GW students suffer from sleep deprivation

Although college students do not necessarily long for the good old kindergarten days of cutting out pictures from magazines and depending on someone to tie their shoes, most college students agree that one part of kindergarten should be made mandatory at college: nap time.

A recent poll by the National Sleep Foundation shows people 18 to their mid-20s get less sleep than people of all other ages. Students at GW tend to follow this same pattern.

Freshman Barbara Miller said it is almost impossible for her to get five hours of sleep a night.

People always seem to be calling and wanting to talk until all hours of the night, Miller said. Sleep always seems to take a back seat to these phone calls, homework and my play practice rehearsals.

Many students like Miller said it is difficult to pencil sleep into their schedules.

Sophomore Matthew Chester, a member of the GW men’s rugby team, said it is hard to get a good night’s sleep while balancing school work and extra-curricular activities, such as sports.

I know some of it is probably my own procrastination, Chester said. For example, I could probably use my time more wisely on the weekends, so I could get more sleep during the week; but after such a hectic week, I feel like I deserve some relaxation time on the weekends.

Students said the main cause of sleepless nights is poor time management. Sophomore Karen Brumbaugh said she believes time management is one of her main problems, but managing time efficiently is nearly impossible for most college students.

It seems like the expectations that lie on college students are immense with trying to do well at internships, jobs and classes, Brumbaugh said. How could any of these tasks really be that enriching if one is trying to accomplish so much in so little time?

Brumbaugh said the only way she can make good use all 24 hours of the day – which she said should all be used – is to schedule times to sleep. She said it works best for her to sleep for five hours starting at about 8 p.m. and then get up at 1 a.m. to continue working.

Students said working on little sleep takes a toll on them. Miller said she feels the effects of limited sleep in many of her classes.

While I’d like to think my body is used to my strange sleeping schedule, I can definitely feel the effect of not sleeping at night, in some of my classes, Miller said.

While some students face the hurdle of sleep deprivation, others said they have adjusted to college schedules, which include less time for sleep.

I expected to be sleeping way less that I did in high school, freshman Karen Minkoff said. There are always people around and being a freshman, there’s just so much new stuff for me to do.

Students said moving off campus solved their problem of sleep deprivation because fewer people are around to distract them in private apartments.

Sophomore Julia Jakubowski, who lives in an off-campus apartment, said she has slept more hours this year than she did living in Lafayette Hall last year.

People were always knocking on my door, wanting to talk and hang out, Jakubowski said. While I had a good time with them, it definitely is very refreshing to be able to get a good eight hours of sleep a night.

Laura Raskin, Jakubowski’s roommate, said she agrees that it is much quieter and less distracting to live off campus. Because there are fewer distractions during the day, she said work gets done much quicker and she goes to bed much earlier.

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