It’s important to count sheep

Meredith N. Johnson

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Many college students do not know how important getting a good night’s rest is. Staying up late is common and happens for many reasons. This can leave someone tired the next day and feeling drained. Staying up late to study the night before a test or to hang out with friends are two common reasons students lose sleep. It is important to teach college students the ways that lack of sleep can affect them. Poor grades are not the only thing to worry about.

A study in the Journal of Psychosomatic Research found physical and mental health, as well as grades, suffer from poor sleep. Another study by Vargas, Flores and Robles found low quality sleep has also been related to weight gain. In one study, 70 percent of students reported inadequate sleep at night, making this a very common problem among college students, according to Hershner and Chervin. According to that statistic, it is actually more common for a student to have poor sleep than good sleep. For instance, FMU has over 4,000 students currently enrolled. That means about 2,800 students suffer from poor sleep. This could be for many reasons, including not knowing the importance of good sleep.

One possible way to increase quality sleep in students is through education. The importance of sleep could be taught during student orientation. Flyers could be passed out with information on how bad poor sleep can be on overall health. They could also be posted in the dorm halls and bathrooms as reminders. The resident assistants in the dorms could also be taught to promote high quality sleep. Curfews, though not popular, could also be a way to encourage quality sleep in students.   

Teaching students how harmful poor sleep can be is clearly the best place to start. If more students were aware of how healthy quality sleep is, it might help decrease this problem in college students. Helping them understand that poor sleep hurts more than just grades could lead to more motivation to get a good night’s rest.

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It’s important to count sheep