Semester siestas

What happens when college students don’t sleep

Photo by: Megell Strayhorn | Torch Photographer

The negative impact of sleep deprivation is something that many students deal with on a regular basis. 

A 2016 study done by Jawbone, the creator of a sleep tracker, gathered data from tens of thousands of students and tracked sleep for a combined 1.4 million nights at 100 different universities. 

The study shows that students average about seven hours and three minutes of sleep per night during the week. That number increases to seven hours and 38 minutes on the weekend. 

The National Sleep Foundation recommends getting between seven and nine hours of sleep per night but leans more towards at least eight hours per night for college-age adults. They also add that people who don’t get an adequate amount of sleep are more likely to have problems with learning and attention. 

“On weekdays, I like to spend a lot of time in the library and that cuts down on my sleep. I’ve had nights where I stay up all night trying to study for a test and I know if I had an extra hour or two of sleep, I would do better on it,” Ferris accounting junior Jacob Emick said. 

In addition to the academic downfalls, it can also have negative effects on your health. However, despite the academic and health risks caused by sleep loss, some Ferris students don’t believe that they could achieve between eight and nine hours of sleep each night. 

Ferris biology freshman Ashley Longtine explained that she gets about five or six hours of sleep per night. 

“To balance a social life and classes, I’m usually up late around people and then I have to wake up early for 8 a.m.s,” Longtine said. “When I have to stay up late to study and then wake up early, I find myself really tired around 3 or 4 p.m. and I still have classes at that time. I’m actually sick right now, as a result of not getting enough sleep.” 

Ferris has recently tried to curb the issue by adding a nap pod to the University Center, where students can stop and take a short nap in between classes. But even with naps, a consistent sleep schedule of at least eight hours is still the healthiest option for students’ minds and bodies.

Chronic sleep deprivation can lead to:

  • High blood pressure
  • Diabetes
  • Heart attacks
  • Heart failure
  • Stroke
  • Obesity
  • Depression
  • Lower sex drive
  • Increased risk of illness