Is sleep deprivation worse than drinking or smoking marijuana?

alcohol, drinking, marijuana, Olumia Life, rem, rest, sleep deprivation, sleep stages



Burning the midnight oil for class or work too often? You may as well be spending your night at the bar for all the good it’s doing you. At least, that’s what findings from a study published by the American Academy of Sleep Medicine concludes. (For the record: Olumia Life does NOT support spending your nights at bars.)

To sleep or not to sleep?

According to the study, which examined over 43,000 students, the effects of sleep deprivation were as detrimental on college students’ academic performance and grade-point average as binge-drinking and marijuana use. Even when taking factors like gender, race, work hours and more into consideration,

It’s worse for freshmen. Sleep deprivation was the only true connection found between whether a student dropped or completed a given course. That’s right; whether a student drank or not, had a job or even had a learning disability was not as accurate an indicator of staying in classes as how much sleep they got.

Data was taken from the Spring 2009 American College Health Association National College Health Assessment (NCHA).


There are myriad articles explaining the importance of getting enough quality sleep, but perhaps no recent study has been able to show just how valuable sleep (or how bad a lack thereof) is compared to other issues we may face.

And don’t think that sleep deprivation is only a problem if you’re in college! In our late teens and early 20’s, our bodies are better able to bounce back from injury and adverse health conditions than later in life.

Sleep is always important and only more so the older you get.

What kind of sleep do I need?

Even for younger adults, you should be getting no less than 6 hours per night on average, and even that amount is not ideal. Most doctors recommend you get an average of 7-9 hours every night to really function at your best.

It’s also important to note that simply sleeping for a long time is not necessarily the best way to sleep right. Quality is as important as quantity whether you have class in the morning or not.

Our bodies do the most important kind of rejuvenation during the deepest stages of sleep. It’s important to make sure that your sleep is not disrupted in the evening so that you can spend enough time in the deep stages. Loud noises and constant light can cause your brain to have trouble cycling into these stages, which can be difficult if you live in a lively dormitory.

Pro tip: If you can remember your dreams, it’s a good indication that you’re getting a good enough time in the deeper stages, as this means you will then progress into longer cycles where we dream (REM).

The Olumia Life Sleep program offers a great deal of ways you can improve how you sleep, manage your schedule more properly and get all the quality sleep you deserve.

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