No time for sleep

“The 2008 Sleep in America Poll conducted by the National Sleep Foundation reports that the average American work day has evolved to nine hours and 28 minutes. As college students living up to the American dream, it’s no wonder we never get enough rest. Most of us maintain multiple jobs to afford tuition, bills and other expenses necessary to survive.”

The 2008 Sleep in America Poll conducted by the National Sleep Foundation reports that the average American work day has evolved to nine hours and 28 minutes. As college students living up to the American dream, it’s no wonder we never get enough rest. Most of us maintain multiple jobs to afford tuition, bills and other expenses necessary to survive. On top of working a nine hour work day, we devote our daytime minutes to full-time credit hours, sometimes late-night cram sessions are the only way of passing an exam. With all of this work, preparation and studying, when do we find time to sleep?

It’s no secret that the average college student has the tendency to procrastinate in everything that they do. Does this mean that we tend to be lazy? Some of us simply don’t have the time to finish what we need to because we lead busy lives. We maintain social contact with friends, we plan the next steps in our academic career, we have papers due every week and we have textbooks to analyze. When we’re not focused on academics we’re focused on surviving financially in the economic world. With what little free time is allowed to us, do we choose to get the rest we need or do we try to get ahead while we can?

In a world where we are constantly striving to get ahead, we must make time as sleep deprivation can cause permanent problems to our health. During the 60 Minutes segment, The Science of Sleep, endocrinoligist Eve Van Cauter revealed that sleep deprivation could lead to such problems as obesity and diabetes.

We have really an epidemic of diabetes now, says Van Cauter. High schoolers are amongst the most sleep deprived individuals in our society, because they have an enormous sleep need – nine to ten hours. Yet they sleep less than seven hours per night. As college students who have much more academic productivity than the average high school student, are we not at greater risk for such illnesses?

The National Sleep Foundation expects us, as the growing adults of America, to receive seven to nine hours of sleep every night. Though this is the best solution to sleep deprivation, the NSF also recommends napping in increments of 10-30 minutes as it can maintain alertness throughout the day. As responsible college students who are forced to live, eat and breath academics, we must stay alive long enough to graduate. With midterms around the corner, this is a perfect opportunity to begin setting aside times for a good night’s rest. Quick nap anyone?