Vincent ’16: Why are college students not sleeping enough?

Sleep is an essential activity that all humans need. A college student should get, on average, 8-10 hours of sleep a night to fully allow for the body to rejuvenate. Do you know any classmates able to hit that goal? I don’t. According to The University Health Center at the University of Georgia, most college students on average get 6-6.9 hours of sleep per night. This is far less than the recommended amount — so why is it that college students are getting so little sleep?

College, unlike high school, gives students much more freedom in their conduct not only during the school day, but also on the weekends. There are events almost every (if not every) weekend, which vary from dances to performances to cultural events and other fun activities. The weekends become a very busy time for students, keeping them up to the wee hours of the morning. Yet students can also sleep in during the day over the weekend.

So what is it that is keeping students so busy and keeping them up so late that they aren’t sleeping? First, during the work-week, the amount of schoolwork that students get on average is much greater than that from high school. It is expected that students spend two or three hours per night per class doing homework. And most students procrastinate. So something that isn’t due until Friday (say an essay or a problem set for a class) won’t be worked on until late Thursday night. We’ve all been there.

Yet another commitment that many students have is extracurricular clubs and sports. Varsity athletic teams take up a lot of time during the day, anywhere from four to six hours. So that means a full day of classes, hours of practice and then finally hours of homework that must be done. And don’t forget social time on top of that. So, an athlete becomes quickly busy and only has time for homework in the late hours of the evening. Others are the same way, just not with practice, but with different clubs and activities in which they choose to participate. This means that homework gets pushed back until the last possible second (like one o’clock in the morning) for most students, including me (to my regret).

College students need a lot more sleep than they are getting. An initial solution is that students need to cut back on classes and course-work. But that’s not going to happen. So should students be less active in the community? That’s not a good solution, either. In the end, students just need to get more sleep, which means better time management skills and if possible, less procrastination.

I know I, for one, need to do something — and I welcome all the help I can get. Hermoine Granger had the right idea with the time-turner that allowed her to re-do hours of the day. Where can I get one of those?