Doctor says less than seven hours affects mind and body; Students agree better sleep helps energy and productivity

Written by: 
Bruno Maynez

Students at BYU-Hawaii said the benefits of improving their sleeping habits included a rise in energy levels and increases in productivity.

Pasepa Anavaha Fakatava, a freshman from Tonga studying biomedicine, said, “You can go a day without food but not without sleep. Sleep is important, and without it your body cannot function well.”

In a podcast by The Joe Rogan Experience, Dr. Matthew Walker, professor of Neuroscience and Psychology at the University of California, Berkeley, recommended seven to nine hours of sleep to be considered healthy. Walker said, “Once we get below seven hours of sleep, we can measure impairments in your brain and your body.” Less sleep leads to decrease in productivity.

Kala Brundige, a senior from Kansas majoring in graphic design, said, “Sleep is crucial to physical fitness because sleep is when the majority of protein synthesis happens. This is when our muscles rebuild themselves after a long workout. The longer we give our body to sleep, the better it is for our physical fitness. It also plays a huge role in it because sleep obviously affects our mood and energy level.

“On little sleep, we tend to be grumpy and tired… not exactly the ideal state of mind for the gym or working out. When we sleep more, we have more energy and motivation to do the things we need to meet our... goals.”        

Fakatava said, “I think people have bad sleeping habits due to the situation they’re in. For example, a student could have a bad sleeping habit because of many assignments. A security guard can also have a bad sleeping habit because his job is to keep an eye out when everyone else is sleeping.”     

Brundige added, “Diet and sleep go hand in hand when it comes to energy levels. You may find that even though you have been getting nine hours of sleep, you are still a little bit groggy throughout the day, and that is likely because of your diet [and vice versa.] I think improving one or the other may improve energy levels but not to the same extent as getting enough sleep and eating well. If you are doing both consistently, you may find that you no longer even think about your energy levels.”

On improving sleep, Walker said, “There are few things people can do to improve sleep. Regularity is probably the most important. Go to bed at the same time; wake up at the same time. No matter if it’s a weekday or weekend, regularity is key.

“In the last hour before bed, try to stay away from screens like phone, T.V., and computers, and switch off lights in the house. You’d be surprised how effective it is, you’ll start to feel drowsier. Try to keep cool. There have been studies shown that a decrease in body temperature will help. These habits will improve sleep.”

Tips for better sleeping:

1. Go to sleep and get up at the same time every day

2. Stay away from screens the last hour before bed

3. Keep bedrooms cool and dark

4. Eat healthier



Date Published: 
Monday, August 20, 2018
Last Edited: 
Monday, August 20, 2018