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How Important Is Sleep?

Megan Draghi

Staff Writer


Between classes, school assignments, possibly a job, and socializing, college students’ schedules are often completely booked. Nowhere in the schedule does it call for sleep.

Why do college students feel sleep is so unnecessary? When LIU Post students were asked about sleep, they felt that it gives them less time to study or do homework. They be- lieve that sleep only slows them down when occupied with schoolwork rather than help- ing them succeed.

Nikki Merkle, a sophomore psychology major, says, “I unfortunately lost sleep because of schoolwork. I was able to have more time available to study and I felt that extra time helped me get more time to understand the information that would be on the test, resulting in a good grade. I just wish that I was able to get a good night’s sleep beforehand.”

Although the National Sleep Founda- tion reports that there is no actual perfect time period for sleep because people’s bodies function differently, it recommends that one would be most productive with seven hours of sleep. It says college students should get around six to eight hours of sleep, depend- ing on the student’s body type and sleeping habits.

The Harvard Women’s Health Watch also stresses how sleep is important for every person. After a conducted an experi- ment in 2006, it proved that sleep im- proves learning and memory because sleep helps give the brain time to store new data through the method of “Memory Consolidation”. According to the Harvard Women’s Health Watch, memory consolidation is the process involved in coding a memory so that it can be retrieved later.

Sleep, according to these studies, helps students have more knowledge of what they learned in class. Some students at LIU Post may be aware of how important sleep is, but they do not always put it first.

Ashley Appell, a freshman early-child- hood education major says, “I should get more sleep than I do now. I should be going to sleep earlier but I get less sleep partly because of schoolwork and partly because of social reasons.”

In an up-to-date statistic from LIU Post, almost 70 percent of LIU Post students com- mute to school, it is an important question of whether or not they are at risk of falling asleep behind the wheel due to lack of sleep.

It is also dangerous to be behind the wheel of a car when one is deprived of sleep. By falling asleep, drivers tend to swerve, which can lead to car collisions, either with another car or the driver crashing into a random object. According to, more than 10 percent of people have admitted to falling asleep behind the wheel. Dana Bettex, a junior Education major, says “I have never fallen asleep while driving but when I’m tired I try my best to listen to music hoping that it will wake me up a little, even though sometimes it is ineffective.”

Sleep is an important process for stu- dents to have. Schedules, however, get in the way of this, resulting in sleepless nights and the zombie-like feeling one has almost every morning. Knowing what sleepless nights feel like, a schedule that prevents sleep is a curse that I do not wish on my worst enemy.

From past experiences of going through weeks at a time without enough sleep, it is a bittersweet experience. At first, I had more time to study the night before tests and the all-nighters helped me finish papers earlier than I would have if I had went to bed at a normal time, in addition to the more than three or four hours of sleep. What I have learned is that this technique can only work if this happens once in a while. Also, you should take a nap after you submit your pa- per or hand in your exam, followed by a good night’s sleep. If you constantly work for multiple days without sleeping, it will only affect you negatively and make you more prone to becoming constantly exhausted.

Hopefully LIU Post students will be able to budget and organize their time in order to make room for sleep. It is proven by sources, such as the Harvard Women’s Health Watch, that if students do organize times for sleep, it will help set decent sleeping patterns, mak- ing them feel well-rested and more willing
to work harder on whatever their schedule revolves around, whether it is school, sports, jobs, or life in general.

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