How Sleep Can Affect Our Studies And Health

Updated: Nov 22, 2020




In Singapore, the standard of our education system has been top-notch in comparative to other countries all around the world.



Two of the most prestigious universities around the world comes from Singapore - National University of Singapore (NUS), which clinched the first position in the region of Singapore and Asia Pacific and is currently 11th in the world according to the latest QS World University Rankings 2020, and Nanyang Technological University (NTU), coming up just before NUS at the second position in the region of Singapore and Asia Pacific and is currently holding on par with NUS in the 11th position around the globe according to the latest QS World University Rankings 2020.



It is inevitable for the millennials, especially in Singapore, to want to fight for and secure a placing in these two local universities with the dream of having a better career qualification and future.



However, such a fierce competition where each and everyone is neck to neck, there is always a price to pay – endless night study sessions, burning the midnight oil to top one another, sacrificing sleep and rest to rehearse and do well in a project’s presentation.



In the short-run, the young-bodied students might not feel the adverse effects on them immediately.



However, in the long-run, detrimental effects will creep and catch up to them, amplifying the levels of stress and exhaustion. By the time they realize it, it’s already too late and have reached the state of a mental burnout.



Today, Math Lobby will be discussing on the topic of sleep debt, and how you are able to mitigate the effects of it by adjusting your routine while still being able to stay productive and efficient. Let’s begin!


“Sleep debt”, or also known as “sleep deficit”, is the cumulative effect of sleep deprivation.



There are two types of sleep deprivations:


1) Partial sleep deprivation – which occurs when a person or animal sleep for too little in a couple of days or weeks


2) Total sleep deprivation – which occurs when a person or animal is kept awake for consecutively 24 hours or more.



Playing down the effects of sleep deprivation is something that one should never do, because it has a long list of how it can affect your body, which includes increased irritability, memory lapse or loss, impaired moral judgements, hallucinations, weakened immune system, increased risk of heart diseases and diabetes, and the list just goes on.



So, are there any ways that you can ‘repay’ your ‘sleep debt’? Maybe you are thinking of just sleeping for the whole day, or even two consecutive days to catch up back on the sleep and everything will be just fine… right?



WRONG! Unfortunately, the complexity of sleep deprivation is not something which you can just recover from by resting for a consecutive long period of time, and it is far more complicated than you think it is.



Although a short-term sleep deficit can be almost fully recovered, but let’s be honest here – Students in the current generation are mostly chronic offenders of sleep deficit.



Hence, even if we are unable to reverse the effects of sleep deficit completely, the best we can do is to mitigate the effects of it to the best of our abilities.


1. Do not treat sleep as a form of luxury or indulgence


More often than not, due to the busy schedules in our lives, we tend to treat sleep as a form of luxury or indulgence. What we mean by this is that we do not see the importance of sleep and being well-rested being on par with getting our work and assignments done, and sleeping always draws the short end of the stick.



We must remember that sleep and rest is just as essential and of priority as completing our tasks, so what you should do is to rest your eyes whenever you need to after staying at the study desk for hours, take the time off and head to bed when you are feeling tired



Without adequate rest, our productivity and efficiency levels drops, being unable to focus and concentrate properly will serve no purpose as the work produced will be of a quality that is not up to par.



If you want to seek advices on how to improve your productivity when studying, Math Lobby has an article specifically focused on ways to help you maximize your productivity and improve your quality of work, click on the link to read more!

2. Deal with the short-term sleep debt as soon as possible


If you have had a few busy nights and have no choice but to sacrifice sleep for the past few nights, settle that short-term sleep debt as soon as possible!



Although it does little to just sleep it off for a long period of time when you have come to accrue a sleep debt, but adding additional hours to your sleep every single night helps you to clear off your “debt” gradually, which is the correct method to do so.



Never let your short-term sleep debt snowball and spiral out of control, if not the price to pay will be extremely hefty!


3. Avoid accumulating a new sleep debt


In order not to keep this vicious cycle going, do your best to avoid accumulating a new debt. Plan out your schedules and factor in the number of hours you are going to sleep, if you still feel tired after waking up, continue to adjust that schedule every night until you find the optimal number of hours of sleep for yourself.



This is extremely important as constantly accruing new debts after recovering will not make a difference from turning it into a long-term sleep debt, which you will have a hard time getting back on track.


If you find that the quality of your sleep is bad night in and night out or you are having troubles falling asleep, be sure to check out our article on how to sleep better to study better.



And that’s all for today, students! Math Lobby hopes that after reading through this article, you have gained valuable insights on the detrimental effects of sleep debts and how you can avoid it!



If you have any pending questions, please do go on to our Facebook page, Instagram or contact us directly at Math Lobby! We have certified mathematics tutors to aid you in your journey to becoming a better student!