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Becchina: Sleep necessary for continued college success

By Nicole Becchina
On September 28, 2010

Being college students, we all know it can be tough trying to get enough sleep sometimes, especially in the dorms.

You'd be surprised at how many of us are actually sleep-deprived each and every day.

With activities going on all the time, we have tons and tons of distractions. Whether it be studying, classes, sports, friends, or partying we're always doing something. There are numerous reasons why we may not be getting the correct amount of sleep we should be getting each night, which is at least 6-8 hours.

Naturally, when freshman students come to college they will lose sleep just because it is a big adjustment for them.

Many of us tend to stay up late doing homework or socializing and some of us, like myself, are up late just because.

Then there are the ones who just can't sleep. Whether that be because of stress and life in general or because of a sleeping disorder, like insomnia. Studies show that about 20 percent of college students suffer from sleeping disorders.

I've actually gotten to experience what it's like to live with someone who has insomnia this semester. It kind of fascinates me to hear what night time and sleeping is like for her.

While the average person with insomnia will get about 3 ½ to 4 ½ hours of sleep a night, she averages about 2 1/2 to 3 ½ hours every night. Most people with insomnia do not reach REM sleep during a period of sleep, which is the deepest stage of sleep and is required for growth. It is just interesting to me how their body can adjust to these sleeping patterns and be perfectly fine.

I'm one of those people who can get very few hours of sleep and be fine the next day, but most college student can't do that and this is why naps are popular during our free time.

I found that students who do not get enough sleep tend to increase their food-intake. I find this interesting because when I thought about it, it's true. This is part of the reason new students put on the "freshman-15" their first year of college. Also, athletes who don't get enough sleep may not be able to reach their peak performance.

According to doctors, a good way to prevent sleep-deprivation is to exercise, which isn't a difficult task at this school. The Hull Center is open every day to anyone. Sleep is also a stress reliever.

While socializing and having a good time is usually at the top of our list, we should not forget how much the amount of sleep we get each night effects our lives each and every day.

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