Sleep is a symptom of caffeine deprivation

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It would be extremely rare to find a college student who said that they feel well rested at all times throughout the day. Does this scenario sound familiar (in chronological order)?

- wake up on a Sunday and spend the day watching football (or other activities helpful in procrastinating)
- realize at 6pm it might be a good idea to start studying for your exam the next morning
- decide to finish other homework first and finally begin studying at 9pm
- at 11 pm realize you are much less prepared than you thought and decide to grab a redbull and mentally prepare yourself for the long night still ahead of you
- take a "power nap" at 3 am and wake up at 8 am to go take your test
- once the exams over, head back to bed, pushing back homework for that day, and the cycle begins again.

If this doesn't sound familiar, you are one of the lucky (or perhaps more organized few). Studies show that over 40% of Americans are sleep deprived. I would venture to say that that percentage would be much higher at any given college campus as students try to balance work, school, and sports. Sleep deprivation has the potential to be extremely detrimental to our health, yet it is completely in our control.

sleep debt.jpg

One interesting fact about sleep deprivation is that it accumulates over time (as depicted in the cartoon by the sleep debt boulder). So as many students think they can simple catch up on sleep on the weekend, it may be tough to account for all the sleep lost the entire week.

stress-cartoon.jpg

This cheesy cartoon shows one of the many side-effects of sleep deprivation. Others include: increased irritability, increased cardiovascular disorders, slow reflexes, hand tremors, and (my favorite) droopy eyelids

5 Comments

I have to say, I definitely like the title. Makes me feel better about my lack of sleep. And I am currently finding your idea to be true. I've been trying to catch up from my all nighters' a couple days ago, yet it seems its never enough, no matter how long I sleep. Lastly, that comic so well depicts me from yesterday :)

Clever title! I'm somewhat surprised that only 40% of Americans are sleep deprived. I'd also agree with you that that number is probably a lot higher for college students. Just a simple survey in one of the discussion sections suggested that most, if not all, are sleep deprived. I think it's also interesting how some people seem to function better than others with only 5-6 hours of sleep. I'm one of the few who actually gets at least 8 hours of sleep every night, and yet I still find myself needing a nap later in the afternoon.

You just explained my entire life. I am and have been a procrastinator since I was conceived... I was even born 11 days after the expected date. But of course all the procrastination and lack of sleep comes back to bite harder the second time. But my question is why don't we change our habits and stop procrastinating? I don't know this answer, but I wish I could find someone that does.

I was very surprised to learn that only 40% of people are sleep deprived after the activity we did in class because it seemed like being sleep deprived would be a very common thing. I would think that with the job market as competitive as it is, people would be very busy and be sleep deprived. I think that I am definitely one in the 40% that is sleep deprived because I find myself staying up very late to study and very tired all of the time.

40% does seem like a low number. Maybe this includes children that are required to go to bed on time, and people that are retired. I hope it is not too hard to catch up on sleep! I think we all need to make the effort to catchup for finals week this weekend!

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This page contains a single entry by webbx236 published on February 20, 2012 11:36 PM.

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