Campus, News

SHS encourages students to catch Zs

Students spend long hours each week on everything from online procrastination to cooking up ‘extreme’ versions of croquet – everything and anything except sleeping.
BU Student Health Services has hosted an array of sleep seminars over the past two years, but students are still not getting the sleep they need, SHS Wellness Coordinator Beth Grampetro said.
‘We try to give tips that are easier for college students to utilize,’ Grampetro said. ‘Especially if you live on campus, it can be difficult to create an environment that is really conducive to sleeping well. We try to talk to students about how to do that in a dorm whenever possible.’
Although Grampetro said the number of students who attend open seminars is fairly low, she thinks smaller group sessions, intentional or otherwise, are not necessarily a bad thing.
‘It’s sort of good in these situations to have a smaller group, because they tend to be more discussion-oriented,’ she said.’
Some of the tips Grampetro recommends to students include maintaining an effective sleep schedule and creating an environment conducive to sleep. Grampetro said students should wake up and go to sleep at the same time every day, though sleeping in for about an hour longer is acceptable on weekends. Students should sleep in a cool, dark environment to further enhance their resting ability.
Many college-aged students fill their schedules with numerous activities that force them to sacrifice sleep, Boston Medical Center Sleep Disorders Center Director Sanford Auerbach said in an email.
‘All surveys indicate that they do not get adequate sleep,’ he said. ‘This is a society-wide problem that is certainly a considerable issue in this group. Many students are in the developmental stage, where they still feel that they are impervious to the detrimental effects of sleep deprivation.’
Learning to balance a proper amount of sleep with a hectic college schedule is part of the college experience, Auerbach said.
‘Students face a lot of demands: social, academic, family,’ he said. ‘The decisions on how to appropriate the 24 hours of a day can be quite difficult. Perhaps, this is a part of the educational process.’
College of Communication graduate student Lindsay Long said she averages about four hours of sleep a night to make room for other things in her personal life.
‘You have four years before you have to go out into the real world and be an adult,’ she said. ‘I think people tend to take this time to do whatever it is that they want and to be reckless, so to speak, before they go out into the world, and they really don’t have that option.’
College of Arts and Sciences student Janaki Vakharia said she gets enough sleep, but understands why some students may not.
‘I feel that they think that sleeping is a waste of time when you can be doing other things like doing work, going out,’ she said.

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