As finals approach, students tend to stay up at all hours of the night to turn in last minute projects and papers. Some students said they stay up the entire night to study for tests to make the high marks required to pass their class. However, those students are being deprived of sleep.
How much sleep does a person need in order to perform their best in a class or do well on a test? According to collegecareercoach.com, “Nine hours of sleep per night is the recommended amount for college students. Most college students average only six to seven hours and very often they get much less. Studying, all-night cram sessions, jobs, the Internet and video games take priority over sleep.”
Tamisha Hawkins, a second year pre-medicine student from Fort Washington, Md., and Ahamad Muslim, a graduating electrical engineering student from Washington, D.C., said they feel that as long as they get six hours of sleep that they can function their best in class.
Mike Ayala, a fifth-year history student from Largo, Md., said that while sleep is good, too much can be bad.
“More than ten hours of sleep can be too much and make you still feel tired through the day,” he said. “That much sleep only makes me feel groggy after I wake up.”
For the upcoming week, students said they plan to sleep less because of cramming. Some students have to type long papers and are forced to stay up the entire night. Other students take over the counter drugs like NO-Dooze, a caffeine pill that allows individuals to stay awake or prescription drugs like Adderall to help people focus.
Some just drink energy drinks to keep awake. However, these methods of staying awake have a major side effect, loss of sleep. After taking any of these ways of staying up, throughout the night individuals will feel the relapse of the drug when they sleep the next day for about ten hours.
So when is too much sleep a bad thing?
Ehow.com states, “Even though sleeping is a good thing for our bodies, there is such a thing as too much sleep. Too much sleep can have a negative effect on our minds and bodies in much the same way that too little sleep.”
Shavonne Austin, a freshman political science student from Oviedo, Fla. said too much sleep throws her out of whack.
“If I slept the majority of the day, I feel I missed a great opportunity to do work that needed to be done, but if I didn’t get enough sleep I know I will be fighting myself to stay awake in class,” Austin said.
Sleep researcher Dr. William Delment, M.D., of Stanford University, stated that the brain regulates how much sleep a person needs to function properly and how much sleep is too much. He calls this regulation a sleep debt in which most people ignore or resist sleep as much as possible until they are unable to stay awake any longer. In his study he finds that even if people resist sleep it will catch up to them eventually.