“The party last night was too good to pass up,” “I had to study for that midterm,” “I was on stumble all night and I just needed to click one more time.”
These three statements have one main thing in common; they are all real-life excuses for why college students didn’t get enough sleep the night before.
There is a Hollywood notion that in college students never sleep because of raging keggers or romantic escapades, but the reality can sometimes be far less glamorous.
What these movies do properly catch is the morning after when, due to the lack of sleep, undergrads meet forehead with desk and sleep through the lesson plan until the stern but loveable teacher wakes them up.
Almost everyone I’ve met has a story of being in class with that one kid who fell asleep mid-lecture, if they weren’t that student themselves. This is due in part to dark classrooms, boring movies, and dragging lectures, but mostly the culprit is a lack of sleep the previous night.
The National Sleep Foundation says that the average adult needs seven to nine hours of sleep every night, and yet a lot of college students fall below that average, and the results show in their mid-class nap. Whether the teacher wakes up the perpetrator or lets them snooze, it seems like a waste of the teacher’s time and a disrespectful showing. When tired, it is scientifically proven to be more difficult to pay attention and in some cases stay awake.
Some may argue, “So what if I fall asleep in class? I paid to be in this course and it’s my money to waste.” Besides the point that they may not indeed be the one paying for their classes there is a bigger point. How is it fair to the students who could not get into the class because it was full that this individual is using that seat to sleep? If they wanted to pay to take a nap couldn’t they do it without threatening class availability?
To be fair it is not usually an intentional show of disrespect. When a student falls asleep it is not usually a conscious choice (pun definitely intended.) Often times students can be just as upset if they fell asleep and missed a lesson. Students don’t miss out on sleep for malevolent reasons, but a lack of responsibility for one’s body and self has its own consequences.
So how can this problem be solved? Easy: Time management. When leaving home for the first time and entering the world of adulthood, the overwhelming freedom can sometimes take its toll with sleepless nights and a horrid diet. What it will take for students to take responsibility is merely recognition of the cause-effect system of consequences for their actions.
If there’s a party and you have class the next morning maybe skip the fun and sleep, study for a test during the day time so you aren’t forced into late-night cram sessions, and the Internet will always be there for you when you wake up so no need to see it all in one night. It’s OK to sleep in your bed.