Insomnia hits Lancaster?

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Sleep. We all do it- some of us even love it. But statistically how many students on campus actually sleep as much as they are supposed to?

The amount of times I have been walking around campus in the early hours of the morning- whether its upon return from a night out or simply because I too cannot sleep- is verging on ridiculous. However, I am not alone, as on many of these late-night campus wanderings I see other students, awake in their rooms, or wandering about like me.

This begs the question: does anyone in Lancaster sleep?

At first I was inclined to say yes, many of the students I know that are awake at three or four in the morning are usually asleep until one or two the next day. Then I read an article in the Telegraph that confirms that one in three students suffers from insomnia, a condition which means not only do you have difficulty sleeping at night, but more often than not, you will be awake for lectures early the next without any problems. This means that in a flat of six students, the likelihood at least two of you will be awake for the majority of the night.

There are four relatively big problems with insomnia: if you are drowsy during the day, you are more likely to have accidents; lack of sleep deprives your brain and thus can affect your academic performance; lack of sleep has been known to lessen your sex drive and in the long run insomnia can lead to more serious ailments, such as high blood pressure.

So there are plenty of reasons why we all probably should sleep for the recommended 8 hours a night, but sometimes sleeping is a lot more difficult than that. 7/10 of the students that I see awake at the early hours of the morning are working at their desk- most likely finishing assignments for a deadline, and statistically the other 3/10 will be kept awake by stress and financial worries.

Over sleeping is not recommended either: hypersomnia (oversleeping) has been related to a host of medical conditions, including obesity and diabetes. Whilst half of the students I know are insomniacs, the other half sleep too much, many of them unable to function unless they have over twelve hours of sleep a night.

So, what am I trying to say? Ultimately I’m not implying that we are all going to get ill and die, I’m merely suggesting as a campus it’s probably best if we get a normal amount of sleep. However, with factors such as deadlines, a 24 hour library and Netflix at our disposal, it is unlikely that any of us well get the recommended amount of sleep.

For those of you who are willing to try here are a few tips that I have stumbled across: don’t eat heavy meals late at night, don’t drink caffeine late at night and get used to waking up at regular times. Best of luck to you.

And, for those of you like me, who no matter what they try they will still be wandering around campus late at night- I’m sure we’ll fall asleep one day.

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