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?
II.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.
III.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).
IV.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.
V.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.
I. 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 sleep. So if you stare at your cell phones right before bed it will take longer to actually fall asleep than if you didn’t. C. Exercise also helps in getting a good night sleep. But it’s best to complete your workout a couple hours before you go to bed otherwise exercising right before you go to bed can make you too energized. D. Research shows listening to soothing music or reading a book before bed will help you sleep better. And as college students we have so many boring textbooks laying around you could just start reading your math book and I’m sure you’ll fall asleep in no time.
TRANSITION: Finally, I am going to talk about what to do in cases where you had to stay up all night or just didn’t sleep well. III. Getting through an all night study session is sometimes not has hard as getting through the next day once the adrenaline wears off and the sun comes out. It’s hard to remain focused, feel alert and appear presentable. You can take some of the following steps to avoid getting in trouble from dosing off in class and to feel more awake. A. Water will be your best friend. Not only will drinking water make you feel awake but it will also help you look it. This is a picture of a woman who tripled her water intake for four weeks and as you can see she looks much more fresh than before. B. You can drink coffee or other caffeinated drinks or take caffeine pills but then you should expect a crash. This is because caffeine will cover up the sleepiness but the sleepiness will just keep building up. C. Taking a short nap between 10 and 20 minutes can really help give you a boost. But napping for longer like 40-45 minutes can make you feel groggy. D. Eating more protein rather than carbs and junk food will also reenergize you. Protein has tyrosine in it which is an amino acid that will stimulate more electrical signals in the brain and will help you to think quicker and faster E. A couple more little things you can do is placing cold spoons under your eyes, splashing cold water on your face, and using eye drops to get rid of redness.
TRANSITION: Taking some of these steps will help you temporarily but it’s important to remember that our natural need for sleep is too powerful and can’t be cheated which is why it’s important to know your limitations. For example, if you think you’re too tired to drive then obviously it’s better not to.
I.So as you can see sleep is a very important part of our lives and makes a great impact on our bodies both mentally and physically.
II.Staying consistent with your sleeping pattern can help you get better quality sleep even if it’s not 8 hours and in order to get through the day on little sleep those are a few tips you can take.
III.Even though we treat sleeping as a luxury, in our busy lives it’s important to make the most of the little time we actually get to sleep.
1. Alapat, Philip, MD. " Forget All-Night Studying, a Good Night's Sleep Is Key to Doing Well on Exams." Forget All-Night Studying, a Good Night's Sleep Is Key to Doing Well on Exams. Harris Health, n.d. Web. 02 Nov. 2014. 2. Danskin, David G., PhD. "Kansas State University." How to Get a Good Night's Sleep. Kansas State University, 1997. Web. 04 Nov. 2014. 3. Gaudin, Sharon. "Can't Sleep? Blame Your Computer, Cell Phone." Computerworld. Computer World, 07 May 2011. Web. 05 Nov. 2014. 4. Quan, Stuart F., MD, and Steven A. Shea, PhD. "Sleep, Learning, and Memory." Healthy Sleep. WGBH Educational Foundation, 18 Dec. 2007. Web. 02 Nov. 2014. 5. "Sleep Rocks! ...get More of It!" University Health Center. University of Georgia, 18 June 2014. Web. 02 Nov. 2014.