Sitting in class, sophomore, Victoria Pulley listens and gathers notes while her professor talks about rock structures. She listens while the chalk board fades into a white fog. Her eyes slowly start to close and her head drops backwards, and then suddenly shoots forward jumping out of tiredness. She takes a long drink from her coffee and shakes out the jitters in her hands and continues to write her notes.
“I have not been able to get a decent night’s sleep in weeks because of my studying and extra activities that I am involved in,” Pulley said, A full time student Apache Belle Dance Captain who has been putting in extra house for the Drill team’s annual spring production. “I am fighting staying awake all the time. I am so exhausted I feel like a zombie stumbling through my day.”
According to Mayo Clinic Adult should be getting between 7 to 8 hours of sleep. Only 11 percent of college students get enough sleep, says Harvard Medical School. Not having the right amount of sleep can cause the brain to mix up factual information and procedural memories for example leaving the telephone in the fridge or trying to change the channel when the television is not on.
“I sleep around four or five hours per night,” said Reese Turner, transfer student from Sam Houston State University currently taking 18 hours at TJC. “I am so busy that I don’t really notice how tired I am, honestly. I haven’t noticed any changes in my personality but when I get sick or a cold it takes longer for me to get over it.”
Not getting enough sleep can weaken the immune system says Brown University.
“My eyes have circles around them and I am little jittery but other than that I have not felt any side effects,” said Pulley. “I haven’t had any hallucinations yet.”
Many students rely on caffeine to make up for the lack of sleep. Some doctors say that it is unhealthy according to WebMD. Drinking coffee in moderation shows that it can benefit health similar to drinking red wine for heart disease.
“I have become crazy addicted to coffee and any forms of caffeine especially since the school added Starbucks to the library,” Pulley said. “I crave it like a drug. I need my caffeine fix.”
Experts say to help get a fuller night’s sleep is to avoid drinking caffeine after lunch.
“Once work slows down I will finally have the chance to relax and sleep like a normal person,” Turner said.
(Information for a list or chart)
Health Effects from Lack of Sleep
-high blood pressure
info from Harmony Companyannah Fletcher