The Importance of Sleep
Specific Purpose: To inform my audience about the importance of sleep, how to get a good night’s sleep and if you don’t how to fake it.
Central Purpose: I will discuss the following areas of the importance of sleep: learning and memory, making decisions and the long term consequences of the lack of sleep. I will discuss ways to get a good night’s sleep and steps to take if you didn’t get enough sleep.
I. How many of you here got at least 8 hours of sleep last night?
This is because finding enough time to sleep and getting good quality sleep is getting harder and harder as our society expects more from us. Most of us here treat sleeping as a luxury rather than a priority. I know I do.
College students are among the most sleep-deprived people in the country. According to a 2001 study, only 11% of college students get good quality sleep (Brown).
Being students at Oakton, it means that we have a lot going on in our lives other than school and don’t usually make sleeping our number one priority.
I’m going to talk about why sleeping is important, how to get good quality sleep and if you didn’t get a good night’s sleep how you can fake it the next day.
TRANSITION: Sleep is important for many reasons but I’m going to talk about the ones most important to us as students.
Not sleeping can affect our bodies both in the short term and long term. A. Getting good quality sleep allows us to learn new information and remember previously learned information. 1. The amount and quality of sleep helps learning and memory in two ways. a) First, a person who is tired cannot pay attention and therefore cannot learn well. b) Second, sleep itself puts information into our long-term memory. According to a Harris Health System sleep specialist, losing sleep during an all nighter study session will actually make it harder to remember the information the next morning when you’re taking the exam. 2. Not enough sleep affects the front part of our brain the most. This is the part that controls our mood, decision-making and social behavior. Without sleep, we’re not able to analyze the situation, plan accordingly, or choose the correct action.
B. The lack of sleep not only has short term consequences like poor judgment or not being able to retain information, but it also can lead to long term problems like obesity, heart disease, depression, and more. While we’re sleeping our body releases different kinds of hormones that regulate our appetite, metabolism and even blood pressure. Those hormones tell your body that you don’t need to eat right now or to slow down the blood pressure because we’re sleeping. So without sleep, we don’t have the right balance of these hormones, which can cause us to eat more than we need to leading to obesity or diabetes.
TRANSITION: So now that I’ve talked about why sleep is important I’m going to tell you how to get good quality sleep without giving up too much in our lives.
II. Getting a better night sleep involves keeping your sleeping patterns the same, what you’re being exposed to right before you go to bed, and exercising. A. One obvious way to get better quality sleep is to wake up at the same time every day and to go to bed at the same time every day. But that may not always be possible. So another thing you can do is to sleep the same amount on the weekends as you do during the week. You may think sleeping in until 2 in the afternoon on Sunday is making up for the loss of sleep over the week but it’s actually now. Not keeping consistent with sleep will just do that opposite and make you more tired. B. Light exposure from your cell phone screen or laptop stops the brain from releasing the hormone melatonin, which helps you to sleep. A survey done by the National Sleep Foundation found that 95% of Americans use electronics within the hour before bed. The study also showed that it can reduce the quality of...
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