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Healthy Living

The Sleep Habits Of These College Students Will Surprise You

Sleep is more than just a performance enhancer -- it's a performance necessity.

If you ask a college student about his or her secret to getting good grades, you're more likely to hear the phrase "all-nighter" in the response than something like "good sleep."

Sleep deprivation is pervasive in collegiate life, despite strong evidence that shows getting adequate sleep is beneficial to almost every aspect of your life.

HuffPost spoke with students from several New York City-area institutions, including Barnard College, Columbia University, Pratt Institute and New York University about their sleeping habits. As the photos and their responses below prove, sleep is more than just a performance enhancer -- it's a performance necessity.

Damon Dahlen/Huffington Post
Name:Jing QuAge: 21School: Columbia UniversityYear:JuniorMajor: Political Science, Women’s StudiesI try to do yoga or meditate before bed. If I have time, I’ve been using the Headspace app to guide my meditation.
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Damon Dahlen/Huffington Post
Name:Stacy ShirkAge:25School:New York UniversityYear:Masters, 1st yearMajor:Literature and Creative Writing In my academic classes I was having these micro-sleep moments, which is where your brain shuts off but your eyes stay open so it looks like you're awake. I would sort of just black out. It was really, really bad ... I realized that I needed to separate my work life and my sleep life. And doing so made it a lot easier.
Damon Dahlen/Huffington Post
Damon Dahlen/Huffington Post
Name: Giancarla Boyle Age: 31 School: Columbia University Year: Graduate studentMajor: PreMedBefore bed, I try to take a hot bath with salts and listen to podcasts. Katy Bowman's Natural Movement rules! I try to get right to sleep after the bath which often times involves trying to not be tempted by my phone.
Damon Dahlen/Huffington Post
Damon Dahlen/Huffington Post
Name:Emil DaubonAge: 40School:Columbia UniversityYear:JuniorMajor: Theatre The difference that I feel when I'm sleep deprived is I have far less ability to focus and remain focus. I have less energy. I have more trouble with basic cognitive function whereas with adequate sleep I perform better. My attention span is more reliable. My capacity for work is more reliable ... Sleep is more than a performance enhancer -- it's a performance necessity.
Damon Dahlen/Huffington Post
Damon Dahlen/Huffington Post
Name: Lizzie BenzikAge: 21School:Barnard CollegeYear:JuniorMajor:Biochemistry I've had really bad sleep my entire life. Since I started college, I've started reading for about 20 minutes before I go to sleep or doing meditations. That's really helped, so now I can sleep through the whole night.
Damon Dahlen/Huffington Post
Damon Dahlen/Huffington Post
Name:Catalina "Kiki" Mackaman-LoflandAge: 21School:Barnard CollegeYear:Senior Major:Intellectual History, Dance Minor I like to get eight hours a night pretty regularly. 11pm to 7am is my ideal sleeping time. I have a pretty set going to bed ritual -- I like to take a shower at night and brush my teeth and I always like to read before I go to sleep for 15-20 minutes and I tend to fall asleep pretty fast and I wake up fairly easily if I hear noise or see light in the morning.
Damon Dahlen/Huffington Post
Damon Dahlen/Huffington Post
Name:Michael FalkensteinAge:26School:Columbia UniversityYear:JuniorMajor:Computer Science Last semester, I ended up getting straight "As" for the first time and I think that was partly due to my first class being at noon and being able to get 8-9 hours of sleep at night was critical for that.
Damon Dahlen/Huffington Post
Damon Dahlen/Huffington Post
Name:Jaime KnothAge:19School:Pratt InstituteYear:SophomoreMajor:Communications Design Illustration I feel great when I'm rested. I feel awesome. I feel like I can do all the things that I set myself to do. I feel like anything is productive because I think I have a better attitude when I'm rested.
Damon Dahlen/Huffington Post
Damon Dahlen/Huffington Post
Name:John "JP" ViernesAge:19School:Columbia UniversityYear:SophomoreMajor:Dance and PhysicsAs a dance and physics major, I can feelthe difference between having a sleepless night and a restful night both physically and mentally. In dance class, I am not able to jump as high, or my stamina is shot. In any other academic class, I'm having brain farts all the time. It's a lot better when I can sleep and actually rest.
Damon Dahlen/Huffington Post
Damon Dahlen/Huffington Post
Name:EB Dresser-KluchmanAge:20Year:JuniorMajor:Archeology School:Barnard College It's very important to me that I get enough sleep. I don't function very well without it. I spend a lot of high school getting very little sleep and I found as soon as I got to college that I couldn't do that anymore so I'll go to sleep at a certain point in the evening regardless of what I have left to get done because I like being more rested.
Damon Dahlen/Huffington Post
Damon Dahlen/Huffington Post
Name:Danielle OwenAge:20School:Barnard CollegeYear:JuniorMajor:Human Rights & DanceWhen I'm sleep deprived, I feel a bit out of control. I make impulsive decisions, my thoughts start to get really negative, and it's easier for me to get annoyed with others (and with myself). When I have a good night's rest, I can get through the day feeling grounded and calm. It's easier for me to tune out negative thoughts and get through ordinary tasks without feeling anxious or lethargic.
Damon Dahlen/Huffington Post
Damon Dahlen/Huffington Post
Name:Mary Falls KennedyAge:21Year:JuniorSchool:Barnard CollegeMajor:Dance and Comparative LiteratureWhen I get a good night's sleep, I feel, well, good. Without enough sleep, I am crabby, try to compensate by eating too much chocolate (which sometimes makes me crabbier), and can't think as quickly as I would like.
Damon Dahlen/Huffington Post
Damon Dahlen/Huffington Post
Name: Abby PorterAge: 20School: Columbia UniversityYear: JuniorMajor: Political ScienceAs I've gotten older, I have tried to prioritize sleep more because I've seen the negative effects that lack of sleep can have on my mood and concentration. When I don't get enough sleep one night, it throws my whole sleep schedule off for the next few days.
Damon Dahlen/Huffington Post
Damon Dahlen/Huffington Post
Name:Trevor MendersAge:20College:Columbia UniversityYear:SophomoreMajor:East Asian Languages and Cultures When I'm sleep deprived, I feel like I'm drunk all the time -- I'm not processing things correctly, I'm running into stuff, my eyes literally feel heavy. Because of this, being sleep deprived is really bad when it comes to real crunch time, when papers are due or it's finals week.
Damon Dahlen/Huffington Post
Damon Dahlen/Huffington Post
Name:Chloe HawkeyAge:21Year:SeniorSchool:Barnard CollegeMajor:HistoryI decided that I would prefer to be tired than stressed, so normally I'll stay up as late as I need to get everything done that I need to feel good. I probably get an average of five hours of sleep. I would like to get ten hours of sleep to feel good... The world is just a much brighter place when I'm well rested. I feel good and energetic and generous and friendly!
Damon Dahlen/Huffington Post

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