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Sleep is one of the most important aspects of well being. Multiple studies have shown that college students are the most sleep deprived segment of the population. Adequate sleep allows us to focus, make good decision, and consolidate the information we learn during the day. Sleep is essential to being able to move the information into storage. Spreading out your studying time and sleep allows for better integration of information and will help you feel more prepared.

Effects of Sleep Deprivation

Sleep deprivation can lead to serious health problems:

According to some estimates, 90% of people with insomnia have increased risk of another health condition such as: heart disease, heart attack and heart failure, irregular heartbeat, high blood pressure, stroke, and diabetes.

Sleep loss makes learning difficult:

Lack of sleep impairs attention, alertness, concentration, reasoning, and problem solving.

Sleepiness makes you forgetful:

Various sleep cycles play a role in saving memories in the mind during the night. If you don’t get enough sleep, you won’t be able to remember what you learned and experienced during the day.

Lack of sleep impairs judgment:

Lack of sleep can affect our ability to assess situations accurately, make sound judgments, and act on them wisely.

Sleepiness causes accidents:

Lack of sleep is a major public safety hazard. Drowsiness can slow reaction time as much as driving drunk.

Sleepiness is depressing:

Over time, lack of sleep and sleep disorders can contribute to symptoms of depression. People diagnosed with depression or anxiety are more likely to sleep less than six hours at night.

Lack of sleep kills sex drive:

Sleep specialists say that sleep-deprived men and women report less interest in sex. Depleted energy, sleepiness, and increased tension may be largely to blame.

Getting Enough Sleep


The National Sleep Foundation provides recommended ranges for people at different ages. However, keep in mind that your individual need may vary.

AgeRecommendedMay be appropriateNot recommended
0-3 months
14 to 17 hours11 to 13 hours
18 to 19 hours
Less than 11 hours
More than 19 hours
4-11 months
12 to 15 hours10 to 11 hours
16 to 18 hours
Less than 10 hours
More than 18 hours

1-2 years
11 to 14 hours9 to 10 hours
15 to 16 hours
Less than 9 hours
More than 16 hours
3-5 years
10 to 13 hours8 to 9 hours
14 hours
Less than 8 hours
More than 14 hours
School-aged Children
6-13 years
9 to 11 hours7 to 8 hours
12 hours
Less than 7 hours
More than 12 hours
14-17 years
8 to 10 hours7 hours
11 hours
Less than 7 hours
More than 11 hours
Young Adults
18-25 years
7 to 9 hours6 hours
10 to 11 hours
Less than 6 hours
More than 11 hours
26-64 years
7 to 9 hours6 hours
10 hours
Less than 6 hours
More than 10 hours
Older Adults
≥ 65 years
7 to 8 hours5 to 6 hours
9 hours
Less than 5 hours
More than 9 hours

Source: National Sleep Foundation