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TitsMcGhee's avatar

Can you think of any scheduling changes colleges could make to help their students have normal sleep patterns?

Asked by TitsMcGhee (8207 points ) March 24th, 2009

I’m in college, and my sleeping habits are, in short, fucked up. For example, I had a 9 AM class, came home at 2 PM, slept until 5:30 PM, and now I’m up at 3:35 AM. I think it’s at least partially due to the amount of work I have, the fact that classes range from 2 to 6 hours long, and they start at a wide variety of times, anywhere between 9 AM and 6 PM. Can you think of any creative ways that colleges could help their students regulate their schedules?

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18 Answers

mattbrowne's avatar

I never studied between 11 pm and 8 am and most of the time I slept during that time. It is my experience that sleeping from 2 pm to 5:30 is not as valuable as sleep during the night. However everyone is different. My wife studied at night and it was fine. You have to find out what type you are. Morning type? When is your most productive time of the day?

steve6's avatar

The student can schedule his classes to fit his sleeping schedule. I did have some difficulty with the logistics of that system though. Sometimes the class I needed was only offered at a certain time which conflicted with my schedule. It was definitely fubar.

KatawaGrey's avatar

At my school, you are a full time student if you take 5 classes and generally a part-time student if you take fewer than that (though exceptions have been made). I think if students were allowed to take one summer course for free, as long as they aren’t re-taking it and are taking the regular amount of classes minus one during the year, this might help with scheduling issues.

Did that make any sense? I’m also a college student and my sleeping patterns are pretty weird too…

jo_with_no_space's avatar

A regular schedule of classes that invariably start and finish at fixed times would help I think, as would avoiding early morning and late afternoon classes – in the winter, it’s dark before 5 so that could skew your sleeping pattern.

cwilbur's avatar

Expecting attendance at some kind of morning gathering every day, and punishing students who don’t show up? I expect there would be a significant outcry at that.

casheroo's avatar

Sounds like a normal work schedule for anyone, just because you chose to fall asleep until 530, is not anyones fault but yours. You should have just stayed awake, and went to bed at a decent time. Colleges shouldn’t cater to kids who want to party or whatever.

A_Beaverhausen's avatar

nope, were just screwed.

college is going to be hard, hard work is what separates you from the rest of your peers.

cwilbur's avatar

It’s not even hard work, though. It’s just basic responsibility: if you have to be up at 8 for class, you don’t stay up until 5:30 bullshitting with friends.

KatawaGrey's avatar

@casheroo and @cwilbur: I’m often up late at night into the wee smoz (sp) writing papers. I don’t club or party and there are two classes (both three hours long) that are required for my major that have no other slots so I have to take them at those times which screws up the rest of my schedule. I’m not “bullshitting with friends” and I need more sleep. I nap so I don’t fall asleep in my next class which is infinitely worse than going to bed late after writing a paper. Not all of us are irresponsible and lazy.

drClaw's avatar

@A_Beaverhausen I agree with you 100%. College should be difficult and you should be tired every F*ing day, otherwise your not getting your moneys worth. Besides after finishing school and getting a big-kid job I found that college was much less exhausting than the real world.

casheroo's avatar

@KatawaGrey I didn’t suggest you were fooling around. I’m just saying though, if you had a regular 9–5 job, or even 8–4 job, and you went home and slept after work, and were then up all night and tired for work…would you blame your work for having a silly schedule?? I’m honestly curious.
Colleges have a wide variety of times they offer courses, so everyone has a chance to attend. I personally can only attend internet courses, or very early morning, or after 6pm classes, because of my lifestyle. I have to work and lose sleep to get my education, but that’s just how it is.

A_Beaverhausen's avatar

besides, its more fun if youre busy!

KatawaGrey's avatar

@casheroo: Apologies, but both posts sounded more than a little caustic which is why I responded in a defensive manner.

No, I wouldn’t blame the job for having a bad schedule, but the question was not about a job. If it had been, I would agree wholeheartedly with you. However, college is a learning environment and lack of sleep is not conducive to learning. What if these scheduling changes only applied to good students? I consistently get a good GPA and have maintained the merit scholarship my school gave me. I understand leaving the partyers to flounder. I mean, if you’re getting drunk every night and you flunk out or you simply don’t do the work, that’s your fault, but if you have to chose between getting an extra hour of sleep and making that B paper an A paper, yeah, I think the university could help out.

drClaw's avatar

@KatawaGrey I disagree. Yes college is learning environment, but it is also teaching you about life experience and in life it is not realistic to expect your bosses to give you a day off to relax every time you do a great job on a project, assignment, whatever… In fact my experience tells me that doing a great job at work leads to more work/less sleep, which is something you have to learn to deal with if you want to become truly successful in your career. Obviously there are exceptions to every rule and I know someone reading this is thinking “my boss always gives me time off when I work hard,” but generally this isn’t the case.

I think it would be counter intuitive for colleges to start giving students extra personal time for doing a good job. If they do give you time off from class it should be to do extra credit work, not rest.

cwilbur's avatar

@KatawaGrey: But your college places no stipulation on when you must write the papers—instead of staying up until the wee hours writing the paper, and catching naps, and having a screwed-up sleep schedule, you could go to bed at a reasonable hour and write the papers in the times in which you would otherwise have taken naps.

One of the things you need to learn in college is prioritization and time management, and the way it gets taught is fairly brutal. The choice is never between an extra hour of sleep and the difference between an A and a B, unless the professor assigned the paper on one day and expected it the next; the choice is between lingering over lunch, playing another hour of Wii Fit, going to a movie, working an hour of overtime, watching Dollhouse, working on the paper for another hour, and accepting a B.

TitsMcGhee's avatar

@casheroo: Cutting out photos for a collage on cubes wrapped in colored paper to be put inside a prism built of heavy acetate and plastic rod =/= partying, nor @cwilbur does it constitute bullshitting with friends. I also have another wrench thrown into my schedule, being that there are only certain hours I can be in the photo lab (it closes and isn’t open on certain days), so I have to base the rest of my time around that. Add in 6 hour long classes, some of which don’t get out until 6 PM? I’m talking about figuring out schedules that are more conducive to students’ other needs, not partying. With a regular 9–5 job, you don’t have that kind of work that needs to be done outside of the workplace, whereas in college, you have a great amount of work to be done at home. My school also doesn’t offer courses at any time of day, and my shortest class is 3 hours long. I also work all weekend shooting and working in the lab. Photography itself as a media is time sensitive; I have to be out at certain times to get certain shots if I’m using natural light, and if I’m in the studio, those facilities are only open during certain hours. I’d also like to note that I ended my first semester with a 3.86 GPA. The scheduling help I was talking about more referred to lengths of classes or number of meeting times, or standardization of the length of day in terms of classes (I had a day last semester when I had class from 9–11:45 then again 12:00–2:45, then from 4:00–5:45, then a mandatory lab time from 6:00 to 8:45, and my schedule was assigned to me – I didn’t get any choice in it).

TitsMcGhee's avatar

And even with 9–5 type jobs, you have the weekend to recoup.

itsnotmyfault1's avatar

I set up my schedule so that I go to class at 12 noon every day, except for one day. Everyone i know is pretty damn jealous.

I got pretty lucky, but a lot of it is planning, and signing up for classes as soon as possible. If you have a pretty good idea of how you want to allocate your time, you can generally build your schedule to come close to matching it.

It stinks when you don’t have time to eat between classes though.

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