Sleep is a necessity that people tend to take for granted and don’t get enough of, especially college students. With schedules filled with work, school, volunteering, internships, relationships and social lives, who has time for sleep?
Well that is the question that many students are contemplating with and the simplest solution to that question is to reduce the amount of sleep to get everything accomplished.
“Our body needs that time of sleep to recuperate and regenerate,” said Teri Lisagor, assistant professor. “Sleep helps the body recuperate and slow down for the moment. It’s a part of that balancing in your lifestyle.”
The National Heart, Lung and Blood institute recommends an average of eight hours of sleep a day. The institute also states that an inadequate amount of sleep can decrease performance, concentration, reaction times and reduce the ability to retain information. The institute also states that a lack of sleep can increase memory lapses, accidents, injuries, and behavior and mood problems.
Sleep deprivation is very high among college students. It is a big issue and a pattern for college students who deprive themselves of sleep on an average basis.
“My personal issue with sleep deprivation is that students focus more on their personal lives rather than their academic future,” said Alexander Alekseenko, mathematics professor. “Students get carried away with their exciting social lives.”
Students tend to spend the bulk of their day focusing on school, work or volunteering. At night, it is homework or studying for finals and midterms.
“I only get a couple of hours of sleep at night,” said Amanda Hellack, psychology major. “Instead of sleeping, I’m studying. On average I get about five hours of sleep at night.”
There is also the overlooked factor that students have taken on more responsibilities. Having a major in college already adds enough work for students, but there are also students who have double majors. There are also those students who have alternative responsibilities such as involvement in clubs and organizations.
“I am sleep-deprived mainly because of school,” said Elma Garibyan, pre-med major. “Studying mainly prevents me from getting enough sleep. I go to school, then I run to work, then I rush to volunteer. Then when I get back home I am studying.”
When students don’t get enough sleep they tend to make up for it on the weekend or during the day in class.
“On occasion I have seen students fall asleep,” said Marcia Siderow, math professor. “I use the overhead projector when I teach, face my students and interact with them so it keeps them alert.”
Students admit to sleeping in class but put the blame on lack of caffeine or a boring professor.
“It’s hard to stay focused in class because I find myself nodding off and my mind wanders off, especially if the lecture is boring,” said junior Oscar Olvera. “Caffeine keeps me awake. Two cups of coffee like lattes or espressos keeps me up.”
Other schools, such as Duke University have taken different tactics to keep students alert in class including eliminating 8 a.m. classes.
The real issue might not be sleep deprivation, but time management.
“Professors don’t really add to me being sleep-deprived,” Olvera said. “They do give me a lot of homework, but I just don’t have time to do it.”