During year 12, our ability to balance our academic studies, social life and physical and mental wellbeing is truly tested as we are overwhelmed with a seemingly endless to-do list and various pressures to succeed. We recognise that it is difficult to keep this balancing act going, and even more challenging to get back on track after a spell of disorganisation.
The team at ACE have been through what you have, and we have a plethora of knowledge to share. So let’s help you become your best self this year, starting with…sleeping better!
Catch Z’s to Get More A’s
Ah, sleep. One of the first things we sacrifice when it comes to crunch time.
In high school, I had a friend who would routinely not sleep, opting instead to take short naps throughout the night to refresh themselves. While this definitely did improve their productivity immensely, unfortunately this kind of lifestyle did not sustain them for long and they ended up burning out before the marathon that is the HSC was over.
Various scientific studies have shown that teenagers (that’s you!) need about seven to eight hours of sleep because this yields a multitude of awesome benefits to not only your academic performance, but your general wellbeing as well. Don’t believe me? Let me make my case.
When we sleep, our brain is able to focus on sorting through and filing away all the information we absorbed during the day. The more sleep we get, the more time our brain has to clear out all the useless information that’s cached so we can have more room for important chemistry equations and English quotes in our memory bank. This means we can learn things quicker, keep them in our brain for longer and spend less time revising and more time sleeping! Sounds pretty good to me!
Stronger Immune System
Peak academic performance demands peak physical performance! During sleep, some complex biological processes occur which involve the production of important chemicals essential to the healthy function of our immune system. Denying your body the chance to replenish this little army of defenders puts yourself at risk of catching the awful flu that is going around at the moment AND increases the time it takes to recover from it. Listen to your body! It’s begging you to sleep earlier!
I don’t know about you, but waking up like a zombie isn’t an aesthetic I go for in my daily routine. Unfortunately, depriving yourself of sleep often leads to increased sluggishness and irritability, the latter leading to quite a few snappy moments with your friends and family. So, if you don’t want to be dealing with snappy chappies in your classroom or at home, share this article with your close ones and make a pact together to improve your sleeping habits! Besides, I think it is time we gave our families, both chosen and biological, some love after all the support and comfort they’ve shown us.
On a more serious note, some people find that a lack of sleep can exacerbate feelings such as sadness and anxiety. It is known that mental health issues are a real hardship with which many students struggle, and if this resonates with you, we strongly encourage you to seek professional help. In the meantime, do take the information in this article on board and focus on getting some sleep because oftentimes we can improve our mental health when we start taking care of our physical health as well.
As you’ve seen from the above points, a few hours of sleep really can make a difference to our social, physical and mental wellbeing. And while it’s hard already to keep on top of work during Year 12, maybe it is time to listen to your body and give it the deserved daily rest it needs.
Tune in next time to read about how we can go about becoming healthy sleepers!