The only team at Fredonia that sleeps well is the men’s hockey team, averaging 8-9 hours each night. Every other team averages 6-7. I know, because I track it.
Sleep deprivation–for teenagers, getting fewer than 9 hours of sleep each night–is a major risk factor for obesity, diabetes, and hypertension. It impairs attention and memory, and hence, learning. It literally makes you depressed. It keeps your body achy and sore.
The only reason I think the hockey team sleeps so well is because they’re not teenagers. They come to college at the age of twenty (which might be the very best way to do it). Their brains have already started shifting to an adult way of responding to light, meaning they get tired earlier as it’s getting dark. Eighteen-year-olds don’t get tired until well after midnight.
Throw an 8 a.m. or 9 a.m. class on a brain that’s wired to stay up until 2 or 3 a.m. and the results won’t be good. It’s not a coincidence that the hockey team almost always earns the highest male team GPA.
If you’re a teenager in college, here are some things you can do:
- Don’t take an 8 a.m. or 9 a.m. class if you know you’re not going to get tired until 2 a.m. Ask your coach not to hold early-morning practices. There might be no avoiding this, so . . .
- Nap liberally. Ignore people who find this lazy.
- Also ignore people who brag about how little sleep they get. They are misguided.
- Put your phone and laptop away at night; their light makes you think it’s still daytime. Read a book. Talk to another human.
- Buy earplugs if you’re in a dorm. Have a fan close by if you’re hot at night.