Student strategies for more sound sleep

When attempting to sleep, a persistent busy mind, tense muscles and a racing heart are all physical indicators that a person may be too stressed sleep soundly, according to the National Sleep Foundation. (Vanita Patel/The Daily Campus)

In the midst of midterm season, college students report finding it difficult to receive sufficient sleep at night. While students must adhere to demanding study schedules, preventative measures can be taken to combat the daily adverse effects of fatigue.

Molly Bugos, a graduate student and member of UConn’s division one rowing team says that sleep is key for her athletic performance.

“I can definitely feel the performance difference between a workout on five hours of sleep versus eight hours of sleep the night before,” Bugos said. “I feel weaker and less sharp mentally...Committing to a good sleep schedule is part of my commitment to being a student athlete, and is a critical part of my athletic outcomes.”

Freshmen note the importance of sleep on not only their well-being, but on their academic performance as well.

“Sleep is not only important for my performance during class, but helps me to relax after a stressful day,” first-semester finance major Orgest Nazarko said. “Days before and after testing are the most important to get sleep for.”

According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC) young adults are recommended to get at least seven hours of sleep every night. The quality of this sleep is equally as important, even essential, to a sufficient night’s rest.

To improve sleep quality, the CDC recommends consistency of sleep and wake times, avoiding alcohol and large meals directly before bedtime and eliminating technology use prior to sleeping.

Stress is a major factor to students’ sleep deprivation, according to the National Sleep Foundation, an online endorsed by the UConn Health Center.

When attempting to sleep, a persistent busy mind, tense muscles and a racing heart are all physical indicators that a person may be too stressed sleep soundly, according to the National Sleep Foundation.

In an interview with UConn Today, Daniel McNally, medical director of the Sleep Disorders Center at UConn Health, said that the stress of societal pressures contribute to sleeplessness.

“Our busy, fast-paced society is setting us up to be tired and having to do more in less time,” says McNally.

McNally said to UConn Today that the ensuring the comfort of one’s bed, as well as sleeping environment, are a few of the top 10 ways to achieve a better night’s sleep.

UConn freshman have varying ways to cope with sleep deprivation during their transition into college.

“Take naps. Lots of naps. Studying has severely altered my sleep schedule,” first semester sports management major Daniel Manger said.

At night, students recommend taking preventative measures to ensure uninterrupted sleep.

“Although it sounds goofy, earplugs have really been a game-changer,” first-semester finance major Chris Con said. “They muffle out certain noises that used to wake me up in the middle of the night...I sleep much better with more consistency.”


Grace Burns is campus correspondent for The Daily Campus. He can be reached via email at grace.burns@uconn.edu.