Slighting Sleep on Campus
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Whether you're staying awake for studying or something a bit more exciting, you probably drink more than your fair share of caffeine packed energy drinks and coffee. Here, learn about the pros and cons of staying-awake aids.
Transcript: If you're pulling an all-nighter, you'll probably need some help. Here, the good, the bad, and the ugly...
If you're pulling an all-nighter, you'll probably need some help. Here, the good, the bad, and the ugly of the stay-awake aids. The most common sleep fighting agent amongst college students is caffeine, which is the stimulating ingredient in coffee, tea, and soft drinks. Though some use ephedrine, the active ingredient found in over-the-counter allergy and cold medication, like Sudafed or Mucinex.According to the National Coffee Association, college students are now drinking more caffeine than ever-about 3.2 cups each daily, up from 2.1 in 2005. Meanwhile, some students prefer to get their caffeine rush faster, in the form of over-the-counter pills like NoDoze and Vivarin. Most of these tablets contain about 200 milligrams of caffeine, which is comparable to two cups of coffee. Both caffeine pills and direct caffeine intake are fairly harmless ways to stay awake, according to the FDA. Remember though, that caffeine may make you jittery and distracted, side effects that can defeat the purpose of staying awake to study in the first place. Additionally, caffeine can be addictive, so you can suffer headaches and other withdrawal symptoms if you stop using it. While caffeine is generally safe, some energy drinks, like Wired, contain as much as 500 milligrams of the stimulant. That's the equivalent of five cups of coffee in one fell swoop, a dose that may make doing schoolwork more difficult. Still, if you're sticking with caffeine, you're better off than the 14% of your peers who rely on prescription ADHD medication, like Adderall or Ritalin, to stay awake, according to a 2004 University of Wisconsin study.* These stimulating drugs are often used illegally by college students to increase concentration and ward off sleep. While ADHD meds may work in the short-term, if used incorrectly, they can sometimes come with some dangerous side effects, including fainting and seizures. Plus, drugs like Ritalin are addictive, and users may start to desire them even when all-nighters aren't necessary. But no matter your stay-awake aid, you're probably better off letting yourself actually sleep, says a recent study at Saint Lawrence University. There, researchers found that students who avoided staying up all night had better GPAs than those who relied on not sleeping pre-exam. So think ahead, and plan your schedule so that you can crawl under the covers and get yourself some much deserved rest when you're in crunch time!More »
Last Modified: 2013-03-14 | Tags »
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Sleep deprivation is all too common on your average campus, but does being sleep deprived really hurt you? Surprisingly, the answer is yes. Suffering from insomnia in college can lead to reduced concentration and impair your studying efforts.
Transcript: There's a reason that sleep deprivation is used as a form of torture-it's killer on your body. In fact,...
There's a reason that sleep deprivation is used as a form of torture-it's killer on your body. In fact, if you miss enough sleep, it can cause you to drive as erratically as someone who has a blood alcohol level of .08 or higher. In other words, missing too much sleep can impair you in much the same way that being intoxicated can. Multiple studies have documented the negative effects that lack of sleep has on brain function. Just one night of missed sleep can significantly dull the centers of your brain responsible for memory, concentration, and language... -meaning that your all night study session might have done more harm than good. And if you continually skimp on sleep, you may experience memory loss, a decreased desire for sex, and reduced tolerance for alcohol. In the end, you'll definitely gain more by catching some zzzs than you will by cramming all night. It's important to be mindful of the impact on all-nighter can have on your body and mind.More »
Last Modified: 2014-01-10 | Tags »
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Despite the flexibility to snooze at will, many students suffer from insomnia and other sleep disorders. If you're having problems sleeping in college, you're definitely not without treatment options. Here, the 411 on fighting the tired bug
Transcript: Having trouble sleeping regularly? So are most of your peers-77% of them, according to the National Sleep...
Having trouble sleeping regularly? So are most of your peers-77% of them, according to the National Sleep Foundation. Insomnia is a serious issue amongst young people. In fact, the National Sleep Foundation found that college students are the demographic most affected by insomnia. This broad-based term simply means the inability to fall asleep, or to remain asleep, for an adequate length of time. Put most of the blame on the varying sleep schedules you keep on the weekends versus the weeknights. Technically, your body sleeps best when you go to bed and wake up at the same time every day, which is why college insomnia is worst on Sunday, the "catch-up" night. For the same reason, Wednesday night tends to be the best night for sound sleep across campus. School and socials stressors also take some of the blame for college insomnia, since most students have trouble separating sleep time from worry time. Whatever the reason, a repeat lack of sleep does nothing to bolster your everyday performance and mood, and can wear down your immune system. College insomniacs in the NSF study reported feeling generally irritable, angry, and foggy as they went about their days. They also experienced poor performance in class, a weakened sex drive, and/or an increase in colds, flu, and mono. As such, it's little wonder that many college insomniacs also deal with a depression or anxiety disorder. The good news is that even though insomnia is prevalent on campus, there are treatments that can help. So make an appointment at your campus health center to discuss ways you can start sleeping soundly.More »
Last Modified: 2013-03-14 | Tags »
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