By Samara Kister.
It’s not easy being a high school student. With homework, extra-curricular activities, jobs, college applications, and social life, it can be very stressful. Sometimes this causes us to end up eating tacos on the couch at 2 am. There are, however, things we can do to combat the daily stress and fatigue. Following these daily habits can not only benefit your overall health but can improve your academic success.
Lack of sleep negatively affects attentiveness, behavior, impulse control, cognitive ability, physical, social, and psychological health and academic success (Shochat, CohenZion and Tzischinsky). Furthermore, teens that don’t sleep enough have a higher tendency to participate in dangerous activities. A study done in the United States shows that teens that went to bed later had lower grades (Shochat, CohenZion, and Tzischinsky). Also, the negative effects of sleep deprivation can be carried over to adulthood creating life-long issues. On the other hand, getting the right amount of sleep improves memory as well as positively affecting overall health. Altogether teens should get about nine hours of sleep per night. Although it is not easy, making an effort to get even a little more sleep can improve your learning capabilities.
The amount of water a person drinks in a day can really improve or inhibit them. A person should drink at least 68 ounces(2L) every day. Although it may not seem like hydration could affect your grades, even mild dehydration can cause headaches and irritability. It is also linked to poor physical performance and reduced cognitive functioning. A study conducted by Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health states that more than half the American teens are not getting enough water. Making a simple habit of drinking eight glasses of water(8 ounces each) or three bottles of water(20 ounces each) can significantly benefit your ability to pay attention in class and generally feel better.
Nutrition does not just help maintain physical health, but mental health as well. Less sugar and more fruits and veggies are not the most enjoyable habits to adopt but it can stabilize your energy, improve your mind and even out your mood. Even doing something as simple as eating fruits or vegetables with every meal can boost your mood. Making sure you have good proteins, especially for breakfast, can help you have more energy throughout the day. About one half of Americans have high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, or obesity. All of these diseases can be developed when a person is not eating healthy foods. Making small changes now can make a difference over time.
One of the best ways to increase your focus and help you feel more energized is exercise. A study was done using mice that shows that the brain’s energy stores are filled when the mice exercised daily, making them more alert. This is because moving causes the production of brain cells. Doing something as simple as taking an evening walk can increase the brain cells that help with memorization and sleep. It can also elevate your mood and reduce stress. Although it may be hard to find time to exercise, the benefits make it worth it. Finding something you already do or enjoy doing such as a sport or other physical activity can help with motivation.
Overall, making a few changes in your life can increase your success in school. So next Thursday when you snuggle up on the couch ready for your weekend Netflix binge, switch your snickers out for celery and take you first step on your road to health and success.