Sleep Deprivation takes its toll

By Monica Rosales | Contributing Writer |

Lack of sleep continues to add to daily struggles of college students as they attempt to conquer life all at once in order to meet deadlines.

According to a study by the center for Disease Control and Prevention, almost 70 percent of teens and people in their early 20’s are not getting the sleep they need.

Due to an overload in activities, most college students admit to only getting an average of 6 hours of sleep at night, if they are lucky.

 

Students are overworked, carrying stress on their shoulders from school, extra-curricular activities, jobs, and the attempt to maintain a social life.

 

“I’m kind of used to getting a minimal amount of sleep because of school, but to be honest I’m always exhausted and it’s definitely catching up to me!” said student Ariel Ornelas.

 

According to an article on sleep and college life by Dr. James Oelschlager, college students sleep and average of two hours less per day than college students in the 1980s.

 

The lack in sleep has caused a positive correlation between lack of sleep and decrease in physical health, mental health, and academic performance.

 

Students are attempting to avoid the most important biological necessity, thinking it’ll give them the advantage on their academics — but it is damaging their health more than improving.

 

“What’s sleep? Life gets in the way too much. I go to bed around 11 and get up around 4:30 every day,” said student Bryan Figueroa.

 

According to the University Health Center, the typical college students should have an average of 6-6.9 hours of sleep per night on order to maintain a healthy and balanced lifestyle.

 

Although, contradicting research has proven that hours of sleep spent is not scientifically proven to be as important as the quality of sleep one can acquire.

 

“Lack of sleep is one of the worst things! I feel like it can impair mood, ability to think straight/concentrate and makes things just worse!” said graduate Christina Rios.

Most students are unaware of the effect the delayed sleep phase syndrome has on their mood or performance.

 

Deprivation itself can take a toll on students

, as many are living away from home for the first time

Students also take up bad habits such as smoking and an increase of alcohol consumption, which extends the non-rapid eye movement (NREM) phase and decreases the chance of obtaining REM sleep.

 

During sleep, one usually goes through five phases of sleep. Four of which NREM and the last and most important one, REM.

These stages of sleep are indicators of how we can manage our health because they can affect our bodies in different ways.

 

NREM are the initial stages of sleep that promotes bodily growth and health to occur. REM sleep on the other hand, is the last stage one experiences and is important because it refreshes your body and mental health.

 

“While REM sleep may not necessarily interfere with all memory retrieval, it has been associated with certain impairments in learning new kinds of information,” said Professor Richard J. Addante, PhD. of the Psychology department.

 

The lack of REM sleep a student acquires can drastically impair students learning and is a cause for poor performance on exams.

Sleeping should not be a hassle or struggle, it should be our gateway out of stress to conquer life the right way.

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