Western Courier

Western hosts sleep deprivation event

Josh Bowling, Courier Staff

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Western Illinois University’s Department of Health Sciences hosted a “Sleep and Sleep Deprivation Among College Students” event on Tuesday, from 10:30-11:30 a.m. in Horrabin Hallroom one.

Western students Courtney Coleman, Olajumoke Babatunde and Oludolapo Ogunbameru gave the presentation. The trio dealt with issues like sleep deprivation among American college students and its causes, as well as tips on how to get into a healthy sleep schedule and optimizing sleep time.

The presenters started the event with some pre-test questions they passed out to the 10 or so student and faculty members who were in attendance. Coleman broke the ice by joking about the early start time for the event.

“10:30 (a.m.) is early and you all could be sleeping so I appreciate you all coming out,” Coleman said.

The goal of the presentation was to sensitize college students about sleep health knowledge and helpful sleep habits to improve academic success and overall quality of life. For adults, the Center for Disease Control(CDC) considers anything less than seven hours of sleep a dayto be an insufficient amount.

Studies show that 34.4 percent of Illinois adults do not, under that definition, get enough sleep on a regular basis. A breakdown by county reveals McDonough County had higher levels of insufficient sleep than surrounding areas, which can be directly attributed to the student body of Western.

“A lot of times I think we are desensitized to the idea of sleep,” Coleman said. “It’s easy to say ‘manage your time,’ but what doesthat look like?”

Adults who have insufficient sleep are more prone to chronic illnesses like obesity, diabetes, heart disease, hypertension and immune function. Sleep rates also varied across racial groups, with whites having the lowest levels of inadequate sleep at 32.2 percent, and blacks having the highest at 43.9 percent. Those numbers are explained by the correlation between sound and stress levels being higher in urban environments, where minorities are statistically more likelyto be located in.

“A lot of us don’t consider sleep that important,” Ogunbameru said. “But if we see sleep as important then we can take deliberate steps to ensure we get enough.”

Because of our increasingly connected world, tech-savvy students who play video games or use their cell phones before bed are more prone to sleep deprivation. In fact, half of students report daytime sleepiness and 60 percent report that they are dragging, tired or sleepy at least three days a week, which leads to decreased focus, memory and ability to learn.

The event concluded with the ladies handing out refrigerator magnets with sleep tips on them like stopping electronic device use at least 30 minutes before bedtime, avoid consuming caffeine in the evening, and to seta consistent bedtime throughout the week that is early enough for you to get at leastseven hours of sleep.

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Western hosts sleep deprivation event