“I’m so tired!” is a phrase heard all around the Florida A&M University, and most likely on campuses around the country. According to a study by the online magazine Science Daily, college students 18-24 get the least sleep of any age group.
Sleep deprivation is a long- standing issue due to the pressure on students to complete numerous assignments in a short amount of time. For students in every major, sleep seems to come and go very quickly.
“We need around seven to eight hours of sleep a night,” said Shanice Deterville, a fourth-year psychology student from Tampa, Fla. “When we don’t get that, it causes us to be less attentive in class, unaware of things around us and lose a lot of focus.”
Some students may be able to block off that amount of time for sleep, but many can’t. Even though the school year has just begun, assignments are coming in and deadlines are steadily approaching.
“I go to bed not expecting to get much more than five hours of sleep on a regular basis,” said Boafo Manu, a senior biology student from St. Louis, who admits he doesn’t get enough sleep. He says his major is demanding and sleep deprivation is just part of it.
When factoring the effects sleep deprivation has on GPAs, it makes this habit even worse. Tanya Tatum, the Director of Student Health Services, said “you may be able to pull one all-nighter, but you actually do a lot better when you get the amount of sleep you need.”
In a study from the Journal of American College Heath, sleep-deprived students tested “significantly worse than the non-deprived students.” Although some students think they can do it all, there’s actually a breaking point that oftentimes isn’t noticed until it’s too late.
So, what’s a student to do? The homework and tests aren’t going to stop, and professors and employers stress the importance of being well-rounded and involved.
Manu tries to “eat healthy and exercise” to counteract the effects of sleep deprivation. Deterville also does this and believes that it’s “impossible to get four hours of sleep and think you’re going to be prepared the next day.”
Tatum also stressed that proper planning and time management are two keys to being able to get more sleep and accomplish more throughout the day.
Even though students often skip sleep to get better grades, the best way to achieve that 4.0 is to get a full night’s rest according to Science Daily.