Sleepless in Manhattan

Woman leaning on top building rail during daytime. || Photo credit to by  Hernan Sanchez  on  Unsplash

Woman leaning on top building rail during daytime. || Photo credit to by Hernan Sanchez on Unsplash


Students at The King’s College are falling behind on sleep. In a recent study by the University of Georgia, the average college student enjoys only six to seven hours of sleep per night. King’s students get even less.

According to a twitter poll administered by The Empire State Tribune on November 11, students at The King’s College average around 5-6 hours of sleep per night, with 41 percent falling just over that at 7-8 hours and 12 percent at 4 or fewer hours. Only four percent of King’s students average 9-10 hours of sleep per night.

This national statistic alone is ironic, since, in the words of Emergency Medicine Physician Jeremy White, “Proper sleep assists in memory consolidation, which is an advantage in the classroom and in test taking.”

“More globally than any singular cognitive function, sleep has been found to be a period in which spent metabolic products of the day’s mental workload are ‘purged’ and reset in order to be optimized for the next day,” White said.

King’s Housing Director Leticia Mosqueda supports this need for sabbath, especially when it comes to student leadership training. “I never expect student leaders to be ‘on’ 24/7. That’s an unrealistic expectation,” Mosqueda said. “I don’t think people can work well as a student or leader without proper rest.”

Regardless of expectations, however, many students feel that there are not enough hours in the day to check off the ‘to-do’ list and still get the rest they need. Cara Swain, a senior who transferred to King’s last year, noticed her sleeping habits have changed since the transfer.

“I have a lot more work to do,” Swain explained. “I have to expend more effort into that work, so I have started to wake up earlier in the morning to work on assignments before class. I also have to wake up earlier to spend more time getting ready because of our [business casual] dress code, since I can’t just throw my hair in a bun and roll out the door in a t-shirt anymore.”

The heavy workload could be part of the problem, but it is not the only thing keeping King’s students up at night.

“The workload at King’s is generally not overwhelming for me,.” said Jan Gerber, a sophomore. “But when a mandatory Interregnum event happens on a Saturday night, then things get crowded, especially if you want to have a life outside of King’s.”

The amount of time students are required to be on campus outside of class can be a source of stress for King’s commuters.

Camille Bever, a junior who commutes from Prospect Park, Brooklyn, admits she has very little time for extracurricular involvement on campus.

“It is somewhat challenging to balance workload and mandatory events at King’s,” Bever said. “I do find it manageable to find the time to complete everything and still get a good night’s sleep, although I would like to be even more involved in all aspects of King’s.”

In addition to the required events, dress code, and rigorous academics, King’s often encourages the importance of internships. While this may seem a daunting list, Ava Midkiff, a sophomore at King’s and an intern for The Berman Group, has found balance between sleep and work as a college student.

“I think [King’s] doesn’t completely hinder my sleeping schedule,” Midkiff said. “The course load at King’s is intense and could feel impossible to work with at some points. However, spending less time on social media and my phone, and being aware of how I spend my free time, has helped me balance school and work.”

In order to optimize her schedule, Midkiff checks the school calendar regularly and plans two weeks in advance. She also schedules her internship around mandatory events.

“The mandatory events are clearly not flexible schedule-wise, but complaining about them does not move the dates.” Midkiff said.  

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