Evaluating sleeping habits can improve quality of life

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Evaluating sleeping habits can improve quality of life

Take it from the editors, sleep is important.

If you don’t want to take it from us, there are literally hundreds of articles and research studies on the subject. Though their recommendations usually differ, they all proclaim the same message: Sleep. Is.  Absolutely. Necessary.

College students are well known as a lucrative market for products that combat the ever-present tired feeling. There are energy drinks, caffeinated chocolate bars, caffeinated soap and coffee shops on nearly every corner. Students who do not drink coffee are met with stares of shock and disbelief.

In 2014 Business Insider ran an article answering the question, “How much sleep do you really need?” According to this particular article, “studies have shown that sleep deprivation impairs our ability to effectively make decisions, solve problems, effectively communicate and adapt to new situations.”

According to Ying-Hui Fu, a human geneticist at the University of California-San Francisco, 90 percent of the population needs seven to nine hours of sleep per night.

Health problems such as obesity, learning and memory problems, a weakened immune system and lowered metabolism have all been linked to lack of sleep.

“Sleep deprivation is one of the most expensive problems for the world right now,” Fu said.

Today’s culture—especially that of our generation—has learned to associate getting little rest with high status.

If you do not have time for sleep, you must be important. And if you do go to bed early, you’re somehow boring or old. Energy drinks are hardcore, and a venti Starbucks latte is an impressive, hard-earned badge of honor.

It’s easy to believe idea that being too busy for sleep is a good thing. In fact, that idea is addressed in the Freshman Seminar textbook Crazy Busy.

The author, Kevin De-Young, suggests that we try to do too many things out of pride. We feel we must prove ourselves, please others or get pats on the back for accomplishing so much.

The truth is these beliefs are false. Sleep is not for the lazy—sleep is for the wise.   

Because of curfew, lights-out and the Internet cutting after hours, our student body has a better chance at getting the recommended amount of sleep than the average college student. Even so, nine hours is usually not possible, but it may be worth a try.

The Collegian staff urges the student body to evaluate their sleeping habits.

If you are not sleeping much, why is that the case? Is it truly because you don’t need the sleep or because of people-pleasing tendencies and poor planning?

Try heading to bed before lights-out for a week and see if your mood and learning improves. You’ll feel better, you won’t need as much coffee, and you might even save a few Bruins’ Bucks.