How a lack of sleep can lead to numerous health issues in the future
Ana Nieves — Contributor
Journalism major Idonia Thomas, junior sat rubbing her eyes in order to stay awake while working in the library.
“One thing that changed for me since starting college is insomnia,” said Thomas “There are so many nights where I can’t fall asleep or I wake up constantly throughout the night.”
The sleep problems in university students study done in 1989-2001, found that up to 60 percent of university students suffer from poor sleep quality and up to 7.7 percent reach an insomnia disorder criteria. Cheryl Green, associate professor of the Southern Nursing Department at said she believes college is a time where students develop many bad habits.
“Potential cardiac issues, palpitation, heightened anxiety, depression and susceptibility to a failing immune system.” said Green.
Health issues rise if the amount of sleep goes down, according to Sleep deprivation: impact on cognitive performance.
The study found that sleep is important in restitution, thermoregulation and tissue recovery. The change of environment is one of the factors that lead to less sleep for college students.
Sociology major Brenden Chicares, senior, said he ended up being a commuter because of the all the distractions in his dorm.
“I personally get easily distracted,” Chicares said. “So, if you have two roommates playing on the Xbox at 2 a.m., well yeah I’m going to play with them instead of sleep.”
According to Chicares he cannot fall asleep or go a night without using the internet and scrolling through his phone.
Workload causes a strain on college students sleeping schedule and they tend to have an issue sleeping. Public health major Chasity Perez, sophomore at the University of Bridgeport, says her sleeping schedule has changed since starting college due to her packed schedule.
“I have a theory that if I go to sleep with an unfinished task, whether
it be homework or project, I can’t sleep good and end up waking up in the middle of the night.” Perez said.
Every college student has a different schedule and they may all have different experiences, but sleep is a number one priority in the health of every being. Sleep is neglected by college students all the time, in exchange for schoolwork.
“Ever since I started college, so many things have changed,” said Thomas. “My anxiety has grown, my diet has changed, and my mental health was deflating in my first year.”
Green said the sudden change of environment causes issues of grades dropping: this is due to the increase of independence, decrease in supervision, and the sudden adjustment that must take place.
“It’s not like you have someone tapping you on the shoulder at 1 p.m. saying, ‘Hey, you have to eat now.’ It’s the lack of that, is what cause[s] damage.” said Thomas.
Time management is a skill that college students must learn when starting in order to adjust to the new learning environment. Students like Chicares struggle with this, he said, because it is hard to balance several homework assignments and having a social life and it can create unnecessary stress and loss of sleep.
“Trying to adapt and learn all these new skills when I started college was a huge change for me,” said Chicares. “I personally was struggling a little.”
Thomas was yawning and typing up her final paragraph quickly as the sun set. “I just want to home and take a nap right now honestly.” Thomas said.