The Huffington Post's College Sleep Tour is sparking a lot of conversation on social media and in the pages of college newspapers about the importance of sleep for students.
The College Sleep Tour is hitting 16 campuses through April and May, and started last week. Arianna Huffington, founder and editor-in-chief of HuffPost, says she wants the tour to spark a #SleepRevolution where students start rejecting the notion that they cannot have a social life, good grades, and still get the sleep their body needs.
Over the past several months, students have blogged on HuffPost about the existing toxic culture around sleep on many campuses. "The pressure I put on myself is a direct consequence of my choice not to sleep. I’ve consciously chosen to prioritize work, school and stress over sleep," wrote Amy Wang, a grad student at the University of Denver.
Abby Lynes, a University of Montana student, admitted her routine of staying up late to get things done "ended up being a regular occurrence for me throughout the semester, but when I started gaining weight, losing hair and crying on a regular basis, I knew I had to start taking care of myself. I needed the peace and restfulness that comes with sleep." She's since changed course.
The conversation about sleep in college started making an impact before the tour even started.
People are paying attention to what students have to say about sleep.
Back in January, an assistant dean at Georgetown University responded to one student's op-ed arguing that her classmates were burning themselves out:
After reading Sydney Jean Gottfried’s thoughtful and thought-provoking piece on the Huffington Post blog, “Is ‘Sleep When You’re Dead’ Georgetown’s Unofficial Motto?,” we’re considering adding “Get Some Sleep” to our mantra.
Gottfried makes important connections between different threads of co-curricular life on the Hilltop. Engaged students create a strong sense of culture and community on campus, to the benefit of all who live here. ... But too much of anything is never a good thing, and there is a perception here at Georgetown that many students go overboard when it comes to being involved, to the great detriment of their sleep patterns specifically, and their well-being in general.
Georgetown then played host to one of the first stops on our tour last week, along with the University of Denver.
The sleep tour continued into this week at Dominican University, the University of California, Berkeley and Stanford University. The tour arrives at the University of Southern California on Wednesday, while three dozen other campuses are planning related events outside of the official tour dates.
The Bucknellian, the student newspaper of Bucknell University in Pennsylvania, looked into how their classmates felt about sleep in light of the HuffPost tour:
College students are among the most sleep deprived people in the country, and University students are no exception. “If I go to bed before 1 a.m., I consider it early because I’m usually up doing homework or procrastinating in the library,” Chris Sisto ’18 said. Students spend countless hours working in the library, especially during finals week when the building is open 24 hours a day.
Campus officials say the discussion about getting enough sleep in college is long overdue.
"The Sleep Revolution tour provides an exciting opportunity to bring this topic to the fore-front and to help students gain an understanding of the importance of sleep," Sarah Belstock, the University of Denver's director of health promotion, told the Clarion student newspaper. "We hope that many of our students will take advantage of this event and to consider the connections between sleep and success, while learning simple strategies for better sleep -- and snagging some great free products."
Students are filling social media with #SleepRevolution posts as the college tour rolls on.
Students picked up free SWAG on the campuses from our sleep tour partners, and taken fun selfies as part of a contest to win Sleep Number's "it" bed, which has SleepIQ technology integrated into the bed to track your sleep.