Beware of Sleep Debt!

by Katie Bogusz on October 3, 2017

Many students are aware of the importance of getting a good night’s sleep.  But it can be hard to always find the time to get the correct amount of sleep.  If you aren’t getting the recommended 8 hours of sleep a night you’re at risk of acquiring sleep debt.  This lack of sleep can make you feel exhausted and negatively impact your school work and daily life.  Read on to learn more about the dangers of sleep debt and how to get a better night’s sleep.sleep-well-be-well9A6C83B0F5E9

What is Sleep Debt?

According to Dr. Michael Breus sleep debt is “an accumulation of sleep deprivation.”   In general, you should be getting 8 hours of sleep a night.  However, this can vary from person to person.  But if you do not get the appropriate amount of sleep for a couple of nights in a row you can be at risk of acquiring sleep debt.  Sleep debt can negatively affect your academic performance, your mood, and your body.

But how can you tell if you are in sleep debt? You can always do the math, if you sleep for five hours a night 3 days in a row on the fourth day your sleep debt will be 9 hours.  Another way to tell is if you are able to get up at the time you’re supposed to without the use of an alarm clock. There are other ways to recognize you are acquiring sleep debt, like if you find yourself falling asleep during class or if you feel tired when doing leisure activities.


What can I do to get out of Sleep Debt?

One way to get out of sleep debt and stay out of debt is adjusting the time you go to bed and the time you wake up.  Try to make your morning routine more efficient, so you have time to sleep a couple more minutes in the morning and give up 30 minutes of time you spend on social media so you can go to bed earlier.  If you have time during the day, try to start napping!  But make sure you do it before 3:00pm or else it can affect your ability to fall asleep at night.

Get into the habit of getting a good night’s sleep every night that you can.  This will allow you to have a fixed schedule that your body is used to and make your hours of sleep more consistent.  When you try to get out of sleep debt by sleeping way later than you usually do on the weekend it doesn’t help you.  This is because when Monday rolls around it’s harder to go to bed at a reasonable time.  Meditation before bed can also help you get out of sleep debt because it can help you fall asleep quicker.  Meditating before bed can allow you to clear your mind and feel less stressed, which can help you if you have a tricky time quieting your thoughts before bedtime.


Get some sleep Bears!

Make sleep a priority this year!  A lack of sleep can negatively impact important areas of your life, so it’s important to make sure you are getting the recommended amount of sleep.  This article used information from, Student Health 101’s article on sleep debt (, so read on to find out more about sleep debt.  To learn more about Outreach Education and the BSU Peer Educators, like the BSU Outreach Education page on Facebook, follow us on Instagram and Twitter @bsuoutreach, and check out our calendar for upcoming events on the Involvement Network at and search for the BSU Peer Educators

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