Sleep Deprivation in College Students: How to Cope?

Asako Maruoka's picture

Sleep deprivation is a prevalent condition amongst college students. Around 70% to 96% of students get less than 7-hours of sleep every night. That is about two hours less than the recommended sleep guidelines!

Sleep Deprivation in College Students: How to Cope?

Lack of sleep poses serious hazards to both mental and physical health. A sleep-deprived individual experiences increased levels of depression, anxiety, and fatigue. For a college student, this can mean a decline in academic performance.

Well, if you identify yourself as a sleep-deprived student, then worry not. From using a meditation app to a 100% cotton weighted blanket, there are plentiful ways available to cope. So, without further ado, let’s dive in and explore these ways in detail:

Sleep Deprivation in College Students: Definition, Causes, and Symptoms

All individuals have varying sleep requirements depending on age, gender, and activity. Generally, college students get recommendations to sleep around 9 hours.

However, as stated before, college students consume less than 7-hours of sleep. There can be several reasons behind this, including:

• Academic pressure
• Sleep disorders
• Part-time jobs
• Substances & alcohol
• Social distractions, etc.

Regardless of the reason, consuming less sleep routinely can lead to sleep deprivation. By definition, it is a condition when a person is unable to get sufficient sleep.

The condition comes accompanied by several other unpleasant symptoms, as well. These include; irritability, fatigue, forgetfulness, depression, anxiety, and reduced sex drive.

Sleep Deprivation & Academics – The Link

Sleep plays a crucial role in body rejuvenation.

When an individual sleeps, the body temporarily halts the processes except for the vital ones like breathing. The energy conserved during this time gets used in cell repair, growth, and waste disposal.

Your mind relaxes, and your body repairs itself. So, when you wake up, you feel refreshed and energetic. There will be no tiredness, fatigue, or irritability.

As a student, you can focus and concentrate on your studies better. With a rested body, you will obviously be more active and less likely to miss out on lectures.

What’s more, our brain carries out an important process during sleep. It converts all the temporary memories formed throughout the day into permanent memory. Hence, a well-slept student can retain information better than a sleep-deprived one.

Furthermore, research suggests the fulfillment of sleep reduces the risk of heart diseases. As a result, students are also less likely to fall ill and experience loss of studies.

3 Best Ways to Cope Up with Sleep Deprivation

Fortunately, sleep deprivation is easy to overcome. You can find hundreds of different ways to combat this problem. These include a change in habits, meal plans, medication, and whatnot.

Sleep Deprivation in College Students: How to Cope?

Here are the best ways to cope up with sleep deprivation as a college student:

Practice Sleep Hygiene

Sleep hygiene refers to a set of activities one practices each night for better sleep quality. You train the brain to associate sleep with certain tasks and fall asleep.

Ideal sleep hygiene practices include taking a warm bath, changing into nightclothes, brushing teeth, and reading a book. And, you must go to bed at a specific period.

Use Weighted Blankets

Weighted blankets are a popular way to improve sleep quality quickly. These heavy blankets weigh from 5 to 30-pounds.

Using them gives sleep-deprived individuals a sense of security and comfort. These blankets also ease anxiety and stress that help sleep. However, make sure you purchase high-quality and pure cotton weighted blankets for the best results.

Try Meditation Apps

Meditation refers to practice when an individual focuses on a certain thing to achieve a present and calm state of mind. You clear your mind from all thoughts, ideas and focus on what’s around you. It helps reduce anxiety, stress, and depression.

Nowadays, you can effectively practice meditation via your phone/tablet. There are numerous meditation apps available that guide you through the process.

All in all, sleep deprivation amongst college students should not go unnoticed. It can severely affect their health as well as academics. We hope this article has helped you find good ways to cope up with your sleep deprivation. Do let us know your thoughts below!