Causes Of Stress And Lack Of Sleep Among College Students

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Health Issue

High levels of stress and insufficient sleep can affect a student's physical health, emotional well-being, and academic success. Stress and inadequate sleep are major obstacles to academic success for undergraduate students (Hales & Hales 2016). Short-term effects of sleep deprivation include decreased cognitive function, memory, performance, and attention (Mayo Clinic Staff, 2019). Minimizing stressors and supporting healthy coping strategies can help students improve overall well-being, quality of life, and academic performance while reducing the devastating consequences of excessive stress and lack of sleep.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that 35% of adults are not getting enough sleep. This affects about 84 million adults who sleep at least 7 hours of sleep at night (Cunningham, 2019). 55% of students claim that the biggest stressors are academic in nature (NYU, n.d) According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness, 44% of students experience symptoms of depression. In addition, 80% were overwhelmed with academic responsibilities and 50% struggle with anxiety and lack of sleep (Balls, 2018). 80% of students reported high levels of academic stress, and 34% said they barely get 6 hours of sleep a day (The American Institute of Stress, 2019). According to the NUS survey, 87% of students experience stress, 77% of students experience anxiety, and 48% of students experience irregular sleep patterns (Kumar, 2015). In a survey conducted last year by (Patel, 2016) 8 out of 10 students reported experiencing stress and failed to copy with balancing academic and social life.

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Behavior Problems

Freedom.-college students who are alone for the first time have no one to tell how to use their time (Raju, 2019). Many students choose to socialize until late and enjoy campus life when they need to sleep.

Stress and failure to balance college demands-The combined demands of classes, clubs and extracurricular activities can put a lot of stress on college students (The American Institute of Stress, 2019). They often have to sacrifice sleep to get everything done on time.

Poor sleep habits- Students who don't get enough sleep at night or lack healthy sleep habits are more susceptible to stress than students who get enough sleep. Sufficient sleep allows the student's brain and body to relax and recharge (Cunningham, 2019). It also helps keep their immune system strong (Cunningham, 2019). Lack of adequate sleep, on the other hand, limits a student's ability to learn, focus, and solve problems, and may make problems become more aggressive.

Poor nutrition and unhealthy eating habits- can also increase student stress levels. Foods associated with students' high stress levels include foods high in refined carbohydrates, sugars, caffeine, and fats (Cunningham, 2019). This is because most students eat convenient food.

Lack of sleep/poor sleep habits have a huge impact on the stress level of college students. The goal of this program is to help college students maintain a regular sleep schedule and get between 8.5 and 9.25 hours of sleep per night.

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