Insomnia is a problem on college campuses. A recent study reported that 63% of college students don’t get enough sleep (one aspect that contributes to that high percentage is students who work full time and go to school). I’m comfortable with the posit that students that don’t get enough sleep have a lower academic performance than students that are well rested. Below is a look at what different schools are doing to help students get enough sleep.
What Schools are Doing
A number of schools have instituted a variety of different plans in order to assist students in improving their sleep. Some of them are sound and others less so:
(1) Duke University does not offer any 8 a.m. classes. Additionally the majority of courses occur between 10 am and 2 pm.
(2) (from that article) “Cornell University takes a scientific approach to promoting sleep on campus, sharing a sleep-focused version of introductory psychology. In this class, students are shown photos, hard data, and experiments that show the effect of sleep deprivation on college students. They’ve found that it’s been their most effective way to change behavior.”
(3) The University of Cincinnati has a stress management course that teaches people about the importance of proper sleep.
(4) The University of Delaware offers a class on napping (I hope it is not a full 3 credit class, but rather a 1 hour seminar…and most sleep experts state that naps are actually a bad idea).
(5) The College of the Holy Cross teaches their students about sleep hygiene. Then takes the novel approach of sending those students into the community to talk to school children about the importance of proper rest.
Why Sleep is Important to Colleges
Colleges are addressing sleep because it leads to a healthier, better performing student body. It’s good for both academics and the business of higher education. It makes a great deal of sense to address sleeping problems on both the micro and macro level. The over-medication of the American public is something that I have talked and written about at great length. So it should not come as a surprise that I also think that we are over-medicating sleeping problems. The effects of over-medicating have the potential to be disastrous. Later on this week, I’ll publish an article on The Problem with Sleep Medication.
What do I do if I or a Loved One is Struggling with Sleep
Sleep is very important for optimal mental and physical functioning. If you or a loved one is struggling with sleep review the other articles on this site about sleep. If the problem is due to substance use or psychological struggles please contact a healthcare professional. We at NJFAI are here to help.