College Students and the Need for Sleep

Article #2 – Final

Sleep is important, but is it your top priority? As important as sleep is, getting the right amount of sleep is even more so. The average time the body needs to sleep is eight hours. Not saying everyone needs to sleep eight hours, it’s just the average. Carol Garvey, Morningside’s Nurse, says, “Seven to nine is rejuvenating.”

When asked if college students need a lot of sleep or not, Garvey replied: “Everybody needs the right amount of sleep. We know college students are way behind on sleep and it’s a cumulative year after year. You can never make up lost sleep.”




“You can never make up lost sleep.”

An interesting argument made by the nurse. Of course, not everyone has to believe it, but it does make a lot of sense. The body only works off of one night’s rest and does not retain sleep from other nights. This all has to do with the REM cycle. The REM Cycle is considered a full cycle of sleep for the body. Everyone gets to the REM Cycle at different points of sleep. Some may get a full night’s sleep at six hours, others at eight, maybe even some at five.

Paige McKern, a junior at Morningside College, is involved in a lot of things such as: holding the Secretary position on Morningside’s Student Government, Entrepreneurship member, a residence assistant in the Plex, manager at the Morningside Post Office, an associate at American Eagle, full-time student, involved in Morningside Activities Council, homecoming committee, and that’s just a few of them.

With her busy life style, she has a planner to keep her organized, and without it she would be lost. Between all of these things, she tries to get eight hours of sleep, but some days she is only able to get six. Paige says that she is able to function with six hours of sleep, but her best abilities are when she’s had eight.

An interesting idea: “If people used that hour in the day time, where they didn’t nap. Instead did their screen work, their homework, wouldn’t that buy you an hour in the evening to not do homework, but to sleep?” A point brought up by Garvey, because if you did your homework during the day instead of napped then you would then sleep better later. You would then sleep better when it was time for bed, because you wouldn’t have to worry about finishing your homework for it will already be done.

A way to get a good night’s rest, not only reduce the number of naps taken during the day, but practice good sleep hygiene. Good sleep hygiene is finding a nightly routine for you and sticking to it. This will help the body prepare itself for a good night’s sleep.

Some things that should be in the routine would be to wake up at the same time every day and on the weekend, wake up within the hour. Instead of napping during the day, do the procrastinated homework. Right before bed limit the amount of screen time you get and instead of staring at a screen, switch it out with a book. Also, don’t drink much or any caffeine or alcohol, because that will throw off the sleep cycle.

Take all of this with a grain of salt because everything affects people differently. There are a lot of rules to getting a good night’s sleep, but a good night’s rest never came easy. Now we leave with this quote from Paige McKern that everyone may relate to is: “Sleep is wonderful.”

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