Sleep is a natural academic performance enhancer—and the Huffington Post is going on a campus tour this year to encourage students to embrace their pillows and a solid rest every night.
The "Sleep Revolution College Tour" will host "sleep fairs" with help from brands such as Sleep Number, Spotify, JetBlue, and Jawbone. The fairs aim to provide students with tools to adopt and monitor their sleep habits.
Related: How much sleep do you and your students need? Group revises recommendations
But turning out the light earlier the night before doesn't always help solve the problem.
"The issue is that young adults are physiologically set up to be night owls," Hershner says. "Around the onset of puberty sleep is delayed. Most teens start going to bed around 12 a.m. to 2 a.m., making it tough to wake early for morning classes."
So while universities may be scheduling classes for 8 a.m. to use space more efficiently, it's not always the best move for students.
"This is not a great fit for this population," Hershner says.
Social pressure adds to the problem too.
"Far too many college students still believe there is no other way if they want to do well academically and have a great social life. Nor is this widespread belief surprising, given our cultural assumption, which is at the heart of our sleep crisis, that overwork and burnout are the price we must pay in order to succeed," writes Huffington Post President Arianna Huffington.
Step one in eliminating course bottlenecks: Find the cause
"Despite all this—or perhaps because of all this—colleges are uniquely positioned to be key drivers of the Sleep Revolution," Huffington writes (Huffington, "Sleep + Wellness," Huffington Post, 3/21; Carroll, NBC News, 3/29; Link, "The Blog," Huffington Post, 4/7).
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