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Monday, October 10, 2005

Fight sleep loss among graduate students

For generations now, scholars have wondered about the increasing irrelevance and snideness of graduate student dissertation work. Various forces have been blamed: Francophone linguistic terrorists, the disappearance of ballroom dancing from the compulsory curriculum, the separation from flirtatious eye contact with members of the opposite sex enforced by totalitarian postwar library architecture, class warfare and class envy among transient student bodies, a basic lack of hygiene awareness, and, of course, my favorite: sunlight deprivation.

Important new studies in biology, however, are rushing to link the poor fashion sense, uncomely physique, and bad manners of the academic community to the latest cultural trend among these youngsters -- a sadistic, drug-induced, throbbing, community dance, known in these circles as "sleepwalking."

The Post reports that several bad habits of graduate students may in fact be interlinked:

The analysis of a nationally representative sample of nearly 10,000 adults found that those between the ages of 32 and 49 who sleep less than seven hours a night are significantly more likely to be obese.

The study follows a series of others that have found similar associations with other illnesses, including several reports from the Harvard-run Nurses' Health Study that has linked insufficient or irregular sleep to increased risk for colon cancer, breast cancer, heart disease and diabetes.
--Washington Post



Rudeness, insensitivity, glazed looks, and marginal research can be fought. Put a graduate student near you to bed NOW!