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UMass Dartmouth students sleep, but sometimes it’s not enough

PHOTO COURTESY - PHOTOBUCKET.COMResearchers recommend seven to nine hours of sleep each night for adults, but most UMass Dartmouth students get far less.

“Sleep? It’s like one of my enemies, man,” said Will Val, a junior living in Aspen Hall.

Pamela Thatcher, an assistant professor of psychology at St. Lawrence University is researching the relationship between lack of sleep and students’ GPAs. Currently, her data shows that lack of sleep negatively affects students’ grades.

Bryan Rodrigues, a human resources major and senior at UMass Dartmouth says, “If I don’t get enough sleep, I’m very drowsy in my morning classes. If I get too much sleep, I’m very drowsy in my morning classes.”

Without enough sleep, people hinder their ability to memorize, learn, and reason logically, according to The National Sleep Foundation. They can end up with exhaustion during the day and even health problems.

For college students, memorizing, learning, and reasoning logically make up their academic life. Val says he doesn’t sleep a consistent number of hours each night. “I procrastinate and leave my work to the last minute. And that’s the honest truth.”

As a Resident Assistant, Rodrigues says he doesn’t sleep a consistent number of hours either. “Because my schedule fluctuates greatly. Some nights I’m on duty, some nights I’m not. And some days I have to get up really early for class.”

Nicole Feinberg, a junior English major and a commuter says, “My school work definitely affects my sleep! I lose a lot of sleep trying to balance life in general, papers and reading assignments. They want us to get involved on campus, but I can’t or I would never go to bed!”

Other students like Aaron Burke, a junior English major, says schoolwork doesn’t affect his sleep. He says, “If I have something due the next day and it’s not done, I still go to bed. I wake up maybe an hour earlier and finish it. Although I know friends who pull all nighters for homework.”

Lack of sleep can affect schoolwork too. Sometimes students, like Val, can’t finish assignments when they haven’t slept enough.

Val says, “I had an assignment due for a class. Had all weekend to do it and I waited until Sunday night at 9 p.m. for something due at 9 a.m. on Monday. Didn’t complete it all. I woke up two hours later to finish it and I still didn’t.”

The National Sleep Foundation cautions students not to use the bedroom as a place for the computer, homework and television because they signal the brain that the bedroom is a place to stay awake.

Rodrigues says he does have a computer in the bedroom but refrains from using it before bed.

Val says, “I put the sleep timer on my television and try to fall asleep within that time. Sometimes it does help me fall asleep.”

Finals week is an exception for even those who don’t allow the computer, school work, and television to get in the way of sleep. Rodrigues says, “Finals are a little crazier time. That’s the only time I let school work keep me up. That’s when caffeine affects my sleeping patterns greatly.”

Caffeine is another bedtime vice, according to the National Sleep Foundation, although Burke says it “puts me out like a light.”

Life on campus differs for every student. Some live in quiet housing, like Rodrigues, or have respectful roommates, like Val. Others aren’t as lucky. While Burke says that his room is quiet, his suitemate isn’t as lucky. “The people above her make too much noise at night,” says Burke.

Although Feinberg commutes to UMass Dartmouth, she says, “I lived on campus at my old school and it was loud 24-7.”

“Weekends are definitely crazier than regular weekdays, for me as an RA,” says Rodrigues. “Things that need my assistance, such as parties, noise complaints, and lock outs happen more frequently on weekends. This means that I’m sleep deprived some weekends.”

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