Students attribute poor time management skills, busy schedules to lack of sleep

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Late nights at the library and cramming for finals or a big group project are a necessary evil for many college students. Coupling that with partying habits on the weekend and hectic schedules filled with other activities during the week can prevent students from getting a good night’s sleep.
Although some might consider lack of sleep a fact of life for college students, a new study released this month by the National Sleep Foundation found that adults who get six hours of sleep or less a night are four times more likely to suffer a stroke.
Caitlin Estes, senior in accounting, said she gets three to four hours of sleep a night during the semester.
“I know I don’t get enough sleep every night,” Estes said. “There’s always something to distract you, whether it’s homework, Facebook or even people just wanting to hang out.”
Strokes are caused by the restriction of blood flow to the brain and can be triggered by a lack of sleep, according to a June 11 article by Janice Lloyd in USA Today. The article also listed strokes as the fourth leading cause of death in the U.S.
According to the National Sleep Foundation, only 28 percent of people in the U.S. report getting eight or more hours of sleep a night. Experts recommend seven to nine hours of sleep.
Megan Ruiter, lead author of the report, said that although people are accustomed to hearing the importance of maintaining proper exercise and diet habits, the average person does not know the true impact that a lack of sleep can have on the body.
“The public is less aware of the impact of insufficient amounts of sleep,” Ruiter said in the report. “Sleep is important; the body is stressed when it doesn’t get the right amount.”
Estes said one method students could use to get more sleep is to be more efficient with time and implement self-set bed times.
“I think students in general need to do a better job of planning out their days and making time for sleep,” she said. “I know for me, half the time I don’t get sleep, it’s because of schoolwork, but the other half, I know, it’s me procrastinating and staying up late when I don’t need to. I need to get better at not doing that.”
The main strategy to maintain a regular sleep cycle is understanding time commitments and planning accordingly, said Audrey Trowbridge, junior in secondary education.
Trowbridge said that she usually gets at least seven hours of sleep every night and that she tries to go to sleep at 11 p.m. so she can start her day early.
“I feel like I get enough sleep most of the time,” Trowbridge said. “On days that I have stuff going on night, I usually make time for naps or make sure that I don’t stay up too late if I have something the next morning.”
For some students, however, balancing sleep with other commitments can be more challenging.
Jordan Maxwell, sophomore in mechanical engineering, recently started a night shift at GTM Sportswear and plans on keeping that schedule during the semester. Starting in August, Maxwell will work from 11 p.m. to 3 a.m. during the week and then will have to wake up for his classes, which start at 8:30 p.m. on most days.
“It’ll be tough to get enough sleep with my schedule, but I know I’ll be fine if I manage my time right,” Maxwell said.
Maxwell said he plans on making sleep a priority, although he may have to cut into his social life.
“It’s definitely important that we get enough sleep,” he said. “There are some nights that you have tests or work or just stuff going on, but it’s best if you can make time to sleep whenever possible.”
Estes agreed, saying that she feels much better when she gets a full night’s sleep.
“I’ve started to get more sleep during the summer and it feels amazing,” she said. “Now that I know that you’re more likely to have a stroke, I’m definitely going to try to sleep more.” 

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  • Amisha Ekaant

    Students should learn some techniques including time-management skills, relaxation techniques, exercise to maintain an overall healthy lifestyle.

    Developing time management skills and practicing relaxation techniques is the best method to manage your busy schedule more easily. To implement those skills, time recording software is a must requirement. Personally, I use one such tool called Replicon’s time recording software ( http://www.replicon.com/olp/online-time-recording-software.aspx ).