By Sam Bailey / Staff Writer

It’s no secret the average college student tends to get less than the National Sleep Foundation’s recommended eight hours of sleep a night. With finals week right around the corner, students at Hutchinson Community College are no different.

Newton freshman Hailey Million is one of those night owls.

“I stay up late every night,” Million said. “On a usual night, I get about four hours of sleep. My average (bedtime) lately has been around 2-2:30 a.m.”

Newton freshman Damarius Peterson isn’t much different.

“Most school nights, I probably go to sleep anywhere from 3 to 4:45 (in the morning),” Peterson said. “On weekends, I mostly go to sleep about 5 a.m.”

So what is keeping college kids like Peterson and Million up so late?

“The main reason is I work night shift a few days out of the week, so I’m used to staying up all night,” Million said. “Sometimes, I stay up just because everyone else is asleep and I want some quiet time for myself. Other times it’s just because that’s the only time I get to be with my friends so I like to take advantage of that.”

Many college students are trying to juggle classes, jobs, social lives, and even athletics. This can often result in the loss of much-needed sleep.

Some students manage to balance all of the responsibilities that require their time and still find themselves going to sleep late at night.

“I’ve never been able to sleep,” Million said. “It’s hard for me to go to sleep, and I’ve tried medications and stuff like that but it’s never really affected me.”

Even though students’ lack of sleep may not be completely in their control, they still have to deal with the consequences that come with minimal hours of sleep.

“I definitely wish I could (sleep more) because I feel like it would help me do better during the day,” Peterson said.

When time allows, naps can be the greatest tool for college students to take advantage of.

“I try and take naps when I can,” Million said. “Sometimes, my naps can last around six to eight hours, and others could be like 30 minutes.”

College students struggle to get a good night’s sleep for a variety of reasons, but most can agree that they wouldn’t argue with a few more hours, or even minutes, of sleep every night.

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