College Students vs Sleep

How is a lack of sleep impacting college students?

Let’s be honest, you reading this right now have probably spent nights working without end on homework. You probably look at the clock and every time it seems to get later and later and later. First it’s 10 p.m., then it’s somehow 3 a.m. 

College students are notorious for going about their day after getting a whopping four hours of sleep. Obviously, that is not enough for someone to function successfully. A constant lack of sleep can also affect other aspects of a college student’s life, including mental and physical health. 

In “Association of Stress, General Health, and Alcohol Use with Poor Sleep Quality among U.S. College Students,” an article published in the American Journal of Health Education, 20-60% of students reported getting poor sleep. This pattern in turn can lead to increased substance use, mental health issues and even physical health issues. 

As a senior here at University of Washington Tacoma, I can say I’m definitely guilty of staying up late after procrastinating all day, or even all week. It’s a horrible habit, but it is true. Ideally though, according to the Center for Disease Control, college students like myself should be getting seven or more hours of sleep a night. 

Other students here at University of Washington Tacoma are also dealing with adjusting to a school routine again. Jayana Estacio, a sophomore computer science student, says she can definitely say that as a college student she doesn’t get enough sleep. She also said that when she doesn’t get enough sleep it impacts her focus and ability to perform well in class and extracurriculars.  

It’s very evident that getting enough sleep is a big part of taking care of yourself, so it’s important that we do get enough. Here are some helpful ways to help you get more sleep, especially with finals in only four weeks. 

  1. Turning off all electronics an hour before you plan to go to bed. 
  2. Doing your homework in a separate space from where you sleep. 
  3. Taking a shower and getting in some comfy PJ’s. 
  4. Incorporating lavender aromatherapy in your living space.