Casey Goodwin" />
side bar
Sunday, September 24, 2023


College students should sleep more

The easy part is over. We’re past the first week of school, with its easy assignments, barely existent homework and elementary lectures.

Now comes the serious stuff.

Essays, group projects, presentations, labs and other hellacious assignments are starting to pour in, filling up the gaps between class, work, socializing, and sleep. As work piles up, students start skipping classes, calling in sick to work, and even canceling outings with friends. Worst of all, they stay up late and cut into their own sleep schedule.

Let’s face it, unless you’re taking 12 credits, living on campus, and not even pretending to have a job, the time management gets tricky as the semester wears on. Sometimes figuring out a way to get everything done on time feels like juggling chainsaws: a wrong move would be far from pretty.

That does little to stop students from procrastinating classwork for as long as they can, though. Instead of doing homework on the weekend (when most students actually have time to breathe) and then having time to sleep and socialize during the school week, many students chose to do the opposite. Partying all weekend and then stressing out Sunday night is never a good idea. In fact, it’s often downright stupid. If you don’t balance your time intelligently, you’ll be miserable — and exhausted — all week.

Staying up until the early hours of the morning and then sleeping a couple hours and loading up on coffee and energy drinks is one of the most obvious ways to finish all the homework and studying that needs to get done. It allows you to put things off until the very last minute and still get your work done.

There seems to be some strong logic in all-nighter type procrastination. After all, there are only 24 hours in a day; there is no real reason to waste more than a couple of those on unproductive oblivion.

The only problem is that going without sleep is one of those things that is easier said than done. The human body needs periods of rest to operate correctly; sleeping allows us to recharge and face life more effectively. Some people can get by with only a few hours of sleep, but the rest of us need at least seven to eight hours to function normally. Sure, coffee and energy drinks can make us feel more energized, but their effect is only temporary.

In fact, studies have shown that people who rely on coffee as part of their morning routine are no more alert than their non-coffee drinking peers. Caffeine only helps make people feel more awake when used occasionally; after a while, individuals build up tolerances and need caffeine to be as alert as those who don’t need caffeine at all.

Pulling all-nighters or even just staying up until five in the morning to get homework and studying done is extremely tempting, but rarely a good idea. Once or twice a year is feasible, but any more than that and you’re setting yourself up for an absolutely miserable semester. If you’re tired, it is often a better idea to go to bed on time and then wake up early to finish the necessary homework when you’re rested then it is to attempt to write a paper at 4 a.m. while holding at steaming mug of coffee.

The key to success in college is time management. Figure out your priorities and then balance them. Students need to do class work, yes, but we also need to have time to relax, sleep, and simply socialize with friends in order to be energized and perform well in class. If you have to stay up late, though, it’s important to catch up on the missed sleep before too much time passes. There’s nothing wrong with going to bed before midnight if you’re tired, and there’s nothing wrong with sleeping in past noon if that’s what you have to do. The important thing is students shouldn’t deny themselves the sleep they need to perform well in class.

Casey Goodwin is a mechanical engineering sophomore and may be reached at [email protected]

One Response to College students should sleep more

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to Top ↑
  • Sign up for our Email Edition

  • Polls

    What about UH will you miss the least this summer?

    View Results

    Loading ... Loading ...