It’s not uncommon to walk into a classroom and see students struggling to keep their eyes open. Colleges are starting to realize how sleep deprivation cuts into the overall performances of their students. All-nighters have become a habit in higher education – one that has detrimental consequences.
“It’s not uncommon to walk into a classroom and see students struggling to keep their eyes open. Colleges are starting to realize how sleep deprivation cuts into the overall performances of their students. All-nighters have become a habit in higher education – one that has detrimental consequences.
Students and sleep seem to have an antagonistic relationship. Disruptions in sleep and college life often go together due to a combination of stress, coursework and social activities. Just as the saying goes, when you come to college, time permits only two out of the three activities: sleep, study or a social life. For most students, sleep gets pushed on the back burner.
”In college,” University of Akron student Courtney Ou said, ”your mom isn’t there to tell you to go to bed, and for me, things only got worse. Within a month, I was staying up all night, going to bed at 9 a.m. and pretty much missing all of my classes. Many nights I would sit with my textbooks and stare at them, but I wouldn’t let myself go to bed until I finished my work.
”It seemed to be a vicious cycle. The later I stayed up, the worse my concentration got, making studying pretty much impossible. I would read the same paragraphs over and over, and pretty much cried about it,” said Ou.
Sleep and college life often seem mutually exclusive. Students have the freedom to decide when they go to bed, and the choice is usually late. This is probably because of the sleep-is-for-wimps mindset most college students have. Lack of sleep leads to the reliance on coffee, energy drinks and over-the-counter alertness pills by students to stay awake, at least somewhat, during classes.
As a college student, stress from schoolwork is the biggest contributor to many sleepless nights. Most college students can admit that their amount of sleep is based on their workload. It can be strenuous getting all one’s work done and getting the recommended seven to nine hours of sleep. Furthermore, stress from social and family life can be an additional hindrance.
The semester is now slowly coming to the end; meaning finals are just around the corner. For many students, this will lead to staring at the clock at 3 a.m. and wondering where exactly their night went. Perhaps time slipped away doing a last-minute project due tomorrow or studying for the two tests they have on Thursday. Sitting aimlessly on Facebook or Twitter, however, is probably the biggest culprit. Regardless, it is still 3 a.m. and getting the recommended amount of sleep is highly unlikely with class in the morning.
Now is the time to create lasting healthy attitudes and habits if you haven’t already. Since day one of college, the importance of time management is emphasized for a reason. With finals approaching, students should make sure they schedule time to have a date with the Sandman. Sleep is important for your grades, health and stress levels, plus it can contribute to your overall health and longevity in the future. Plus, it is not called beauty rest for nothing.