Students Prioritize Sleep

By Pier E MS

On a Calgary campus in the morning hours it is clear that not everyone is at his or her prime condition.

Students rushing to get to their class as fast as possible after sleeping in is a common sight.

Stress and lack of sleep can have negative effects on performance in school.

“College students are so important for our economic development—the development of our society,” Dr. Ehlinger said for healthnews.com. “One way to protect that investment in our future is to help them stay healthy.”

After approaching students from SAIT and The University of Calgary for interviews in person it became clear that they prioritize sleep in most cases.

Zeph Ahh, an Electrical Engineering Technologies student at SAIT who lives in the NE, has no problem prioritizing sleep over everything else because he understands the importance it has on his overall health.

“The hardest thing is fitting in gym time,” he said after being asked what he wished he had more time to do.

First year Civil Engineering student Yashi Xu resides in the SW and has 8 am classes Monday to Friday.

“My schedule is very tight, by having a job on campus it saves me a lot of time” she replied when asked what other responsibilities she balances on top of school.

She does everything she can to save time here and there, including participating in the challenge exams where she can apply skills she already knows and not take the whole class in a given semester. “I took a challenge exam and did well so that frees up some of my time,” she said.

Still sometimes she doesn’t sleep. When she wants to have some time for herself, doing her own pastimes, for example playing video games on her computer, Xu feels guilty that this is the case but remains with a good attitude.

The time to do these things is easily taken from the one thing that should be left undisturbed, sleep.

If Xu could change anything in her schedule it would be so that she could attend events planned by SAIT or SAITSA, like puppy day or free breakfast day. Because of early morning classes sometimes she misses out.

Britney Carswell at SAIT in Calgary on Thursday, Jan. 14, 2016. Carswell is a first-year journalism student. (Photo by Pier Moreno Silvestri/SAIT Polytechnic)
One of the may events held in the Stan Grad Centre at SAIT in Calgary on Thursday, Jan. 14, 2016. (Photo by Pier E MS)

These initiatives from the school are great for motivating and keeping student moral up, but it is not as effective when not all the students have immediate access to them.

If missing out on some class time is the alternative, students opt out even if they want to be a participating member of school activities designed specifically for them.

Early morning classes and late nights is a combination to be avoided, this is the case for U of C biological sciences student Rachel Matias who lives in the SE.

Staying up because of stress, homework, studying, social obligations, work or just too tired to sleep, can be a common issue faced by students.

“Sometimes I sacrifice sleep to finish assignments” Matias said, “causing me to get sick easier. Stress during midterms keeps me up, but I just use that time to study”

On the days she doesn’t get the right amount of sleep, the next day she has a very difficult time on focusing and retaining information.

“During the night, various sleep cycles play a role in consolidating memories in the mind.” A study on Webmd informs “If you don’t get enough sleep, you won’t be able to remember what you learned and experienced during the day.”

The amount of students that realize the importance of sleep is higher than what was expected, it is a compliment to schools class schedules.