Study: 60% of college students not getting sufficient sleep

Published: Sep. 4, 2014 at 10:29 AM EDT
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CONWAY, SC (WMBF) - Many college students have side jobs while going to school full-time to help with the expense. But those jobs take up a lot of time and pack on extra stress - reasons college students say they're not sleeping.

Researchers from the University of Alabama studied students, and say while 33 percent of the adult populations doesn't get enough Z's – with college students that figure is 60 percent.

Parents should talk with their kids about handling the independence going away to college gives them. When they leave home, students tend to struggle with making their health a priority.

For them it's tough finding A balance between juggling their classes, finances, social life, athletics, expectations from parents and their jobs.

Coastal Carolina University's very own professor of health promotion, Sharon Thompson, sees students everyday who don't get enough sleep. "Coastal students do often work one or two jobs, they're going to school, trying to work out, they live in noisy environments. All those different kinds of things. And so, they do nod off in the classroom."

It's a lot to handle. Researchers suggest a big way to help reduce the stress on students is to teach them to manage time and finances.

The other part of it is that college students don't yet realize or sometimes ignore the long-term effects sleep deprivation can have on their health: cardiovascular disease, diabetes, obesity- that freshman 15.

"When they are ready to go to sleep, not to play games on their iPad or cell phones because it's actually been found that the blue light affects melatonin, and melatonin is the hormone that helps us to get ready to go to sleep," Thompson continues. "Those, actually, phones and iPads and computers, are the worst because they're closer to our face than the television is."

Parents, if students aren't getting enough sleep or stress is keeping them awake, tell them to turn all the electronics off.

Thompson says if your student gets less than 5 hours a night they are 50 percent more likely to be obese down the road.

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