The Ivy League Has A Sleeping Problem

It seems there aren't enough hours in the day for students at Ivy League Schools. From getting good grades, to finding the perfect job and to maintaining an active social life, these students often have a balancing act that is nearly impossible. The one thing they are willing to sacrifice might actually be the most important: sleep.

"People made it a contest on how much they could endure," said Ernest Owens, a senior at the University of Pennsylvania, in a HuffPost Live segment. He added, "Things like withdrawing ourselves from sleep was a way to build our endurance and our strength as academics."

His first two years of school, Owens thought that if he wasn't staying up until 5 a.m., he wasn't working as hard as the next guy.

"The Idea of being a superhuman -- it's part of the Ivy League mentality that we are a cut above the rest. We do the extra hours that nobody else does, to do extraordinary things, which is absolutely not true, it's a myth," Owens said.

Students at Penn have increasingly discussed whether the campus is overworking itself following high-profile suicides on campus. Although each student's death has its own circumstances, the university nevertheless decided to launch a mental health task force in February.

Other elite universities are also working to make students aware of the implications of no sleep, but it seems to be something students have to learn for themselves.

"Part of it is commiseration and part of it is typical type-A one-upmanship," explained Zach Ogle, a junior at Princeton University. "If somebody says 'I only slept 5 hours I am exhausted,' then someone else will say 'Well, I only sleep 3 hours.' It's a general idea of my life is worse or my story is a little bit better."

To learn more, check out the full HuffPost Live Segment, or watch the clip above.

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