By: Katelyn Snyder
Center Spread Editor
Sleepless nights are a detrimental epidemic for almost all college students.
“I think that many students suffer from disordered sleep. Disordered sleep is a result of lifestyle choices being made,” said Seton Hill University’s [SHU] Director of Counseling Terri Bassi-Cook.
“During a time when students are trying to push their bodies on the athletic fields, keeping up with the rigors of their academic and work schedules, and trying to assimilate and recall information being learned in the classroom – is not the time to be stealing sleep time,” she said.
Busy students struggle to fit sleep into their schedules. “My residents struggle with time management when it comes to sleep. They are trying to balance schoolwork with a social life and they don’t have time for sleep,” said Holli Gonder senior chemistry major and resident assistant. “I think sleep deprivation is one of the largest problems that college students face.”
“The effects of sleep deprivation have been well documented. Sleep deprivation is both psychologically and physiologically detrimental,” said Bassi-Cook.
“I struggle with falling asleep in class,” said Gonder, “Then I have to really cram for test. It has taken a toll on my grades.”
Freshman English major Shannon Lucas said, “ Sometimes I over sleep and miss classes because I can’t fall asleep at night. It’s hard to explain that to professors.”
For students who suffer from disordered sleep can try to organize their schedules. “Make a to do list and cross off what you’ve done,” suggested Gonder. “Make sure to schedule your sleep. You need it.”
Sleep problems among college students do go beyond disordered sleep. Problems such as delayed sleep onset, insomnia, and sudden waking are medical conditions that prevent sleep. “When the student is attempting to get good sleep and is experiencing any of these problems, they may be dealing with a sleep disorder,” said Bassi- Cook.
“I have sleep apnea, so I have trouble breathing during my sleep,” said Gonder. “I have to wear a mask to get quality sleep, and even then it’s iffy.”
Sleep disorders can be treated with the help of trained professionals. “The counseling center is available to work with students who are having difficulty sleeping establish healthy sleeping behaviors,” said Bassi-Cook.