Last Updated on November 3, 2013
Have you ever woken up groggy and tired from the night before? As college students, there are always factors that keep us up all night, whether it’s parties or pulling an all-nighter for a project that’s due the next day. But how much sleep should a college student receive?
According to an article from the University Health Center, on average a college student sleeps 6 – 6.9 hours a night. Students should get at least eight hours of sleep a night to properly function in class.
But why is sleep so important? Lack of sleep can cause a number of factors physically and mentally harmful to a student’s health. Web MD states that not getting enough sleep can lead to more car accidents, health problems, lower sex drive, and also can cause excessive weight gain. Sleep is so important because it repairs the body and restores memory. College students are more prone to gaining less sleep, causing them to be mentally more susceptible to stress due to lack of sleep.
Selina Lovelace, 20, a third-year criminology major from Washington, D.C., says she only sleeps about five hours a night. Lovelace says, “The sleep I get really doesn’t affect me. It just makes my body feel physically strained sometimes because I also dance.”
Like Lovelace, there are many other students who receive that same amount of sleep but do not believe that this is truly affecting them. According to the University Health Center, lack of sleep not only affects us but also our relationships with other people.
“Sleep touches every age,” says Joanne Hebding, manager and Registered Sleep Technologist at the Sleep Center at Tallahassee Memorial Hospital. Hebding believes that on average, a person 18 years and under should receive at least 8 – 10 hours of sleep a night. Adults over 21 should sleep at least 7 – 8 hours a night.
Hebding says that they see many college students in the Sleep Center. College students tend to delay their bedtimes because of certain circumstances, such as the use of computers. When exposed to light on these computers at home, melatonin is not produced in a timely manner, which delays their time to sleep.
Hebding suggests that in order for college students to receive those 7 – 8 hours of sleep, you must practice good sleep hygiene. Sleep hygiene trains your body so that when it is ready to sleep, the process will happen naturally. Hopefully with these tips, it will help college students receive the proper amount of sleep.
Here are 10 tips to having good sleep hygiene:
1. Avoid drinking caffeine, alcohol and other substances for 4 – 6 hours.
2. Turn your bedroom into a sleep environment (block out sound and light).
3. Establish a soothing pre-sleep routine.
4. Don’t go to sleep unless you are really tired.
5. Remove all clocks in the bedroom; use your body as your own natural clock.
6. No heavy meals 4 – 6 hours before you are going to sleep.
7. Exercise before noon.
8. Balance fluid intake; drink enough fluid at night to keep you from waking up thirsty.
9. Get out in the sun; natural light helps regulate your natural sleep cycle.
10. Nap early or not all.
Source: BLACK PR WIRE
Lechelle Powell is a student writer at Florida A&M University's The Famuan campus newspaper. Her article comes courtesy of the HBCU Writer's Project. The HBCU Writer's Project is designed to allow students attending historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs) the opportunity to exhibit their writing skills and have their works published on a national news wire website.