Lack Of Sleep + Too Much To Eat = Scrambled Brains

Lack Of Sleep + Too Much To Eat = Scrambled Brains

You don’t want to get up in the morning. That class starting at 8 a.m. isn’t that important anyway. You’ll never use what you learned out in the world, so why bother? I have a stepson who was so bored with high school the only incentive to get him up for morning class was a piece of paper stating “I graduated from high school!”

Wouldn’t it be great if all classes started at 10 a.m.? You could sleep in until 9 a.m. Of course, life doesn’t work that way. To get to an 8 o’clock class you have to be up at 6:30 a.m. or at the latest by 7 a.m.. And you have to shower and eat and meditate and exercise. Day after day. You can’t sleep in.

In a previous article I talked about the importance of fitness for life – and how it starts in college or at a college age. But daily fitness – that affects you right now. So I want to talk briefly about sleep and about eating.

You have to sleep

I can’t stay up as late as I used to. When you’re in college your metabolism is such that your body can handle so much more than later in life. It’s true when they say, enjoy it while you’re young.

However – you are also responsible for keeping yourself in the best shape possible for doing that daily “job” that leads to graduation. Sleep is a key element in that. Don’t get enough of it you find yourself dragging your body through the day, seeking any chance to rest.

Sleep is a renewal process. Done right it doesn’t envision a “Groundhog Day” scenario where you keep reliving part of your day, or some problem, over and over again, where you wake up exhausted, longing to leave your head on the pillow. We’re all different. Check out what sleep you need to function at your best.

When you eat. How much you eat.

This is not so much about what you eat. There are tons of books and magazines about eating “healthy.” I’m more concerned about when you eat, and to some degree how much.

Digesting meals takes a lot of your available energy. If you’ve had a heavy meal, it means that your brain can be shortchanged. Not long ago I was at the pool and feeling sluggish. “What’s wrong with you?” someone asked. “Too much red wine and lasagna,” was my reply. It’s true. Have too much food, or even an average amount just prior to any activity, whether it’s exercise or participating in a class, you are not at your best. If you consume too much at lunchtime, you’ll likely be drowsy later in the afternoon.

To sum up

How well you sleep, considering when and how much to eat, affects your performance every day. When you’re in college, it will impact your grades as well as any sports in which you participate. My advice? Get in the habit of making sure you have a good night’s sleep. And remember that processing what you eat, takes energy away from the grey matter in your head – usually just when you need it.


College students (and their parents) need to be aware of just how important sleep is to how well they perform in class and beyond. They also need to recognize that if you eat too much, and at the wrong time, you’ll wish you hadn’t.

By Neil Sawers — How to write a great essay, how to write a winning proposal. Our books and eBooks on writing are exceptional value to students and entrepreneurs. Visit us at for more information.


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