This article is part of a running series with Rowan University’s Healthy Campus Initiatives. This collaboration aims to educate students about personal well-being options. For further updates, follow @RowanHCI on Twitter, Instagram or Facebook.
College can oftentimes be perceived as an extremely stressful and busy point in a person’s life. More often than not, students can find themselves overwhelmed with an ever increasing workload. Between home life, classwork, employment outside of school and personal free time, it can be very difficult to find time in the day to fulfill all of these responsibilities while also attempting to find a balance with one’s personal life.
As a result, more students have been making the effort to make more time in the day as many students have been sacrificing their nightly amount of sleep to find more time. While this can increase available work time, decreasing the nightly sleep duration in actuality can become detrimental to every aspect of a student’s life and potential career in academia.
To state the obvious, sleep is a necessary component of our overall health. During sleep, our bodies release toxic wastes, restore energy and repair cells. These basic bodily functions serve as a refresh button for our bodies, allowing for that newly found energy after a refreshing night’s sleep.
Not only does sleep benefit our physical health, but it is very closely connected to mental health as well. Inconsistent sleep patterns can cause strain on social activity and ability to focus on daily tasks and activities. The recommended amount of sleep for persons over the age of 18 is between 7-9 hours nightly; however, this can vary depending on the individual.
Existing research on college students and their sleep habits suggests that a lack of sleep can be a common factor in increasing depressive symptoms. In addition, people suffering from depression also tend to have disrupted sleep patterns, leading to a cycle of worsening already existing depressive symptoms (Dinis & Bragança, 2018).
Although college can be a busy time for the majority of students, time management is an important skill to have. Regardless of how tempting it can be, cutting down on nightly sleep will only cause more trouble than it’s worth.
Dinis, João, and Miguel Bragança. “Quality of Sleep and Depression in College Students: A Systematic Review.” Sleep science (Sao Paulo, Brazil) vol. 11,4 (2018): 290-301. doi:10.5935/1984-0063.20180045
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Robert Zoroiwchak, junior psychology major
Stephanie Batista, junior business management major
Lucas Taylor, senior English education major