How To Handle Sleep Deprivation In Students?

College students often experience sleep deprivation due to a combination of late-night study sessions, stress, late-night partying, noise, and the freedom to choose when they go to sleep.



A study by The National Sleep Foundation showed that 63% of college students regularly don’t get enough sleep. The study also found that students who studied hard all week and then stayed up on the weekend lost as much as 30% of what they learned during the week.

Performance And Sleep:  

A study performed by Stanford University in 2006 showed that after two weeks of sleeping six hours or less per night, students feel as bad and perform as poorly as people who have gone without sleep for 48 hours!

Pamela Thacher, psychology professor at St. Lawrence University, authored another study about college students and sleep deprivation. According to her a person cannot do his best work when he is deprived of sleep. She said “If you use all-nighters, your GPA is slightly lower on average.”

Why does college stay up so late? Part of the problem is a “sleep is for wimps” mindset. Without parental supervision, college students slide into a bad habit of staying up too late. Many imbibe caffeine energy drinks and take caffeine pills to stay up late at night.

Problems Caused By Sleep Deprivation:   

Many sleep experts believe sleep deprivation causes problems such as –

  • Compromised concentration and emotional health
  • Stress
  • Impaired memory and reaction time
  • Irritability
  • Depression
  • Increased blood pressure

Sleep Tips: 

Some sleep tips offered by the Northern Indiana Center for Sleep Medicine to handle sleeping problems include:

  • Set a regular schedule to go to bed and to get up.
  • Turn your clock so you can’t see it. Watching the clock may keep you awake.
  • Don’t eat, drink alcohol, or smoke for two to three hours before going to bed.
  • Get exercise during the day.
  • Read a book or listen to a relaxation tape at bedtime.
  • If you wake up during the night, avoid bright lights.

Set Boundaries:  

  • College students should try to get sleep on a consistent basis. Michael Breus, Ph.D., ABSM, a fellow at the American Academy of Sleep Medicine and a diplomat of the American Board of Sleep Medicine, wrote, “Set clear boundaries. Tell yourself you won’t party past a certain time; keep to a regular sleep-wake schedule as best you can, even on the weekends.” He also believes that students should keep a routine study session and turn off their cell phone after a specific hour, such as 10 PM. On his blog, Breus offers useful tips for sleeping in a dorm room.
  • College life can be stressful due to academic pressures and other factors. Some experts believe relieving stress can help college students get a good night sleep. Find useful techniques to relieve stress.
  • For students to do their best, both academically AND socially, they need to get eight hours of sleep per night. You’ve certainly heard this before, but does anyone out there actually GET that much sleep every night? If so, do you feel like you function better when you get a full night’s sleep?

What’s Your Sleep Routine?   

How many hours of sleep you get every night? Do you wake up fresh and energetic? What are your tips to get comfortable and sound eight hours of sleep every night?

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9 comments on “How To Handle Sleep Deprivation In Students?
  1. Ernest @ weight loss drops says:

    Believe me, this is the third article that I read and you got everything covered.

    But I also think that college students who lack sleep has a problem with time management. They cannot complete there school task ahead of time that is why they just do all their school stuff until midnight or until after midnight and that is really the bad idea for them.

    Supervision would be the best key as what has mentioned above. Thanks!

  2. Gordon Drago says:

    I’d also like to add that it important to go to bed on time. Your physical repair starts from 10pm to 2am and your mental repair is 2-6am. It not just about how much sleep you got but also going to bed on time.

  3. Cliff Mccann says:

    Aside from the routine and setting boundaries Is their any food that can help too with the sleeping problem?

    Cliff Mccann

    • RJS KOCHHAR says:

      If you are facing sleeping problems due to your current lifestyle, then you may have to alter your lifestyle and if you you are having any health condition which is disturbing your sleep, it is advised to consult your physician to get the proper diagnosis done for the right treatment to be followed.

      • Cliff Mccann says:

        Yes, I agree with you it’s better to consult physician first to understand more my case I mean my situation and to get the proper diagnosis.

        Cliff Mccann

  4. Grant Bachhuber says:


    What time should a college student sleep and wake up? Is it alright to sleep anytime as long as one gets an 8-hour of sleep?

    Grant Bachhuber

    • RJS KOCHHAR says:

      8 hour sleep is important. Having said that its also important to have a proper daily routine, having an erratic lifestyle, and managing your 8 hour of sleep here and there will ultimately leave you tired and you won’t feel fresh even after you have completed your quota of sleep. Do follow a fixed and reasonable routine and get your eight hours of sleep preferably during night.

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