Crusty mouthed caffeinated crotchety collegians caught crumbling constantly.
That description fits many of my classmates and admittedly, me. For far too many students, sleep deprivation is a way of life. In an era of corrupted circadian rhythms and rampant social media access, the repercussions of not getting enough shut-eye reach farther than we acknowledge.
A nightly perusal of the twitterverse will show people representing for #teaminsomnia and #teamnosleep into the wee hours of the morning.
Is tweeting all night the new staying out?
Do college kids need Internet curfews?
Is fragmented e-dialogue so entertaining that we ignore droopy eyelids and fatigued bodies?
Does social media overuse cause us to continue cyclical days of sleep deprivation?
Sometimes that lack of sleep impairs judgment, prompts confessions and/or other random 140 character revelations.
There must be a correlation between proper snooze time and discernment.
People tend to be more forthcoming online during the grown-up hours of the night than they are midday. As a result, the Internet becomes an insomnia enabler.
It is too easy to remain logged in, chatting, tweeting, skyping or direct messaging someone we did not intend to communicate with at all.
All of these e-activities contribute to unhealthy sleep patterns.
“Insufficient sleep” is associated with everything from diabetes and depression to cardiovascular disease.
With more than 100 different sleeping and waking disorders identified, it seems that Americans can pick their post-work poison.
It is even more complex for college students, many who evolved from structured households and rules to hybrid existences where we respond like children and experience adult punishments for our actions.
The effects of insufficient sleep rival the mightiest of happy hour hangovers.
Are abnormal sleep habits becoming standard in American culture?
More than one in four Americans do not get enough sleep; so, it is no surprise that many of our actions reflect a lack of rest and regeneration.
Adults are recommended to get between seven and nine hours of daily sleep, according to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
We all know or have been that zombie who is physically present, yet mentally absent during a lecture.
Too many of us strive in baccalaureate endeavors, but do not do our bedtimes justice.
“I am very drowsy during class,” said biology senior Terrance Harris.
Harris added that he has difficulty concentrating and that “everything goes in one ear and out (of) the other.”
Harris said that he averages between four and five hours of sleep nightly.
Nursing junior Brittany Roberts said that she also averages about four and a half hours of sleep daily.
“Sleep deprivation causes me to be irritable and have a short attention span,” she said.
“As a result, I have to tape my lectures and listen to them at home.”
Roberts said that studying and stress keep her awake. While moderate stress is expected in college, we exacerbate the problem by repeatedly overusing under-rested bodies.
Chasing espresso shots with Mountain Dew cannot substitute for not receiving the recommended amount of sleep.
And of course, an extreme crash will follow when the crack-feine wears off.
I know from habitual experience. Every semester I push myself to the point of almost breaking.
Last week I floated from one class to my best friend’s couch. It was then that I remembered that fatigue should not be an out-of-body experience.
That trippy walk to Tiger Village reminded me that I am of no use to anyone if I do not treat my body better.
If our schedules do not permit as much nightly rest as we would like, we should remember that power naps can power us up.
Occasionally telling people “no” and spending weekends to unwind from fruitful weeks are healthy responses.
While I am not here to knock anyone’s hustle, there is a fine line between upwardly mobile grinding and grinding oneself into the ground.