Not getting the zzz’s

4 12 2008

Kara Bertrand
Life Reporter, Humber Et Cetera
Published: March 12, 2008

The lost hour this past weekend leaves an already sleep-deprived student population in dire need of rest.

Although tired, stressed and over-worked, some Humber students do not make sleep a priority, says Sue Olijnyk, a nursing program consultant.

“It’s a question of really sitting down and reflecting about what you want your quality of life to be and making conscious decisions about how you’re going to divide up your time,” said Olijnyk.

A new survey released last week by the National Sleep Foundation says the same trend is happening in the workforce.

The 2008 Sleep in America Poll assessed sleep habits of 1,000 Americans. The survey found participants averaged six hours and 40 minutes of sleep a night and 30 per cent reported falling asleep or feeling very sleepy on the job.

Lori Davis, manager of the sleep lab at West Park Healthcare Centre, said college students are often owls when it comes to sleep. She said the fact they go to bed late and wake up early is part of their age group characteristics.

“If you look at the population, only about 20 per cent are morning people,” she said. “So you’re hitting a small per cent of people in the class who are able to get up early.”

Gary Noseworthy, a liberal arts professor, said he often has students sleeping in his class.

“Once a week I’ll get somebody with their head down,” he said. “I’ll jokingly make a comment or I’ll give them an elbow, but back down the head goes.”

Noseworthy teaches a morning math class and said he gets students calling him to say they’ll be late, often because they slept through an alarm.

Debra Rai, 19, a second-year college transfer program student, said she often loses sleep because of her part-time job.

“I usually work after school so I get about five or six hours of sleep,” she said.

Olijnyk said organization and prioritizing is essential to getting enough sleep.

“People need to become more conscious that you need to have a balance,” she said. “The more organized you are, the more time you’ll have for yourself and you can dedicate that to sleep, family and school.”