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Inadequate Sleep Proves

Deb-imelital for Students

Contributing r i t ~ r
Today's Americans, particularly
college students, are placing sleep on
the back burner while juggling rigorous
school and work schedules, extracurric-
ular 'activities and social lives. AB a re-
. suit, they are ultimately suffering from
sleep deprivation.
Sleep is a state of unconscious-
ness where one can still be aroused. It is
necessary to carry out the normal func-
tions of the body. Adequate amounts
of sleep are eight hours for adults and
nine or more for teens.
''Not getting enough sleep will
lead to a depressed mood, difficulty
concentrating and . slower reaction
time," ASsociate Professor of Medicine
atjohns Hopkins University Dr. Nancy
Gollop said. "It should be obvious ~ o w
this can effect a college student's ability
to learn, interact with others and stay
Lack of sleep can also cause
more serious health problems that ef-
fect metabolic functions, the brain, the
heart, the nervous system and one's
ability to fight off illnesses.
In the U.S., college students are
the largest group of people who get in- .
adequate amounts of sleep. According
to a 2001 study on sleep conducted by
the Health Education Department at
Bree Gant. Slaff Photographer
Cella Benvenutti a sophomore biology major, catches up on some much-needed sleep.
Eight hours 9f sleep a night Is recommended, but many students are getting far less.
Brown Uiiiversity, only 11 percent of
college-aged students are having good
. quality sleep. This is due in part to car-
rying full course loads, studying long
hours, participating in extracurricular
activities and holding part-time jobs,
while still trying to maintain some sort
of social life. Often, there is not time
for sleep.
"Being busy is the reason for
my lack of sleep," said Tyana Ingram,
senior administration of justice major .
. ''.Just having a lot of [school] work to do
and getting home later from work."
Francesca Hindman, a junior
accounting major l!elieves that her full
> See SLEEP,. page 3
Experts: 'Students
Make Time for Sleep'

Continued from FRONT
schedule contributed to her lack
of sleep.
in too many or-
ganizations at Howard and bad
time management keep me from
getting sleep," Hindman said.
"Now that I've cut doWn on the
activities, my sleeping habits have
gotten better".
College students also
have a tendency to pull "all-
nighters." According to a study
conducted by Pamela Thatcher,
the associate professor of psychol-
ogy at St. Lawrence University,
this can lead to students having
lower GPAs. All-nighters effect
how a person learns new mate-
rial because they don't go through
REM (Rapid Eye
sleep. REM, which occurs during
the later hours of sleep, is vital to
learning new information.
Students tend to sleep
when ther can, and often_ have no
particular when 1t cqmes
to sleep. Not having a sleep rou-
tine disrupts the circadian rhythm,
which controls the amount and
quality of sleep a person gets. Sta-
bilizing the rhythm ensures better
sleep and better health .
"I don't think I can [ m-
crease my sleep]," Ingram said.
"I'm trying to graduate. I'm tak-
ing a lot of classes and then I
According to Dr. Wil-
liam C. Dement, Professor of
Psychiatry and Sleep Medicine
at Stanford University School of
Medicine, college-aged students
should be getting eight, if not
more, hours of sleep nightly .Get-
ting less sleep than that can lead to
a "sleep debt." The debt increases
as people go without the ap-
propnate amount of sleep.
"Every aspect of a wl-
lege student's life is impaired .by
lack of sleep," Dr. Dement said.
"What most students do not know
is that all lost sleep accumulates as
debt. The degree of impairment
is directly related to the size of the
debt. When only a small amount
of sleep is lost on a nightly basis,
it is difficult to attribute severe im-
pairment to sleep loss. The cause
of impairment following no sleep
at all is much more obvious."
The only way this debt
is reduced is by getting the extra
sleep missed.
Inadequate amounts
of sleep have been proven to
have negative effects on students
because it keeps the brain from
. functioning properly and can lead
to academic struggles, low atten-
tion span, and driving accidents
for those who commute.
"I find it hard to pay at-
tention when I don't get enough
said Shaleah King, a ju-
nior psychology major. ''.All I can
think about is sleeping."
There are several ways
people can increase the amount
of sleep they get. Going to bed
early and waking up at the same
time, even on weekends, can in-
crease the quality and amount
of sleep a person gets. Limit long
naps that can disrupt a sleep
schedule. Avoid eating heavy food
and food and drinks containing
caffeine in the afternoon and eve-
ning hours. People also should re-
lax and separate themselves from
all distractions for 15-30 minutes
before going to hed.
Hindman has advice for
college student struggling witl1
"Try to be more of a
morning and afternoon person.
Get your work done at these
times. It's up to students to get
into a more structured routine."