Conventional wisdom has pigeon-holed university as the period of one’s life where sleep deprivation is both a must and inevitable. The late night and early morning lecture cycle take it’s toll at the beginning but become a normalcy by the final year. Some deal with it by becoming nocturnal creatures, others suck it up and just muscle through the day.
However, with the surge of new fitness trackers, the way students are sleeping now differs vastly from the university goers of the past. As NPR report, sleep deprivation affects memory, cognition and motivation and the effects are compounded over a period of, say, three years.
What the biggest change has been in the way students are sleeping is the mass usage of fitness activity trackers. These devices, as you’re probably aware, include an accelerometer calibrated to determine if you’re asleep or not however they are not sensitive enough to provide accurate data on quality of sleep like a mass survey would.
That said, their popularity has sparked a renewed interest in the quality of our sleep. Millennials love feedback on their lives. You might call it ‘needy’ but young people are constantly starved for information and consume it faster than it can be created hence why we’re labelled the ‘bored‘ generation.
Jawbone, a popular app for activity tracking, collated the sleep data of the sleep habit of tens of thousands of students across 1.4 million nights of sleep. Here’s what they found out, primarily.
Sleep deprivation has become romanticised. Students are getting, on average, about seven hours and three minutes of sleep on a weekday which is, by all accounts, plenty of shut-eye.
So will this end the myth of the perpetually tired student? Probably not, the only thing us young people love more than feedback on our lives is complaining about how tired we are.
Fitness trackers are encouraging young people to configure their lives to achieve maximum healthiness. There is some inaccuracy in the study that doesn’t account for those who don’t wear fitness trackers but, all in all, students – you’re doing fine, keep up the good work!