Sleep at home, not in class

Courtesy photo.

By JONATHAN GIBSON, Ranger Reporter:

Sleep–it’s important–possibly more important than you think.

According to an article published by the University of Georgia’s health center, most college students average six to seven hours of sleep per night.

The American Academy of Sleep Medicine recommends that adolescents get nine hours of nightly sleep.

Few students have that much time available for sleeping.

According to some professors and student leaders at AC orientation, students should study three hours for every hour they spend in class.

Surely no one lives up to this standard, seeing as there isn’t enough time in the day to attend class for five hours and study for 15 – that leaves only four hours for everything else—including sleep.

Hillary Easley-McPherson, a history professor, has seen firsthand how lack of sleep can affect students.

“If you don’t have sleep, it’s hard to pay attention,” McPherson said. “I’ve had students, just as soon as they sat down… I never even got to open my mouth… and they were asleep. They’re not learning a lot if they’re snoring. It also jeopardizes the people around that person.”

Of course, lack of sleep doesn’t just affect students, it also affects professors.

“If you’re not getting proper rest you might sleep in and you might not be as focused as you’d like to be,” McPherson said. “Just make sure that you’re ready to go. Go to bed, get your rest.”

According to the University of Michigan, “College students go to bed one to two hours later and sleep less per night on average compared to previous generations. As a result, 75 percent  of UM undergraduates do not sleep enough to feel rested on five or more days per week, and 19 percent reported that sleep difficulties had an impact on academic performance in the past year.”

This article includes some recommendations:

Adjust your wake-up time rather than bedtime. Change your behavior–relax before sleeping, try not to do homework before or in bed and avoid TV and computer use before bed.

Take naps–most students won’t be able to get a full night’s sleep every night, and napping can help make up for this.

Caytie Cox, a nursing major, has experienced sleep deprivation during class before.

“I know that I barely function if I don’t get enough sleep,” Cox said. “It’s all about concentration. If I’m tired, I’m not going to concentrate at all, whereas if I have had enough sleep, I’m awake, listening and more enthusiastic to learn.”

Reed Nichols, a general studies major, agreed.

“If you stay up all night before you take a test, you’re not going to be focused enough,” Nichols said. “If you have eight hours of sleep or so, you’re going to be rested and have plenty of cognitive ability to study and pay attention.”

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