Sleep’s important-but can be hard to get

The English language has a separate lexicon devoted to sleep: counting sheep, catching zzzs, getting shut-eye, and sweet dreams.

The process of sleep and the uncharted territory of dreams has been the subject of study for years.

Like breathing, shutting our eyelids is a necessary part of our lives. If it’s unbalanced, our body suffers.

Much of sleep is still unknown, but what has been studied has opened a world that is unlike anything to man.

According to the Mayo Clinic’s website, the recommended amount of sleep for adults is 7-9 hours for optimum health.

However, juggling a job, school, and sometimes a family life often prevents students from getting a well-rested night.

The amount of hours of sleep a college student gets is like a roller coaster that continuously climbs and plunges.

“I think they’re 100 percent true. I feel like that’s still not even enough,” Chantalle Asmaro, a sophomore nursing student, said about the sleep recommendations.
MCCC students and identical twins Jessica and Jennifer Oldiges may look alike, but differ in the sleep department.

Jessica says on a good night, she receives about 6 hours but can survive on 3.

Her twin, Jennifer, responded that she may get 10 hours on a decent night, but 8 on a sub-par one.

Jennifer said that when she receives good sleep, the ability to create comes more easily in her ceramics class.

“Where are you going to find 7-8 hours sleep,” asked student Timothy Wilson, after hearing the required amount of sleep for an adult.

Wilson said the average sleep he receives is 3-6 hours at the most.

Penelope Dunn, a Criminal Justice professor, said she gets about 5 hours a night.

A former sheriff’s deputy, Dunn said she used to work swing shifts; her body got used to short periods of sleep.

Based on her experience, she has learned a lesson about getting too little shut-eye.

“You’re not at the top of your game when you don’t sleep,” she said.

Just as a person’s sleep habits run across the number charts, how a person gets to sleep is not a simple formula.

“I can’t sleep without praying. I have to say my prayers before going to bed,” said Asmaro, who is Catholic.

“I used to be able to sleep with the TV on, but now I can’t.

“I sleep a lot better if I do something,” said Jake Hengy, a Middle College student.

Physical activity is the key for Hengy to feel tired.

Asmaro added that the TV also helps her go to sleep, as well as reading.

Even lighting a candle creates a soothing atmosphere.

“It makes me feel relaxed,” Asmaro said.

Jennifer and Jessica Oldiges both listen to the radio to help them catch their zzzs.

Students also have definite opinions on what keeps them lying wide awake.

“If there’s chaos outside, I’m going to have dreams that wake me up,” Professor Dunn said.

“I don’t watch horror stories. I make sure I don’t eat before I go to sleep,” Wilson said.

He also noted that media containing dark content will give him nightmares.