Is Students’ Sleep History Really That Different?
This piece was originally published on recipetips.com, a personal finance and student finance news website.
The latest in academic discoveries has made students take a closer look at their health habits. Student sleep takes a back seat to many of those habits, but according to a new study by researchers at Penn State and the University of California, Berkeley, it may be more important than you realize.
Researchers delved into a microclimate in a single classroom at a University of California, Berkeley college campus, and observed the effects of several factors: the five-hour bedtime policy, class size, number of students to a personal physician and hospital visit, and whether a pregnant student attended class during one week of her term.
Unlike the fictional concept of post-traumatic stress disorder, which is a condition that involves flashbacks and experience of severe loss, sleep can be beneficial and not only relieve stress. Sleep improves a person’s mental health, which in turn can ease the stresses of study. It’s not just a bedtime thing anymore: Sleep is sometimes used to reduce or prevent health problems, such as high blood pressure, hypertension, diabetes, stroke, asthma, and more. Sleep disorders, such as narcolepsy, narcolepsy, and sleep apnea, can be greatly improved if they get better.
Student sleep typically makes sense for a couple of reasons. The first is that generally, this is an area that has fewer resources to support the student because that student is probably out of school and living independently. The second is that the Internet usually offers some relaxation tips and exercise advice for students. Thus, it would make sense to study and sleep when you would like the least disturbances.
So, after getting a lot of feedback, the researchers published a report on their findings.
Of those factors, the sleep regulations seemed to have the biggest impact on student health, while the frequency of a student’s visits to a doctor and hospital for medical emergencies was a relatively small factor.
“We found that if a woman was in her fifth trimester, we saw a decrease in the incidence of sleep problems,” said the co-author of the study, Tom Kellermann, C.S.O., in an interview with NPR. That’s because people don’t sleep as well when they’re pregnant.
While the study emphasized that pregnant students aren’t sleeping badly, it did acknowledge that other common complications of pregnancy, such as heavy periods, morning sickness, night sweats, and excessive thirst, can also cause disruptions in sleep.
That said, one of the most important factors in how much sleep students get was the bedtime policy: The researchers observed that the number of students in their fourth semester of college increased every week as classes got longer and longer. The number of students slept increased with each week’s increase in class size, whereas the number of students observed at the beginning of a term went down.
Of course, another important finding was that students consistently slept the recommended seven hours a night. An adult needs seven to nine hours of sleep each night to be well-rested, to maintain and grow their cognitive abilities, and to alleviate stress.
If you’re a student with a bedtime policy and you’re starting your term during the third week, you may want to ask your doctor to reschedule your bedtime to some more manageable time. Make sure to designate enough time in the morning to sleep.