Students are not getting adequate rest and are beginning to see the toll that it is taking on their academic career. How many hours is just enough sleep to be fully functional for the day? According to the National Sleep Foundation, nine hours of sleep is adequate time to be fully rested and have a “happy, productive life.” But with all the classes, work, extra-curricular activities and studying that many students do, nine hours of sleep just does not seem feasible.
There are more than 70 known sleep disorders, but the most widespread disorders are insomnia, narcolepsy, obstructive sleep apnea and restless leg syndrome – and adults are not the only ones suffering. In a recent study presented by, Jane Gaultney, PhD, associate professor of psychology at the University of North Carolina, about 27 percent of 1,845 students surveyed suffer from a minimum of one sleeping disorder. The median grade point average of those tested was 2.77 and 17 percent of those students were black.
“I believe it’s a form of insomnia. I have trouble staying and falling asleep,” said Nadia Laing, 22, a senior psychology and African-American studies student from Winter Park, Fla.
There are an estimated 30 – 50 percent of people who suffer from insomnia. Laing has tried everything from warm milk to Tylenol PM to help her sleep.
“I have missed classes and been late to work because I have trouble sleeping,” Laing said.
Obstructive sleep apnea, a disorder that disrupts breathing during sleep, is another sleep disorder that is affecting students.
Christopher Wooten, 27, criminal justice graduate student from Cleveland suffers from sleep apnea.
“The treatment was counterproductive,” said Wooten, who was clinically diagnosed and is no longer taking treatment.
College students have poor sleep habits. Students have been known to pull “all-nighters,” depriving themselves of the necessary amount of sleep they need. Gregory A. Holt, PhD., the owner and director of Tallahassee Sleep Diagnostic Center, treats all kinds of sleep disorders every day. Holt recommends that students get diagnosed and seek to receive the associated treatment. At the center Holt performs an overnight polysomnogram – a multi-channel sleep study recording EEG, EMG, SaO2 respiratory effort and airflow for later analysis.
“There is no substitute for sleep,” Holt said.
Students who have been having a lack of sleep and feel that they may suffer from a sleep disorder are urged to get the necessary treatment. To schedule an appointment or get more information, students can contact the Tallahassee Sleep Diagnostic Center at 878-7271 or Tallahassee Memorial Sleep Center at 431-4400.