Sleep Deprivation and College Students: A Match Made In Hell

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Sleep Deprivation and College Students: A Match Made In Hell

Sleep deprivation can lead to short and long term health issues.

Sleep deprivation can lead to short and long term health issues.

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Sleep deprivation can lead to short and long term health issues.

Pexels

Pexels

Sleep deprivation can lead to short and long term health issues.

Jenna Febbo, Health and Beauty Editor

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A lack of sleep is something every college student is familiar with. Getting the recommended eight to ten hours of sleep a night sounds like a pipe dream once the semester gets going. The reality is that college students are used to being sleep deprived.

Staying up until the wee hours of the morning to study or finish a paper (last minute, of course) just has to happen sometimes. Unfortunately, the next day is full of regret. And if you don’t have time to take a nap, then that day is full of a lot of regrets. So, how exactly do you know you’re sleep deprived? Besides the fact that you feel tired, Health.com lists a few other common symptoms that may not be as noticeable. The increase in appetite, weight gain, indecisiveness, and a spotty memory are some other symptoms. Sleep deprivation also negatively affects your motor skills, your emotions, and your skin.

Sheryl Scalzo, an Adjunct Lecturer of Psychology and Health Sciences at Pace, says sleep deprivation also negatively affects your immune system.

“One area that many people don’t realize is that when you’re sleeping, your immune system produces protective cells, therefore you may not be able to fight off infections as well and/or take longer to recover from illness,” Scalzo said.

Scalzo also says there are some long-term effects of sleep deprivation.

“In the long term, studies have indicated that long-term sleep deprivation is associated with high blood pressure, heart disease, diabetes, and obesity.”

Students are now noticing the connection between lack of sleep and the way they feel the following day. Rachel Krawsek, a senior Digital Filmmaking and Cinema major, says she gets about six hours of sleep a night and that she feels “very out of it” and “drunk” on days where she has gotten even less.

“I find that I get really tired in the middle of the day so it makes daily tasks difficult,” Krawsek said. “I also feel hungrier than usual.”

Robert Marino, a senior Criminal Justice major, finds that he has less of an appetite when he doesn’t get much sleep the night before.

“Lack of sleep makes me feel nauseous and sick,” Marino said. “My body has adjusted slightly [to sleeping less] but it still affects me a lot.”

It may seem impossible for a college student to fix their abnormal sleeping schedule but it is very important to try. Scalzo has some tips to combat sleep deprivation. The obvious being time managing schoolwork effectively, getting some type of exercise during the day and avoiding all-nighters. No “screen time” for 30 minutes before bed can also help. That means powering down cell phones, laptops, and TVs.

Another recommendation, which students will probably find disappointing, is to not sleep in on the weekends.

“It’s helpful to limit extra weekend sleep so your body sticks to a somewhat normal schedule,” Scalzo said.

Sleep may seem expendable but it is not. Treat your mind and body correctly and fix your sleeping habits, Pace!

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