by Kailey Guillemin
We’ve all seen it, or maybe you’ve done it yourself: students crouched in chairs, sprawled on couches, or simply covering their heads with jackets lying on their desks.
To be fully rejuvenated and ready for the day, the average person should get approximately eight hours of sleep a night, says Dr. Nicholas Carleton, an assistant professor in psychology at the University of Regina.
An informal poll of 16 U of R students on Facebook found that the average amount of sleep they get in a night is five and a half hours. Two of those 16 students strive for eight hours of sleep.
Carleton explains that a full sleep cycle is approximately 90 minutes long. In that, about 45 minutes is spent getting into a deep sleep, called rapid eye movement (REM). Another 45 minutes is spent getting out of the REM sleep and going back into it again, creating the cycle.
Once you shorten the amount of time spent for sleep, the fewer REM cycles you will have.
“You wake up feeling more fatigued; you’ll have more difficulty with memory and concentration,” Carleton explains.
Trouble waking up in the morning, moving slowly and feeling agitated also come with not enough sleep. Difficulties retaining old and new information are other side effects. “You can watch an A student fall to a B or a C relatively quickly because of sleep deprivation,” Carleton says.
When asked about sleeping habits, U of R student Matthew Maertens says four hours if he’s “lucky” on an average school night.
Aeliesha Brooks, a fourth year psychology honours student, also says, “I absolutely do not get enough sleep but there’s nothing I can really do about it since I have so much to do.”