By Tess Steele
“I love sleep. My life has a tendency to fall apart when I’m awake, you know?” said Hemingway on the joys of slumber.
Sleep is a fundamental component for the very survival of the human race, yet in today’s society, it has come to be viewed as a luxury. The lifestyle of the average college student only further perpetuates this belief, resulting in over caffeinated zombies falling asleep in class, in the library, and even at the occasional party (not that I would know from experience). Why is it that eight hours of sleep is so elusive for college students? This perpetual deprivation of a biological necessity can largely be attributed to the atrocity that is the 8 a.m. class. With students being so busy during the day on their studies, the evenings provide a time for meetings, practices, and homework. I myself find that I don’t have sufficient time to dedicate to my work until late afternoon at best, meaning that my nights are often spent buried in my studies, not in my sheets. When students are lucky enough not to have academic obligations, there are a plethora of social events at night, making it all the more difficult to go to bed early enough for an 8 a.m. Furthermore, from a physiological perspective, humans are naturally inclined to operate on a 25hour circadian rhythm, making it significantly easier to stay up later and significantly harder to go to sleep earlier.
“I hate getting up early for 8 a.m. classes. Afternoon classes not only give me more time to prepare for class, but knowing I have time to finish work for class the next day makes my evenings less stressful,” shared Anne Kirk (C’17). While the idea of waking up early to finish assignments is good in theory, it is far too enticing to hit snooze at 6:30 a.m. on a Friday morning and accept being unprepared for class, all for an extra hour of sleep. “Having an 8 a.m. on a Friday is horrible, especially because many students love going out on Thursdays,” Kirk added. The disdain for the dreaded class time for the afternoon also. Professor Albert Bardi of the psychology department favors teaching afternoon classes, saying “I think the students are more awake at 2 p.m., and while a post lunch class has its problems, students are more alert in the afternoon than during an 8 a.m.”
The appeals of the detrimental morning classes are few and far between. Having to drag oneself out of a warm bed to only to sit in a classroom is hard enough, and the effort that must go into class dress adds a whole new component to the struggles of the morning. While many students feel that getting classes finished early leaves ample time for work throughout the day, early risers are often so exhausted that a much needed nap follows class, and before long the day has slipped away. If the physiological, academic, and social benefits of afternoon classes are still not enough to sway one’s preference for the splendid 2 p.m. class, very well, but while those horrible morning people are deliriously dragging themselves to their morning classes, I will be blissfully enjoying my slumber.