Sleep deprivation common in post-secondary students

by | Oct 23, 2015 | Life

Natalie Dixon
Life Reporter

Ruby Molla says she only gets five hours of sleep a night and she says the reason is because she has to study.

“You can’t concentrate,” Molla, 24, said.

The first-year Humber College nursing student says time management is important if students want to get more sleep.

Molla has a 40-minute commute. While she lives close to North campus, traffic makes her journey longer, which is why she plans accordingly and wakes up earlier.

According to the Mental Health University Institute, one in every four Canadians experiences sleep deprivation. Approximately 60 to 70 per cent of Canadian students experience symptoms of sleepiness during their classes in the morning

Catherine McKee, a registered nurse at Humber, said there are many studies that show how dangerous sleep deprivation can be. Without enough sleep a person will be drowsy and unable to concentrate.

McKee said the amount of sleep each student needs per night depends on many factors, including age. Most adults require seven or eight hours a night while others may be able to function with a few hours more or less.

She says naps can be beneficial if they are only 20 or 30 minutes long and before 3 p.m. She also suggests ensuring good hygiene where a person sleeps. Other factors such as removing electronics, not eating before bed and allowing for down time can all help in getting more sleep and not feeling tired. Maasha Maheson, a second-year computer engineering technician student, said she tends to over-sleep. Although she says she gets enough sleep, about eight or nine hours a night, she says she thinks sleep deprivation is a serious health issue.

“Especially if, let’s say, you’re driving, then that can get you into some serious trouble,” Maheson says of being drowsy.

Adequate sleep will benefit you physically and mentally, which could help you with school in the long run.

Irregular sleep patters can have a negative effect on students’ studying as well. Students tend to stay up later on weekends, resulting in their weekday sleep routines to be thrown off. Keeping your biological clock in time by sleeping regularly will improve mental and physical health,