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A closer look at losing sleep
If you dread the sound of your alarm and feel tired all day, have you ever asked yourself why you are so tired all the time?
For college students, the daily routine of going to class, taking exams, and writing papers may not always me to blame. Some studies suggest that there may be more to a bad night’s sleep.
On campus it’s not uncommon to see many students lined up for coffee, tea, and energy drinks just to wake up. However, oftentimes these drinks are not nearly enough to get some of us through the day.
According to CU student Dana Melby, “it varies day to day, but in general I’m always pretty tired during the week days.”
A study done by the National Sleep Foundation shows that nearly 95% of people questioned in a survey said they use some type of electronic device within the hour before going to sleep.
This may seem harmless, as many of us are guilty of using an array of technology before we go to sleep and never think twice about it. However, specialists such as Dr. Mark Hickey of the Boulder Community Sleep Disorders Center tell us that exposure to artificial light before going to sleep suppresses the sleep promoting hormone melatonin.
Whether it’s a laptop, cell phone, video game, or simply watching TV, the artificial light from these screens disrupt our body’s circadian rhythm—meaning our brain confuses the concepts of day and night.
Loss of sleep or poor quality sleep can cause impaired learning and thinking, accidents, and a decrease in attention span. The extreme cases can even lead to serious diseases such as hypertension, stroke, diabetes, and more.
Dr. Hickey outlines a very simple solution, “I tell my patients to eliminate electronics from the bedroom, which can be very difficult for college students.”
However difficult it is to break these bad habits, simple changes such as actually turning your cell phone completely off or leaving your laptop in the other room can make all the difference.