How The Lack of Sleep Can Potentially Hinder Your College Career

It is not rare for college students to wake early for school only after getting less than the minimal suggested amount of sleep. Sleep deprivation is the condition that occurs if one doesn’t get enough sleep.

When thinking of college students, people immediately think of all night study sessions and never-ending parties.

A college student’s lifestyles can cause a considerable spike in sleep disorders and sleepless nights.

According to the National Institute of Health, getting enough quality sleep at the right times can help protect your mental health, physical health, quality of life and safety.

“Students tend to adhere to their demanding agendas by cutting into their sleep hours with late night studying or procrastination,” said Shante Harvey, a graduate intern at Sunshine Manor.

Procrastinating can also cause students to stress, due to worrying and high levels of pressure they put on themselves.  However, too much stress can make students tense and anxious and cause serious sleep problems.

Such inadequate sleep patterns can affect a student’s day-to-day functioning in numerous ways.

“Sleep deprivation can affect a student’s classroom performance, social life, and physical and mental health problems,” Harvey said.

Some students do not understand how their bad habits can affect their health. Most students are just worrying about passing classes and partying. They are not about the long or short term damages they are causing on their bodies.

Shenell Gray, a registered nurse at Patients First in Baltimore, Md., thinks lack concentration when they do not get enough sleep.      

“Students can also experience difficulty concentrating, declines in metabolism and mental health issues like anxiety and depression,” Gray said.

Having a sleep disorder does not itself cause depression, but lack of sleep does play a role in this illness.

A full schedule can be a cause of sleep deprivation according to Arielle Burton, a family and child sciences student at Florida State University.

“Many students become sleep deprived due to their hectic schedules whether it be school, work or their extracurricular activities. Sometimes I feel like there’s not enough hours in the day,” Burton said.

According to Gray, consuming massive amounts of coffee and energy drinks to help us stay awake and study may not be the way to go.  

“Caffeine and alcohol also contribute to a student’s poor sleeping habits,” Gray said. “The overconsumption of any of these beverages can cause a disruptions in ones sleep pattern, which can eventually cause students to become less focus and ultimately cause their grades to drop.”

According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, a sufficient night’s sleep varies between individuals but the average adolescent and/or adult needs seven to nine hours of sleep per night. Less than eight hours and the body’s efficiency starts to decline.

Harvey suggest that students utilize their planner and set a consistent schedule so their bodies can get on a set plan. The CDC also proposed that students go to bed at the same time each night and rise at the same time each morning, avoid large meals before bedtime, nicotine, and avoid caffeine and alcohol close to bedtime, these sleep hygiene tips will help improve their sleep habits.