Students often try cramming sleep they didn’t get during the week from studying and partying on the weekend. The effects of this can be much like cramming for a test. Monday morning they may feel refreshed and ready to tackle any challenge but by the middle of the week the effects of not getting a good night’s sleep will start to show.”I find it hard to sleep at night sometimes, but I never have a problem sleeping during the week at school because the ambient noise helps me relax,” said Dakota Powell after waking from 40 winks in Jenkins Hall.Recent findings show chronic sleep loss can’t be cured easily, according to lead researcher Dr. Daniel Cohen of Boston’s Brigham and Women’s Hospital. Scientists broke down the effects of short- and long-term sleep loss and found that the chronically sleep-deprived may function normally soon after waking up, but experience steadily slower reaction times as the day wore on, even if they had tried to catch up the previous night.”I’ve always considered myself a shift sleeper. For instance I have never really been able to get more than a few hours of sleep at any time.” said Jacob Bamburg, after catching some Z’s in Rogers Student Center.According to The National Institute of Health, the average person, to function properly and remain healthy, needs seven to nine hours of sleep each night. Most Americans are lucky to get six or less a night. Often getting too little rest increases the risk of health problems, including memory impairment and a weakened immune system. This also affects reaction times; sleepiness is often to blame for car crashes and other accidents.”Regulate time going to bed and waking up. These are things that should help you out with your daily routines,” said Dr. Stephanie Eijsink, MD at TJC.Recent studies from Boston’s Brigham and Women’s Hospital report it has been shown that staying awake 24 hours in a row impairs performance to a level comparable to blood-alcohol content beyond the legal limit to drive. Add to that pulling an all-nighter of either work or studying or sometimes both for some students, then the deterioration is increased by 10. “One thing that is very important for all students is to not create a habit of napping during the day,” said Eijsink.Findings also show the older you are, the less sleep you are likely to need. College students mostly being ages ranging from eighteen to early twenties fall under the category of needing more sleep than less.”Older adults, aged 66-83, slept about 20 minutes less than middle-aged adults (40-55 years), who slept 23 minutes less than young adults aged 20-30,” said Clinical Research Centre of the University of Surrey in England.
On the same night, the younger adults had 118.4 minutes of deep sleep, compared to 85.3 minutes for middle-aged adults and 84.2 minutes for older adults.Dr. Eijsink, MD gave a few pointers of how students could get better sleep. “We are still creatures of habit and habits are hard to break,” said Eijsink.Allow the body to wind down before sleep. Don’t do anything stimulating to the mind before bed like watching television or drinking coffee. “As they used to say in my day mellow out a little bit, remembering that the body must first wind down to sleep,” said Eijsink.