Time to catch some Z’s

Rebecca Mohr

Stress, jobs limit students’ sleep

Photo Illustration Adam Griffiths | Daily Kent Stater

Credit: DKS Editors

Zzzzz . . .

It’s the common sound of a person getting a good night’s sleep. Unfortunately, a good sleep is a rare luxury on a college campus. Whether students are dealing with classes, work, pulling all nighters or trying to have a social life, sleep is important but often overlooked.

“To me sleep is very important because during the day I am constantly on the go. I do not have time to just stop and relax so sleep is that time for me,” said Barbie Hendrix, sophomore sports administration major.

This week is National Sleep Awareness Week, and many students are aware that they struggle to get the required eight hours.

“I feel that college students do not get enough sleep because maybe they are stressed out, or they are too caught up in having a social life that they stay up all night,” Hendrix said.

Nursing Professor Kathleen Banks said that stress works against the body getting sleep.

“(Your) stress level increases due to cortisol levels increasing, which is a hormonal response related to stress. Also other hormones such as epinephrine and norepinephrine are released in response to increased stress levels,” she said. “These hormones excite and prepare the body for action.”

This increase in stress keeps some people up all night. Some students take advantage of this and pull all-nighters for studying.

“I have pulled so many all-nighters, and it makes me feel terrible. I feel so down and depressed, and I can’t function,” said Olivia Stone, sophomore child psychology and music major.

Sarah Bauer, freshman early childhood education major, agreed all-nighters put a strain on her sleep schedule.

“I have pulled one all-nighter. It made me feel like I was a zombie,” she said. “I felt like death on legs the next day. I was so tired.”

With the overall stress level and lack of sleep, a college student’s health might be compromised.

“Overall state of health will be affected with chronic stress, prolonged stress. (The) immune system will become suppressed, thus predisposing the body to illnesses – colds, flu, cold sores – worsening already existing conditions such as asthma (and) allergies,” Banks said.

In order to reduce the health problems, Banks said getting a good night’s sleep is a must. Taking the time to plan a full night of sleep might be the answer.

Sophomore marketing major Julie Kapanke said the easiest thing to do is plan ahead.

“You always should know where your week is going. Plan for fun and school,” she said. “I think college students sleep a lot, just at the wrong times. Too many students are involved with drinking and partying or just doing anything but focusing on school work.

“Don’t just let your life float away without taking advantage of every hour that you can.”

Contact features correspondent Rebecca Mohr at [email protected].