Students’ ‘hard day’s night’ may only be a myth
University students are getting enough sleep.
Associate Professor of Marketing Doyle Eiler and Assistant Professor of Eco-nomics Paul Stock conducted a two-week-long survey last fall about how university undergraduate students spend their time. The preliminary results revealed shocking realities.
Eiler said, “I suppose the one that surprised me the most based on what you hear in class and (when) you talk to students is how much sleep they’re getting.”
Stock said of the 342 students who completed at least one survey, the average amount of sleep is eight hours or more.
Eiler did not expect it.
“I mean you listen to (students) and there’s always this moaning and groaning of being tired,” he said.
The survey was conducted out of personal curiosity, as well as a desire to better understand students’ needs.
“It’s an area of interest for us,” Stock said. “I was surprised also at how much the students work here. It’s good for us to know, too, how much work should we assign, how much time do they have to work on homework or to study for exams, things like that.”
He admits eight hours is plenty of rest.
Stock said, “They must be forcing themselves to get that much sleep.”
The professors divided each day into 13 “common time use categories,” which students used to allocate their time use, for the chance to win a Wii gaming system.
Nursing December graduate Sarah Hare won the drawing for a Wii gaming system.
“We play the Wii sports game that came with the system because you can play with multiple players,” Hare said.
Surveys were sent via e-mail. Students categorized each half-hour increment for certain days of the week. Seventy-five percent of the participants were female, with seniors making up the majority of participants by class.
Of those who responded, an average of two hours working and two hours in class is spent a day.
Eiler said, “Our big goal was to get out the preliminary results. Now, we’re going to be doing more analysis. One thing we want to do is get some published research.”
Eiler anticipated the university using the results to better plan campus events as well as to inform various academic departments of their findings.
“It’s ended up in the freshman seminars’ workbook,” Eiler said.
They hope the results broaden the doors of the university and the nationwide academic community.
Stock said, “Our hope is to present our findings at a conference. That might inspire other research….Other universities may ask to join and do another similar survey.”
Another interesting fact was that student athletes spend more time in class and sleeping than their non-athlete counterparts. As a result, athletes spend nearly half an hour less each day in “hang out.”
Eiler said, “Even though there are no scholarships, and they’re not division one or two or anything, they seem to be putting a lot of time (into athletics).”
Time usage differences between students with and without dependents were also analyzed. Thirty-two participants had at least one dependent. The survey found that the non-traditional students spent more time working and studying and less time hanging out than their counterparts.
In the future, Stock and Eiler may pursue other studies.
Eiler said. “We’re open to thinking about other topics that would be of interest to students and the university community.”
For more information, view the attached pdf: preliminary-results-umhb-student-time-use-study