Darting my eyes around the lecture theatre counting…1…2…5…7…12! That’s a record. It was only week 4 of the semester and 12 sleepy soles were already passed out!
I used to think how lazy and rude these students were for nodding off in the middle of the lecture. But then it happened to me. I woke up with a start when everyone trampled out of the lecture, realising I had drool crusted on my chin and coffee spillage down my jeans. Sex Bomb.
Now, lets get one thing straight. It’s not that students can’t be bothered to listen; it’s actually that our minds can’t focus. Juggling full-time uni, co-curricular activities, part time work and social time with friends/family/boyfriend cuts down a lot of valuable night time zzz’s. After 10pm, like quite a few of my friends, I get into serious study mode. Crazy as it may sound to some , I complete the most work between the hours of 10pm-12pm.
Dr. Judith A. Owens and her co-authors write in the American Academy of Paediatrics stated that, “the average adolescent in the United States is chronically sleep deprived and pathologically sleepy…”
It’s alarming how many of my peers boast about pulling all-nighters. So many students, including myself when I first started uni, do not care about sleep. I used to think coffee was the answer to all my sleep problems, and as long as my memory served I didn’t need to fret about not sleeping 8 hours.
American student Connor Nikolic says, “While we may think we are adults, college students shouldn’t be quick to deny their bodies ample — and natural — time to catch some Z’s.”
When it comes to napping many students say they would like to be able to take a nap, but they just don’t have the time for one. Anti-nappers such as Danielle Joyce argue that they’re “not productive”, “mess up my sleeping schedule” and “make me feel sick and lazy”.
Tracy Eileen says “…it’s common for students to burn the midnight oil, to watch TV or meet social demands. An erratic lifestyle like this commonly produces sleep problems.”
Although there are many methods which may help regulate your sleep pattern, (Scott Fetters give some great tips in his Huffington Post blog post: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/scott-fetters/generation-y-cant-we-sleep_b_4950533.html) there are 2 basic things that need to be changed before you try out any wild methods:
- VALUE your sleep. If you perceive sleep to be as important as healthy eating and exercise (which it certainty is!), you’ll make an effort to go to bed earlier and take consistent naps. All-nighters are not something to be bragged about.
- Don’t feel guilty about taking a 20min nap and give yourself full permission to get horizontal.
Let’s stop depriving our bodies of a basic human need!
Please comment if you have any sleep-management tips for struggling students. Or alternatively, any confronting facts about sleep deprivation…
Don’t know any shocking facts? Have a quick glance at this article: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/09/18/scary-sleep-deprivation-effects_n_2807026.html