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Study could be beneficial for sleepless Bobcats

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Photo by: Russell Reed | Staff Photographer
Students studying and falling asleep on comfortable couches April 19 in Boko's Living Room.

There never seem to be enough hours in a day for a college student to get everything done—including sleep.

Sleep is an essential part of living a healthy lifestyle and is just as vital as diet and exercise. According to The National Sleep Foundation, the average adult needs 7 to 9 hours of sleep a night. A Gallup poll claimed Americans reported only getting 6.8 hours of sleep a night on average. Some Texas State students are getting even less.

Emily Gomez, finance junior, said she averages about 4 to 5 hours of sleep on a good night.

“I’m not sure if sleep is a thing in college,” Gomez said. “I would love to get in my full eight hours, but with work and school I can’t seem to do that. I either get home really late from work or I have to stay up doing homework.”

Luke Johnson, construction management freshman, said he battles insomnia and long restless nights.

“Sometimes I’ll be so tired and want nothing more than to fall asleep, but I can’t,” Johnson said. “I’ll just stay up. Sometimes it’ll be a lot of tossing and turning, or on a really bad night, I’ll actually get up and start doing stuff.”

Students wondering why they are having trouble sleeping can visit the Texas State sleep study room located in health professions, said sleep study administrator Miram Murphy.

“You have to go through your health care provider first,” Murphy said. “We provide sleep studies if it is ordered by the doctor. We’re a freestanding lab that will provide that diagnostic service.”

Murphy said the site is not for research, but can provide patients with a sleep study service.

“Sometimes it’s confused with a drug study. We’re not doing any research,” Murphy said. “We’re just performing services that are ordered by other physicians. I know we have seen college students on occasion.”

Stefan Baker, communication disorders freshman, said he had a study conducted after learning he was at risk for sleep apnea.

“I would basically stop breathing during my sleep,” Baker said. “So I went and got a sleep study and it showed what stages of sleep my breathing would stop.”

Baker said it was a unique process and is grateful he took advantage of the opportunity to get the sleep study done.

“They wire you up,” Baker said. “At first it feels a little awkward, but it isn’t as uncomfortable as it looks, or at least it wasn’t for me.”

Murphy said the lab has flexible hours and is open from Monday through Sunday 7 p.m. to 7 a.m., and on Saturdays are open 7 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Baker said he would recommend a sleep study for anybody who feels they might need it.

“Go to your doctor,” Baker said. “See what they tell you, because I know sometimes it’s just easy to stay up, but there could always be a serious underlying problem.”