sleep deprivation


College students tend to be awake until late at night doing one thing or the other. However, sleep deprivation crops up slowly leading to physical and emotional problems.

Staying up till 3:00 AM seems fun to a school student living with their parents. The idea of going to bed and waking up at one’s own leisure sounds like a luxury school students crave. When these students enter college, live away from home, and dictate their sleep-cycle; that is when the effect of this idea is fully understood. The idea of staying up late in the night when everything becomes quiet, feels soothing and reading a book or watching a movie seems like the perfect match to the setting. Or maybe a good long conversation over text is also preferable. Well, a few random nights times turn into a habit and a rather unwanted one too.

The effects of sleep deprivation on the human body are significantly harmful. It leads to a weaker immune system, obesity, diabetes, high blood pressure, anxiety, and much more. Talking about statistics, a survey report published in The Hindu said that about 93% Indians suffer from sleep deprivation with almost 87% leaving it untreated. As per brandongaille.com, 7 out of 10 students in college said they get less than the recommended amount of sleep. The reasons for these students varied from academic pressure to emotional issues.

So, what exactly is it about college life that brings this culture of staying awake until long? “The attention in college life turns towards not only keeping up with academics but also towards indulging in activities that build up my CV,” said Manan Kalra, a first-year student of the University of Delhi. It cannot be denied that the focus shifts towards career building rather than scoring marks. Outstations may also tend to adopt the habit of staying awake until night because of ill-disciplined lifestyle and lack of guidance from parents or guardians.

However, waking up at night is not necessarily due to just the academic pressure of college work. College life is a phase where we shift our focus on developing ourselves as a person. We are in a transition phase at the individual, social and emotional level. Talking about the nature of this habit, Dr Nidhi Prakash, Assistant Professor from the Department of Psychology said “College life is a stage where an individual becomes more conscious and aware of himself/herself. One starts emphasizing more upon things like self-image, social acceptability, and validation.”

It seems as if the very source of insomnia is not necessarily random. More importantly, it seems as if sleep deprivation at the college level is inevitable. The problem with the habit is that the positive effects are still a probability while the negative effect is certain. One may or may not be able to inject the skills or contemplate about being socially acceptable, but they certainly tamper with their body. We need to keep in mind the long-term implications of the lack of sleep on our body. Maybe its high-time we prioritize our health and well-being and give our sleep cycle the importance it requires.

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Karan Singhania

Feature Image Credits: Advil





If you ever find yourself in a Campus-bound metro, particularly on a week day morning, you are sure to notice one common feature on every student’s face: sleep. This apparent sleep deprivation manifests in all forms. Some can be seen sleeping with open mouths while others tend to perpetually yawn, quite contagiously. A few others can be found nodding off every now and then. One category that deserves a special mention here is the ‘martyr’, representing someone who is extremely sleepy yet bravely fights off the urge to doze, via mental engagement (like reading, listening to music or talking).

What baffles me about my observations is that I am yet to find a concrete cause for this trend. I haven’t been able to completely comprehend why DU students are so sleepy in the morning! Most of us are used to waking up early, courtesy – ungodly school timings. Further, you can rule out late night studies, as a majority of us bank on last minute ‘feed your brain all you can before the exam’ study tactics. Then what on Earth is turning DU students into zombies? Here are possible reasons:

A. Endless streaming of series

Endless streaming of series
Endless streaming of series (Image Credits: www.relatably.com)

In the era of Torrents and Netflix, who waits for per day episodes? Most of us just download the entire series and guzzle down 10-12 episodes in one go. The typical scenario: we sit down with season 1 at dusk and reach season 3 by dawn.

B. Social media

Social media
Social media (Image Credits: http://cdn.meme.am)

I usually switch my phone off after 2200 hrs. Sure, you can call me a prude. But I learnt my lesson when I got extremely addicted to Facebook, Instagram and BuzzFeed during the holidays. It started with a desire to just sift through my NewsFeed post dinner. But then, one link would lead to another and I would end up spending hours pouring over nonsensical updates, thereby, jeopardising my sleeping pattern. I managed to break the cycle, but a lot of us are still caught in it. No wonder our sleep is in such disequilibrium!

C. Parties and outings

Parties and outings
Parties and outings (Image credits: theashleysrealityroundup.files.wordpress.com)

Oh yes! Just one (although extremely dear to us) among the many perks of being in college- extension of curfews and new-found independence! How can one get the prescribed 8-hour sleep if one is often partying or clubbing away, that too on week nights?

D. Social calls and commitments

Social calls
Social calls (Image Credits: classroomclipart.com)

We usually tend to make all our important phone calls during night, because college, society work, tuitions, etc. keep us occupied through the day. So latest gossip, deep and emotional conversations with the best friend, love talks with the better-half or catching up with a school friend is usually done after 2100 hrs, when everyone is taking a breather from their busy schedules. But when the chit-chat turns into a routinely-nightly-mega conversation, we pay a hefty price. Not just in money to the phone company, but also through our heavily compromised sleep.

E. Insomnia

Insomnia (Image credits: s-media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com)

Some of us are just plain unlucky. Because at the end of the day, how does one defy insomnia? Popping pills is not just scary, but also futile. Counting sheep (or the number of times Rihanna, ironically, says ‘work’ in her song ‘Work’) doesn’t soothe the mind either – the catastrophic result? Well, living through the first half of your next day without any sense of consciousness.

I don’t wish to sound like your family doctor, or mother. But the hard fact of life is that 6-8 hrs of sleep for an adult human being is imperative, if one wishes to keep their mental and physical faculties alive and kicking. So I advise all of you sleepyheads out there to fulfill your quota in the method and manner that fits you the best. I’m a morning person, and one thing I can tell you with certainty: mornings are the most peaceful and productive periods of the day. Don’t miss out on them because of erratic and silly habits.

Feature Image Credits: www.everydaypeoplecartoons.com