Often times college students deal with sleep deprivation and suffer some of its side effects. There are some ways that it can be avoided or its effects can be lessened. From past experiences of my own and advice given by others, I have compiled a list of five tips to lessen the effects of sleep deprivation.
First is to actually get sleep and completely avoid sleep deprivation. Most first-year college students have difficulty with time management because they have not yet adjusted to the new lifestyle. One way to help with time management is to use a planner. College students are young and tend to be electronically inclined which makes them perfect candidates for using Google Calendar. It is perfect for organizing all the events of one's life and can increase time management abilities, allowing more time for sleep.
Second is to lessen the effects of sleep deprivation by taking short naps. College students frequently have schedules with a couple hours between classes. A short nap can allow one to rest the mind and reenergize the body. This sounds simple and it is. A short nap is an easy and useful way to lessen the effects of sleep deprivation.
Third is to eat breakfast. Eating in the morning gives you the energy needed to keep you going throughout the day, and this is twice as important when one is low on sleep. Eating in the morning helps to jump start your metabolism and this is what gives you that extra energy.
Fourth is to exercise lightly. Exercise seems like something that would take energy but can actually help reenergize the mind because it is a form of stress relief. Extreme exercise that fatigues the body will indeed make one more tired especially if sleep deprived. But light exercise is a great way deal with the effects of sleep deprivation.
Fifth is to drink energy supplements. Energy supplements come in three categories: non-caffeinated, caffeinated, and energy formulated drinks. Non-caffeinated drinks like water and juice can hydrate you and often times those dealing with sleep deprivation deal with dehydration. Keeping hydrated keeps one alert and prevents the onset of sleep deprivation side effects. Caffeinated drinks like coffee and tea can help to keep one alert for a short amount of time. But when someone drinks a moderately to heavily caffeinated drink they usually experience a short time of high energy followed by a quick crash to a period of very low energy. These drinks are good to prevent the side effects of sleep deprivation for a short period of time but must be used repeatedly to keep the onset of side effects from occurring. Energy formulated drinks are those drinks containing vitamins or herbal supplements designed to awaken the mind and reenergize the body, like five hour energy. These are excellent for delaying the side effects of sleep deprivation without getting the caffeine or sugar high of other drinks. Energy formulated supplements often cause the heart rate and metabolism to increase and can be a potential danger to some people and should be used with caution. These supplements should be a last resort when dealing with sleep deprivation because once one starts using them; they most often must continue using them until actual sleep can be acquired and doing so can potentially cause bodily harm.
In conclusion it is possible to delay the effects of sleep deprivation using tips like taking naps, eating breakfast, exercising, and drinking supplements; but in the end there is no true substitute for sleep. That is why these were tips for delaying the effects of sleep deprivation, not avoiding them entirely. Hope they can be of help to someone, be safe.