Eight Hours of Sleep

If you’re a college student then you’re most likely sleep-deprived the majority of the time. This is a fact of life. At least in our current generation.

Competition has become such a crazy game that in order to even dream of landing a job after graduation, you have to do more than just getting good grades. Now you have to participate in extra-curricular activities, do internships, and still maintain an astronomically-high GPA. And this still doesn’t guarantee you anything; it only improves your chances over the kid who’s not doing all these things. The problem is that this busy schedule can only mean one thing: the time allocated for sleep decreases per activity added.

Shoot, I slept through class again...

I read an article today about the sleeping habits of college students. The article, provided by the UCLA’s student health center’s monthly publication, provided students with steps to healthier sleeping habits. For the sake of a better-rested student, everyone agrees that eight hours of sleep should be the norm. So one of the steps to approach better sleeping habits was to not overload your schedule. You know, don’t join three clubs if you only have time for one and that kinda stuff. Well, what if you have a job?

In my opinion, this article completely neglected student workers. Eight hours of sleep, at least during the week, is very unlikely when you’re taking a full load at school while working part-time. Even my doctor asked me to try to sleep eight hours- but how? Let me put this into perspective: on the days that I work (Monday, Wednesday and Friday), I must wake up around 5:30am. In order to get eight hours of sleep, that means I should go to bed at around 9pm so I can have enough time to fall asleep some time around 9:30pm. But by that time, I am only halfway through my school work (if I’m lucky). And on top of that, I have little time for extra-curricular activities. So what does that mean for us student workers?

Well, I’m not sure. Are we losing the competition? It depends on how you look at it. Are we constantly more edgy, tired and stressed because of lack of sleep? Certainly. Could we be able to pursue healthier sleep habits? I don’t think so. Then where’s the article for the ones who can’t choose to cut down on their off-campus activities?

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2 responses to “Eight Hours of Sleep

  • tnavarra

    It’s funny, I go to Bryant– a much smaller school– and they based an entire semester’s worth of a course on the 8-8-8 rule. Incoming freshmen had to take Foundations for Learning- basically, a class focusing on your “transition from high school to college.” In it, I read a textbook and listened to someone tell me I need 8 hours of sleep, 8 hours of school work and 8 hours of free time a day. When I factor in the fact that most days, I work 5-7 hours a day and go to classes for about 3 that leaves roughly 4 extra hours if I want sleep– then you factor in homework, assigned readings, and being “over involved” so you can be well-rounded and get a job– and I just wind up laughing and telling myself it’s a good night if I get to bed before 2am to be up at 6. Someone needs to rework that system. “They” know its impossible, yet they keep preaching this way of healthy living, when instead they should be reworking a way of healthy living for college students that facotrs in less time for sleep, because lets face it, 8 hours is impossible.
    I just rambled and I didn’t mean to, but basically, I feel your pain all too well! Good luck!

  • Mrs. This One

    You didn’t ramble, this was an excellent comment! I wish more people would share their thoughts with me- specially a fellow student like yourself.

    You totally get the point too, we’re overworked and we don’t really have a choice. Although it sounds you’re a lot more productive at night anyway. I used to be that way until I got hitched. I would go to sleep around 3am and wake up four or five hours later. I got a lot done those days but I was also upset all the time. Funny enough, I never attributed that to lack of sleep, I just thought it was a phase.

    Anyhow, it seems we’ll just stick to sleeping as many (few) hours as we can… that’s what college has really done to us. *sigh.*

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