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8 September 2013

Wake up, seize the daylight hours

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Alyssa Jacobsen portfolio shoot, May 14, 2012

Alyssa Jacobson

Few UM students can describe an early morning in Miami. At 7 a.m., the sun glows invitingly, dancing with the warmth it will share throughout the day.

My roommate and I are two of the few early-waking students on campus.

In fact, we are both regularly alive and kicking – actually cooking and working – by 7:30 a.m. Yes, rub your eyes and clear the morning gunk out: I said 7:30 in the morning.

Although this is not a one-time occurrence in our apartment, so many students never see morning’s light, much less afternoon’s.

Granted, UM students were willing to rise at the ungodly hour of 4 a.m. Saturday to tailgate and display their team spirit, but this is a rarity.

The weekend before last, I attended an “early” weekend meeting for a club. The meeting began at 9:30 a.m. and concluded at 12:30 p.m.

Club members’ typical response to the news that they’d have to be up so early: “Can’t we make it any later?” No, it couldn’t. Thus, many rationalized with themselves, “At least I can use the rest of the day to sleep.”

Students aren’t using their time to enjoy the college experience wisely. Rather, they are spending more time either sleeping or complaining about lack of sleep. College is supposed to be the best time of our lives. But four years of hibernation or vampire-like habits can’t possible be the “best time.”

The rest of the world wakes up at 7 a.m. to start the workday. How are these students going to adjust into the workforce? It’s time for a wake up call.

While many students may not be aware of it, there is actually a named disorder for sleeping too much. It’s called hypersomnia. The term classifies a large group of disorders related to excessive daytime sleepiness.

But I will not take the blame when your professor fails to recognize this as a valid reason for not having come to class.

If you care to be diagnosed, the Stanford sleepiness scale is a frequently used subjective measurement of sleepiness.

It is clear why college students complain about the day passing so quickly when they consider waking up at noon to be “early.”

Students who complain about lack of time and sleep – yet spend the entire day sleeping – may want to consider allocating at least one night a week for a good rest. It’s not that hard to avoid working into the early mornings like a nocturnal hamster.

Yes, I understand your Grove nights are an imperative component of your weekly routine – and “Grove days” would not be nearly as cool.

But we must focus on changing these detrimental sleeping habits to remain sane and healthy and to achieve a smooth transition into the real world. The snooze button won’t save you then.

 

Alyssa Jacobson is a junior majoring in advertising and political science.