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March 31, 2005 - Image 16

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6B - The Michigan Daily - Thursday, March 31, 2005

The Michigan Daily

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From coffee to
pills, students
share their best
techniques
By Jackie Lamaj
For the Daily
It's that time of year again - with finals
not too far ahead, students are cracking open
the books and churning out papers all over
campus. Sleep is often the first necessity to
be pushed aside in an attempt to stay awake
for an all-night studying session.
While many students will be drinking cof-
fee and other equally-caffeinated beverages,
some will resort to taking over-the-counter
and prescription drugs to keep them awake.
Sean McCabe, interim director of the Univer-
sity of Michigan Substance Abuse Research
Center, said use of prescription drug Adder-
all is increasing on college campuses.
The illegal use of Adderall as a study aid is
increasingly becoming "more popular on col-
lege campuses around the country, especially
schools with highly competitive admissions
criteria and those college campuses with high-
er rates of binge drinking," McCabe said.
Adderall is an amphetamine used to treat
patients with Attention Deficit Hyperactiv-
ity Disorder. It acts on the central nervous
system and is used to decrease hyperactivity
and increase brain stimulation.
"Adderall helps me focus on anything I
put my mind to - I am able to concentrate
for hours and nothing can come between me
and what I am working on," said an Archi-
tecture senior who uses the substance ille-
gally, without a prescription.
"I sell my extra pills for about $5 a pop,
but I won't sell more than two to three pills
to one person, because I don't want them to
take them all at once," said an LSA senior
who has a prescription for Adderall.
But Vicki Hays, associate director of the
University's Counseling and Psychologi-
cal Services, added that there are also side
effects to using Adderall, which some stu-
dents may not consider.
"It is a controlled substance and therefore
is illegal without prescription, with major side
effects including palpitations, overstimulation,
insomnia and loss of appetite," Hays said.
McCabe and colleagues recently studied the
prevalence of non-medical use of prescription
stimulants - Ritalin, Dexadrine and Adderall

- across national college campuses.
"In our recent study we found that students
with grade point averages of B or lower were
two times more likely to use prescription
stimulants non-medically than those earn-
ing a B+ or higher grade point average," said
McCabe.
Out of all students surveyed, 6.9 percent
self-reported lifetime use, and 4.1 percent
reported past month prevalence. Students
that were male, white or members of frater-
nities or sororities tended to report higher
non-mediated use of prescribed stimulants.
Naps throughout the day are extremely
important to LSA senior Lyndsey Townsend.
"I take naps because there is no point in
trying to do work when you are tired - you
have less quality (and) then it ends up being
a waste of time because you are too tired to
see," Townsend said.
Beverages like coffee, soda and now Red
Bull provide lots of help for students who need
that pick-me-up during those late night hours.
"I have six Red Bulls in my fridge. They
keep me up, energized and pumped to do my
work," said Marisa Costa, an LSA freshman.
Red Bull has about 80 mg. of caffeine
which is equivalent to a cup of coffee.
Although Red Bull itself is not addic-
tive, "some people are addicted to caffeine,
and experience restlessness and scattered
thoughts" said Hays.
Giving your mind and body a break from your
work is a way to increase the effectiveness of your
studying. Rather than abusing drugs and chugging
coffee to stay awake and get your work done, Hays
said "physical activity is a better way to increase
alertness than any of these products - for every
hour in a row studied, the ability to concentrate
and get effective studying done decreases."
Those late night study sessions do not need
to be as stressful and painful as they have been
in the past.
"Study in small chunks - be realistic, work
for an hour and a half to two hours, take a 15
to 20 minute break and then switch subjects to
clear your mind so that you can retain the most
information," said Adrianne Camero-Sulak, a
CAPS staff member.
"In our recent study we found
that students with grade point
averages of B or lower were two
times more likely to use pre-
scription stimulants non-medi-
cally than those earning a B+ or
higher grade point average,"
- Sean McCabe
Interim Director,
University of Michigan
Substance Abuse Research Center

