College students often are not getting enough sleep and they blame it on stress from their side jobs and a lack of time, new research concludes.
Dr. Adam Knowlden, a professor in University of Alabama's department of health science, and Dr. Manoj Sharma, a researcher formerly in the health promotion and education program at the University of Cincinnati, found students are twice as likely to be sleep deprived as the general population.
The students in the survey were more worried about their sleep deprivation hindering their abilities to manage stress and concentrate at work than any long-term health impact. Previous research from the University of St. Thomas in St. Paul linked poor sleep patterns as a predictor of bad academic performance, depression, feelings of isolation or chronic health problems.
"If students are unaware of how many hours they should be setting aside for studying outside the classroom, they can quickly mismanage their time and not set aside enough time for sleep," Knowlden told The Huffington Post. "A common formula is students should set aside 6 to 9 hours of study time per week, for each 3 credit hour class they take. This can quickly translate into a full-time workload, which is the way students should see their college career."
Knowlden suggested students not getting enough sleep are struggling to balance juggling classes, finances, social lives, athletics, volunteer work, parental expectations and employment. He recommends students putting less importance on working part-time jobs while in school, as much as they can.
The study examined 188 University of Cincinnati students starting in 2012. All of the survey participants were undergraduates with jobs, who also operated motor vehicles and who were not diagnosed with sleep disorders, according to the University of Alabama news office.
Knowlden suggested to KCRU cutting back caffeine and trying to get to bed at the same time each night can improve sleep patterns.
"Even just basic things like learning how to do some basic time and financial management can really help students, can go a long way in helping them achieve adequate sleep," Knowlden said.