Shape Column: Do You Get Enough Sleep?

Chloe Gonzales ’22

Shape Contributor

Have you ever wondered how much sleep Holy Cross students get? Do you personally struggle with getting enough sleep in the midst of deadlines, events, and exams – especially during finals season? Along with our sleep outreach table that offers tips on how to get a better night’s sleep, the Student Health Awareness Peer Educators (SHAPE) were interested in tracking how many hours of sleep, on average, Holy Cross students get.

Last semester, SHAPE set up a sleep-tracking board in Hogan from December 3 to December 7, which was the week leading up to finals week. 227 students marked the average number of hours of sleep that they get each night. According to the board, the highest-marked category was 7 hours of sleep (59 students), and the second-highest marked category was 6 hours (46 students). The range of hours on the board was 4 hours to 11 hours, but students themselves inserted one more category: less than 4 hours of sleep. Out of the 227 students, 12 got less than 4 hours of sleep a night.

SHAPE again set up the sleep-tracking board this semester, from February 18 to February 22, which was about a month into the Spring semester. This time, 215 students marked the board. Once again, the highest number of hours marked was 7 hours of sleep (64 students), with the second-highest category being 6 hours (52 students). These results are noteworthy, since more students were able to get these number of hours of sleep compared to finals season, and less students filled out the board. Also, the category of less than 4 hours of sleep went down to 5 students.

Whether it be finals season or a regular, busy point in the semester, you should aim to get 7-9 hours of sleep a night. A regular 7-9 hours of sleep improves your memory, attention, and learning. Getting up and going to bed at the same time everyday can also help you get the best quality of sleep. This may be difficult, but try to have your last caffeinated beverage no later than 12 noon, since caffeine can stay in your system up to 24 hours and has a half life of 4-6 hours. Also, avoid using your computer and cell phone shortly before bed. Finally, there is no denying that naps can help with sleep deprivation, but try to avoid naps up to 4 hours before bedtime, in order to get all your sleep collectively at night. Follow these tips in order to maximize your cognitive abilities and feel great while tackling the rest of the semester!

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