted from a computer screen sends signals to your brain, telling it to stay awake and alert. Moreover, because people sit so close to and stare directly at this source of light for extended periods of time, the awakening effects are amplified. Online learners should be sure to turn off their computers at least a half an hour before they plan to go to sleep.

Your bedroom should be your haven. Online learners have the freedom to choose where they do their learning. As an online student, you should never attend your classes from your bed. Your bed is a place for sleep and you should train your brain to see it that way.

We can all feel it when we don’t get enough sleep at night. You drag throughout the day. It’s harder to concentrate and harder to learn. To be a successful online student put away your computer and develop a sleep pattern that allows you to perform at your best.

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