With a play on the term, “Freshman 15,” the Huffington Post is holding a contest encouraging students to get the “Freshman 8” — eight hours of sleep a night, that is.
With a grand prize of a trip to New York City, the Post’s editors selected Linfield freshman Kate Woginrich as a finalist.
What began as a national competition more than a month ago, in honor of October’s National Sleep Month, has been reduced to six finalists, with Woginrich competing against Justine di Giovanni of St. Olaf College, Gordon Finnegan of the College of William and Mary, Patrick Finnegan of Whitman College and others.
She is currently in fourth place, with Justine di Giovanni, of St. Olaf’s College, in first.
Woginrich said she read about the competition in the Huffington Post a month ago.
“I read the Post everyday and just saw it on a page,” she said.
Inspired to attempt the challenge presented by the competition, Woginrich struggled to begin what experts consider a normal sleep cycle.
At first it was difficult, she said, and that she wasn’t accustomed to going to bed at 11:00 p.m. and waking up at 7:00 a.m. Woginrich said the first few days were extremely tough.
“But eventually I got used to having my sleep schedule on Pacific Standard Time,” she says in a video created for the competition.
Shortly after she changed her habits, Woginrich said she began to notice results. She received A’s on two history papers in a row and is no longer spending tons of money on coffee.
when the competition transpired, Woginrich had to keep a log of her sleep times, as well as any notes accompanying each night’s sleep.
At the end of the month, she received an e-mail from the editor of the Huffington Post.
It said she was a finalist in the contest, earning one of the coveted spots because of her dedication to the competition and the creativity of the notes in her log.
She was then instructed to make a short video about her experience, which appears on the Huffington Post’s website, “The Huffington Posts Freshman 8 Sleep Contest: Who Should Win a Trip to New York?”
Her video is being voted on across the country.
“The trip to New York was kind of an incentive,” she said.
If she wins, Woginrich will fly to New York City on Oct. 28, to attend the Huffington Post’s Game Changers Event.
The event is a conference featuring 100 visionaries and intellectuals who are saluted for changing the way the world works.
Woginrich would be honored as one of the visionaries, alongside Oprah Winfrey, Vice President Joseph Biden and the “Old Spice Guy,” Isaiah Mustafa.
To vote for Woginrich, become a fan of the Huffington Post on Facebook, and then search for the competition.
The Huffington Post hosts the contest on its website at www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/10/04/freshman-8-sleep-contest-_n_749162.html.
Matthew Sunderland/Senior reporter
Matt Sunderland can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.