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No rest for the weary: students discuss their sleeping schedules and how resting up can up grades and moods

According to Kim Baranek, Director of Wellness and Community Outreach, most adults should get at least seven to eight hours a night of deep rest. Despite numerous studies siting this statistic, most Mills students aren’t hitting the hay nearly enough.

Katy Kondo, a sophomore, spent last year falling asleep at 5:30 a.m. and waking up at 9 a.m. almost everyday the entire year.

“I’m a night person and it’s easy to sleep late when you live on campus,” Kondo said. “Now I live off campus and I really have to plan my day. I’m forced to be more scheduled; I get seven to eight hours of sleep now. Before I got maybe five.”

She’s not the only one who has had to change their routine. Sometimes the courses students take requires them to change their normal routine. TerriLynn Cantlon, a senior, is an English major and likes writing at all hours of the night.

“I write from 8 p.m. to 3 a.m. I work better at night, I’m more productive and I like it better because it’s more quiet,” Cantlon said. “I have 8:30 a.m. classes and it’s really difficult because I either have to sleep earlier and stop writing or not go to bed. It’s been a constant battle waking up at 8:30 everyday. Forcing me to go to be sooner has discombobulated my writing.”

Baranek said she has had people come to her to talk about sleep. She gives advice depending on the issue.

“Students often have a hard time falling asleep,” Baranek said. “What I recommend is keeping a quiet environment, dimming the lights an hour or so before bed, and doing relaxing activities such as bath or reading.”

“It’s more about the number of hours you sleep then the time,” Baranek said.

Gladys Dulay, a freshwoman, agrees with Baranek’s statement.

“I nap during the day because I’m so tired, I have a lot of homework,” Dulay said. “I try to nap in between classes and after work. My body needs 10 hours of sleep, I know that.”

But sleep goes beyond basic needs. According to an article in Your Guide to Healthy Sleep, studies have shown that people perform more effectively after a full nights’ sleep.

“What’s interesting is students will stay up late doing homework or studying,” Baranek said. “They retain better by getting a good nights sleep and they’ll be in a better mood.”

Giselle Eastman, a first year graduate student, has learned her mistakes as an undergraduate.

“I’ve been trying to get six to eight hours of sleep,” Eastman said. “I’m trying to improve. As an undergrad my sleep schedule was terrible. I had so many classes, four hours of sleep. I was really depressed and it’s because of lack of sleep. And I determined it this year because I’m happier.”

Agreeing with Eastman, Cantlon said that a person must take control of their own sleep schedule.

“Be the architect of your own life,” Cantlon said. “That’s how I look at sleep.”

How to do yoga’s standing forward bend

Mills yoga teacher Sarah Harvey demonstrated the yoga position called ‘standing forward bend.’ With twenty years’ experience teaching yoga, Harvey said this position is one of the easier for a beginner.

“This position is so people can learn how to open up their hips and hamstrings,” Harvey said. “It’s great for someone who’s never done yoga before.”

All photos by Shelby Gibbs.

1) Face the chair with feet shoulder-width apart, back and legs 90 degrees apart.

2) Carefully bend forward, letting go of the chair while maintaining leg strength.

3) After placing one hand at a time on the ground, slowly bring arms closer to legs.

4) Move arms behind legs, bringing head as close as possible to the knees.