The Student News Site of Sacramento City College

The Express

The Student News Site of Sacramento City College

The Express

The Student News Site of Sacramento City College

The Express

Photo credit: Nick Shockey / nshockey.express@gmail.com
A letter from the editor
February 6, 2024

The science of sleep

Allison Valenzuela || valenzam@imail.losrios.edu || Student grabs a nap under the trees in the Quad.
Student grabs a nap under the trees in the Quad.||Allison Valenzuela || [email protected]

BEEP, BEEP, BEEP, BEEP, BEEP—

A hand reaches out from under the covers and hits the snooze button.
“Five more minutes,” says a voice from under the covers.

That is how some of us start our day. You know it’s true. Then the inevitable question is voiced: “What idiot thought made me take a class so freakin’ early in the morning?”

According to a Stanford University Sleep Study conducted by Dr.William Dement, each of us has a specific daily sleep requirement.

The average sleep requirement for a college student is well over eight hours. If this amount isn’t met a sleep debt is created. The only way to reduce that debt is by getting extra sleep over and above your daily requirement.

Many college students are carrying a dangerously large sleep debt, according to Dement. For most people, sleep debt appears so gradually that they mistake tiredness and fatigue on other things, like depression, stress, metabolism or getting older, says Dement.

According to Web MD, the amount of sleep a person needs depends on the individual. The need for sleep depends on various factors, one of which is age.

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The amount of sleep a person needs also increases if he or she has been deprived of sleep. People do not seem to adapt to getting less sleep than they need, according to the Sleep Medicine Center at the Cleveland Clinic.

City College student Martin Gonzalez knows how hard it is to work full time and go to school. Last semester he worked a night shift, slept for a few hours, went to school all day, got a couple more hours of sleep and started all over again.

“At one point I just crashed and burned, I was out for two weeks trying to catch up on the sleep I was missing,” Gonzalez says.

This semester Gonzalez has changed jobs and regulated his school schedule.

“It’s still a little odd [his schedule] but I feel much better this semester,” Gonzalez says.

Photography Professor Paul Estabrook deals with sleepy heads in his class with some light-hearted humor.

“I was sitting behind the class while watching a video and a student was asleep right in front of me. I didn’t feel it was necessary to wake him, he was only making more work for himself by not paying attention to the video,” Estabrook says. “My concern was if he falls over and bangs his head, am I liable.”

“Students have other issues outside of school. In the end it comes out in your grade,” Estabrook says.

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