Tips and tricks,
to catch up on
sleep during
exam week
By Christine Beamer
Daily Arts Writer
According to an article in Psychology Today,
Americans sleep an average of seven hours per
night. Most college students would laugh mani-
acally at that number though, for the majority
of students get less than seven hours of sleep,
especially during finals.
LSA freshman Callie Finzel said she gets
about six hours of sleep per night.
"I probably get a half hour to an hour less dur-
ing finals," she said.
While many students believe sleep is a nicety
and not a necessity in the fast-paced college
atmosphere, many experts disagree.
"Our culture devalues sleep, thinks it's a
waste of time and is largely optional. But sleep
is as important as eating and breathing," said
Roseanne Armitage, director of the University's
Sleep and Chronophysiology Laboratory.
Sleeping is more complicated than most
people think. Rob Ernst, associate director for
Clinical Services at University Health Service,
said there are two types of sleep - slow wave
sleep and REM sleep. Slow wave sleep takes up
the majority of the sleep cycle and is a less deep
sleep than REM sleep.
Though the body gets less REM sleep than
slow-wave sleep, both types are necessary in
order for the body to function.
"REM sleep is the stage of sleep that
makes you feel refreshed when you wake
up," he said.
Ernst also said adults should get about
eight hours of sleep per night. But he went
on to say that "each individual person has
unique needs that determine the amount of
sleep they should get," and stress, health and
age all affect the number of hours of sleep
needed.-
This flexibility in how much sleep a person
needs might be part of the reason why every-
one falls asleep in that 2 p.m lecture. Those
people who need more sleep might be trying
to catch up. Armitage recommended an easy
way of identifying sleep deprivation.
"Go into a dark room and sit in a comfort-
able chair. If you start to fall asleep, you are
not getting enough sleep at night," Armitage
said. "Boredom doesn't make you sleepy; it

just unmasks sleepiness because you've taken
away the stimulation and social engagement
that normally overrides tiredness."
"I'll just sacrifice a bit of sleep
tonight"
Armitage said one of the most important uses
of sleep is to repair the body.
."Good immune system regulation is depen-
dent upon sleep," she said.
Hence, a lack of sleep has been correlated
with reduced resistance to colds and the flu. But
the problems don't end there. With finals loom-
ing in the future, it is important to note that stu-
dents with insomnia and other sleeping disorders
seem to have reduced academic performance and
increased forgetfulness, according to Armitage.
Ernst recommended students get eight
hours of sleep before essay exams in particu-
lar because sleep deprivation can impair pro-
cessing and analyzing. Essay exams "require
a difficult skills set and require the body to be
more prepared," he said.
Ernst and Armitage both mentioned that
sleep deprivation has been connected to depres-
sion, elevated stress level, weight gain and anxi-
ety disorders. These findings were corroborated
in an article in the Journal of American College
Health, which said a lack of sleep also leads to
tension, irritability and general life dissatisfac-
tion. But sleep deprivation does not necessarily
cause depression and anxiety disorders.
"Depression is a syndrome of symptoms
looked at together," Ernst said.
"I'll catch up on the weekend"
According to Ernst, sleep is a clock driven
process; the sleep-wake rhythm is called a circa-
dian rhythm. Altering this rhythm by changing
the time or amount of sleep creates extra sleepi-
ness and feelings of jet lag.
As Armitage said, "Anyone who has played
'weekend catch-up' on sleep knows that it is
harder to get out of bed on Monday morning
than on other days," because the body's circa-
dian rhythms have been disrupted.
It is actually counter-productive to attempt to
catch up on all the sleep missed during the week
on the following Saturday. Instead, both experts
recommend getting a consistent amount of sleep
on weekdays and weekends.
In the long term, "it is easier on the body to not
disrupt the sleep pattern,"said Ernst. And despite
the temptation to stay up until 3 a.m. on a Fri-
day night, Armitage also recommends setting the
same bedtime and rise-time in order to prevent a
problem with the body's circadian rhythm.
"...or I'll nap this afternoon.

Library study carrels reveals about as many
students napping as studying. To compensate
for the lack of sleep during the night, many stu-
dents, like Finzel, take naps between classes.
"If I'm studying for extended periods of time,
I'll take a 15 to 30-minute nap. Otherwise noth-
ing processes, nothing gets in," Finzel said.
The good news is that people who take
short naps are more alert afterward and seem
to have more energy.
"As a short-term fix, a nap allows you to
recharge your level of alertness," Ernst said.
Armitage agreed but said that REM sleep,
which helps the body rest and recover, is "heav-
ily dependent on how long you have been awake
during the day. If this varies from day to day, then
the timing of the sleep cycle will be altered."
Changing the circadian rhythm then
obstructs the recovery function of sleeping
and will result in continued tiredness over-
all. So short naps are helpful, but long naps
may actually cause more sleepiness than they
relieve.
For Insomniacs
Sometimes sleep deprivation is not due

to a homework
nia. "The comp
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He also cautic
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something sedat
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While it might
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PHOTOS BY ALEXANDER DZIADOSZ/Daily
Coffee, Red Bull and other caffeine products are commonly used by students to stay
awake for studying.

Frequenting the Shapiro Undergraduate LSA sophomore Kristine Michel sleeps In the Shapiro Underg

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