Comic #1: A Somnolent Proposal

Sleep Deprivation
Dennis Kulp, OMS-2, Texas College of Osteopathic Medicine

Dennis Kulp, OMS-2, Texas College of Osteopathic Medicine

Also Dennis Kulp, but drawn.

Also Dennis Kulp, but drawn.

The National Sleep Foundation recommends seven to nine hours of sleep a night for adults under the age of 65.[1] Unfortunately, for many of us, didactic obligations somehow seem to take up the rest of the 15-17 hours in any given day. Now I’m no Pythagoras, but that math doesn’t seem to add up to a healthy amount of “me time” or as some people like to call it “eating and surviving.” In fact, even among typical undergraduate college students, 70% do not attain an acceptable amount of sleep each night.[2]  One can only imagine what it might be like for a healthcare student who is even partially interested in expanding his or her curriculum vitae. Especially when you consider that disruptions in circadian rhythm and sleep-wake homeostasis can have devastating effects on memory, learning and concentration, we should be doing everything in our power to reach those precious hours of unconscious bliss.[2]

Luckily for the sleepy ones among us, there is hope. There are some students who have no problem getting adequate sleep. Maybe it’s the guy who sits in the front and answers literally every question out loud no matter how many times he is told to raise his hand. It could be the girl who has a tattoo of an eagle on her leg and listens exclusively to experimental jazz when she studies in the anatomy lab every morning. Jeez, it could even be the kid who hides in the back of the lecture hall and thinks that no one can see him watching videos.  One thing is for certain though, these people are always well rested.

My proposal is that we speak to these wonderful characters and learn from them. Somehow, these classmates find a balance between sleep, school, and general life. They may not be people we would normally talk to, but should we find out how they manage time and emulate their processes, it may just save our careers.  Who knows, we might even make some friends along the way.


Peter Harvey, OMS-2, William Carey University College of Osteopathic Medicine

Peter Harvey, OMS-2,
William Carey University College of Osteopathic


[1] Hershner, S. D., & Chervin, R. D. (2014). Causes and consequences of sleepiness among college students. Nature and Science of Sleep6, 73–84.

[2] Lichtenstein, G. R. (2015). The Importance of Sleep. Gastroenterology & Hepatology11(12), 790.