By: Narena Nerahoo ’24

Are you getting enough sleep? The American College Health Association/National College Health Assessment Survey collects data on a broad range of health behaviors in college students. Nationally, only 45% of students report getting enough sleep to feel rested three to five days per week. Sleep is as essential to our health as the food we eat or the amount of exercise we get. Unfortunately, when it comes to sleep, Lafayette students get a failing grade.

How much sleep does a student need? The optimal amount of sleep for a college student is seven to nine hours a night. A majority of college students do not receive the recommended amount of sleep needed to maximize sleep benefits – 36.4% of Lafayette College students reported getting less than seven hours of sleep a weeknight; 47.9% of Lafayette College students reported feeling sleepy or tired three to five days out of the week; and 30.5% of Lafayette College students reported feeling sleepy six to seven days out of the week.

Insufficient sleep can cause inattention, irritability, hyperactivity, lack of impulse control, mood swings, and impaired memory. A lack of sleep not only affects your behavior, it also can greatly affect your grades. According to Dr. Jeff Goldstein, “Good sleep is an essential pillar for physical and mental well-being. Learning/memory consolidation and neural connections that form memory take place during sleep.” Read up on tips for getting effective sleep.