“Eight a.m. classes are my worst enemy, ” Mathematical Sciences PhD student Josha Mickelson said. “I’ve had one ofthese dreaded lectures almost every semester I’ve been astudent at MSU.”

You all know what he’s talking about. The 8 a.m. lecture sticks out like a sore thumb in your schedule. Youwake up early, barely have time to get dressed and maybe eatbreakfast, stumble to class five minutes late, and fumble around for your notebook and pencil, only to fall asleep 15 minuteslater and wake up befuddled at the end of class.

Few MSU students can describe an early morning in Bozeman even in the harsh winter. At 8 a.m., the sun glows invitingly, gamboling with the warmth it will share throughout the day. My roommate Andrew and I are two early risers on campus. In fact, we are both regularly 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 a continuous occurrence in our apartment, so many students never see the afternoon light, much less the morning light. 

Last week, I attended an “early” weekend meeting for a school organization. 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, we couldn’t. Many said, “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 time either sleeping or complaining about lack of sleep. It is clear why college students complain about the day passing so quickly when they consider waking up at noon to be “early.” College is supposed to be the best time of our lives. But four years of hibernation or mammalian bat-like habits can’t possibly be the “best time.”

There is even a named disorder for sleeping too much. It’s called hypersomnia,and many students might not be aware of such a disease. The term classifies a large group of disorders related to excessive daytime sleepiness. But I will not take the blame when your early morning class instructor fails to recognize this as a valid reason for not having come to class.

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. In addition, researchers found several steps that college students can do to enhance their sleeping patterns to help them get up early. These include going to bed and getting up every day at approximately the same time, creating a relaxing bedroom setting and following a consistent bedtime routine, avoiding foods and drinks that contain caffeine and restricting any medication with stimulant effects at least three hours before bedtime. You should also keep all electronics, including smartphones, outside the bedroom and avoid using them just before bedtime as well as keeping your bedroom peaceful and warm.

We must focus on changing our detrimental sleeping habits to remain lucid and healthy and to achieve a smooth transition into the real world that we live in. The rest of the world wakes up at 7 a.m. to start the workday. How are students going to adjust to the workplace beyond college? It’s time for a wakeup call. The snooze button won’t save you in later life.

Recommended for you