Copyright

Sleep Awareness Week: Sleep From A to Zzzzzs

Mar 07, 2011

It's National Sleep Awareness week. With the impending switch to Daylight Saving Time, when most of the country loses an hour of sleep, there's no better time to focus on the issue. This is especially true for college students, for whom restful sleep can be a rare and under appreciated commodity.

View popular schools

Sleeping student

By Jeff Calareso

An A in Sleep is Uncommon

Seven to nine hours of sleep per night are recommended for adults 18 years of age and older, according to the National Sleep Foundation. Yet 39% of adults don't get at least seven hours on weeknights. Additionally, 74% have some form of sleep problem that prevents them from getting meaningful, adequate rest.

For college students, the numbers are more alarming. A recent survey at Texas A&M University found that only 7% of college students got enough sleep to feel well-rested in the morning. Additionally, 26% of students reported getting lower grades or needing to drop a class due to sleep issues.

Why Sleep Matters

A lack of sleep can cause a multitude of problems. College students who aren't rested are prone to missing classes. When they're present, they're likely to have trouble staying alert in class. Their memory, reasoning and comprehension skills will also suffer.

Outside of coursework, sleep-deprived students experience depression and stress. If they get behind the wheel, they can be a potentially fatal hazard to themselves and others. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports that 55% of crashes related to falling asleep at the wheel involve people younger than 24, with the highest rate of crashes for 20-year-olds.

Find schools that offer these popular programs

  • Anesthesiologist Assistant
  • Chiropractic Technician
  • Clinical Laboratory Assistant
  • EMT Ambulance
  • Health Aide
  • Home Health Aide
  • Medical or Clinical Assistant
  • Medication Aide
  • Occupational Therapist Assistant
  • Pathology Assistant
  • Pharmacy Technician
  • Physical Therapist Assistant
  • Respiratory Therapy Technician
  • Veterinary Technician

Learning to Sleep Better

Even amidst the harried schedule of a college student, there are ways to help get better sleep. The first step is to focus on your schedule. Establish routines around when you'll study, how late you'll party and when you'll be in bed each night. While you don't need to go to sleep so early you miss out on the college experience, focusing on going to sleep around the same time each night will train your body to understand when it's downtime.

Tired College Student

Exercise is also a key step. While you shouldn't exercise fewer than three hours before bedtime, regular exercise will help you rest, keep your brain working well and help you avoid the freshman 15. When you exercise consistently, you may also be less inclined to overindulge in bad habits, like alcohol, caffeine and nicotine, all of which negatively impact your ability to sleep well.

There are many other great ways to get solid rest. For example, turn off your computer if its screen saver distracts you. If there's too much noise in your dorm, turn on a fan to drown out the outside noise. The fan will also cool off the room, which makes sleep easier.

Finally, if you're having trouble settling down at night, don't force it. If sleep won't come, get up and find an activity that might calm you. This include reading or listening to soothing music. When possible, a warm bath or trip to the hot tub can also help.

Aside from getting a good night's sleep, college life presents many challenges and opportunities for which you should be prepared.

Next: View Schools

What is your highest level of education?

Some College
Complete your degree or find the graduate program that's right for you.
High School Diploma
Explore schools that offer bachelor and associate degrees.
Still in High School
Earn your diploma or GED. Plan your undergraduate education.

Schools you may like:

Popular Schools

The listings below may include sponsored content but are popular choices among our users.

    • MSHS in Clinical Microbiology

    What is your highest level of education?

  • What is your highest level of education completed?

  • What is your highest level of education completed?

    • MS in Nursing - Nurse Administrator
    • MS in Nursing
    • Master of Healthcare Administration
    • MS in Nursing - Nurse Educator
    • BS in Health Science
    • Bachelors of Science in Nursing - RN to BSN
    • BS in Healthcare Administration
    • BS in Health and Wellness

    What is your highest level of education completed?

    • Medical Assistant - AS
    • Medical Assistant - Certificate
    • Medical Assistant - Diploma
    • Pharmacy Technician

    What is your highest level of education?

    • EdD in Organizational Leadership - Health Care Administration
    • MBA: Health Systems Management
    • MS in Health Care Administration
    • BS in Health Sciences: Professional Development & Advanced Patient Care
    • Bachelor of Science in Behavioral Health Science
    • BS in Health Care Administration

    What is your highest level of education?

    • Doctor of Strategic Leadership - Healthcare Leadership
    • Master of Arts in Organizational Leadership - Healthcare Management
    • Master of Business Administration - Healthcare Management

    What is your highest level of education completed?

    • Healthcare Management - MBA (Master's)

    What is your highest level of education?

  • What is your highest level of education completed?

  • What is your age?

Find your perfect school

What is your highest level of education?