Finals week sleeping habits could have lasting effects


Sleep. It’s one thing that many college students can’t seem to get enough of.

Though everyone needs a different amount of sleep, it is suggested that adults in their 20s sleep eight to nine hours a night. College students nationally average only six to seven hours. With finals and the end of the semester quickly approaching, even six hours may seem far from possible to many students.

“My sleep deprivation gradually builds throughout the semester,” Isaac Stallbaumar, senior in fine arts, said.

Stallbaumar said the extra hours he spends awake normally come at night, since he isn’t a morning person.

Talia Timler, senior in fine arts, said she also gets less sleep as the semester comes to an end.

“I normally end up pulling a few all-nighters, which usually doesn’t happen,” Timler said.

According to, if students miss out on a few hours of sleep, they might be irritable, moody and have difficulty focusing. However, with increased loss of sleep, slowed speech and impaired memory can occur. Sleep restores energy in the body for a stronger immune system to fight off the flu and other illnesses.

“For me, it’s more studio work, since I’m a metalsmithing major,” Timler said. “So, I think the lack of sleep affects me, because I can see it in my work.”

Researchers are also looking into data that might suggest that getting too little sleep can lead to health problems such as high blood pressure, heart disease and obesity.

The problem they are studying is that human bodies are in a permanent state of alertness without enough sleep, which increases stress hormones. In addition to stress hormones, the body’s appetite hormones get thrown off, causing a greater risk for obesity.

Some students end up napping during the day to make up for lost sleep.

Hourlong power naps have been proven by the National Institute of Health to improve performance. During sleep, the brain is able to store the information that is currently in its memory. Therefore, if students take an hour long nap as a study break, the brain will store the material it’s been studying and allow them to have a clear mind for more information.

Jacob Jordan, junior in history, said he gets more sleep during finals week than any other week during the year. Before finals and dead week, Jordan spends many hours at the library each day. However, with no homework assignments during finals week, Jordan said he finds himself with less work to do.

“Normally by finals, I’ve just given up and have no motivation,” Jordan said. “I never cram so if I don’t know it by then, there’s no point in trying to learn it in 24 hours.”