The sleep deprivation problem

How many hours per night do you sleep? Chances are if you are anything like the average American, you retreat to bed somewhere between ten o’clock and midnight. If you are a little bit of a night owl, you may push those bounds to one in the morning. Seven or eight hours of sleep is generally the norm and that is enough to function on for the average working adult. College students, on the other hand, are taking this thing to a whole new extreme. No longer are the usually accepted rules of sleeping a mandate for the busy college student. Needing more hours in the day to do the work, students are finding them in wee morning when most normal people are sleeping.

The average college student these days heads to bed sometime around two o’clock. Those are the early timers, though, at my school and many more. On any given week night, you can head to campus libraries to find students cramming for that economics exam and folks hitting the organic chemistry books hard in preparation for the midterm that they had forgotten about. At Clemson University, the Cooper Library stays open 24 hours, with little restriction on when students can come and go. Here, the library is a social setting and serves as a bedroom for many weary college kids. They do not sleep long, though.

The kids are not hitting the beds because there is work to be done. They have to balance the long hours of the college academic schedule to go along with the ever important social outings that make college bearable. Many students are forgoing sleep altogether by taking pills such as Aderal that will keep them awake and focused for hours upon end. This trend is not only startling, it is disturbing to many parents and folks involved in the health field.

The recommended number of hours for sleep is right around six according to most scientists. Many feel, however, that the more a person sleeps, the better they will perform when it comes down to it. Your mattress also plays a big role in getting your sleep. College students are proving once again that they can do things most can not. In addition to setting trends in partying and academic performance, kids are doing so on a tank that many scientists would describe as being on empty. It does not promise to get any better, either. With the holiday season upon us and exams just around the corner, kids will be sleeping less and working more. They would not have it any other way.