Mind your Z’s

No rest for the academics

It’s not uncommon to hear how college students receive fewer than six hours of sleep during finals week. Just ask Ferris pre-nursing sophomore Rachel Schneider.

“During finals week, I probably get three to four hours a night of sleep — about six hours during regular school time,” Schneider said.

While many students find their hectic schedules and lack of sleep normal, these habits can lead to sleep deprivation.

Healthresearchfunding.org describes sleep deprivation as a condition occurring when people don’t receive enough sleep, which is also related to the concept of sleep deficiency. This happens when people don’t get enough sleep, sleep at the wrong time of day or don’t sleep well at all.

“During finals week, I get like six-ish hours of sleep — I’m just really bad at getting enough sleep. Like, I’ll look at the clock and realize it’s an hour and a half later than I thought it was,” Ferris medical laboratory science freshman Brooke Allen said.

The American Academy of Sleep Medicine (AASM) concluded the primary effect of sleep deprivation includes excessive daytime sleepiness; however, other effects can also include symptoms of depression, anxiety and lack of concentration — which can be counterproductive when studying.

While there are many reasons students struggle with sleep deprivation, the Center for Disease Control (CDC) found 68% of college students report they have trouble falling asleep at night because they’re stressed from academics or something affecting them emotionally.

Students don’t seem to be surprised by these statistics whatsoever.

“I can see it. For instance, when I don’t take my melatonin, because I lost it for a couple days, I noticed I couldn’t sleep well and was worried about finding a job and passing exams. So, I can see how worrying about academics can hurt your sleep,” Ferris pre-pharmacy sophomore Rachel Bell said.

Thankfully, there are various methods students can use to alleviate the struggles of sleep deprivation.

“Exercise several days a week, but not right before bed,” Birkam Health Center nurse practitioner Christy Bourdlais said. “Working with a counselor or psychologist to deal with the problems that might be causing poor sleep.”

When it comes to combating sleep deprivation Schneider, who blames her lack of sleep on a busy mind, uses meditation to help refocus.

“I meditate, which really helps a lot. Breathing — just watching my breathing and counting back from 100 just helps me clear out my head from all the stuff going on,” Schneider said.

Students who are concerned they may have a sleeping disorder should consult with their doctors.