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How eight hours of sleep changed one Ole's life

By Kari VanDerVeen
October 14, 2010

“It surprised me that my mother was right all those years!” says a well-rested Gordon Finnegan '13.

Sometimes mother really does know best.

That’s one of the lessons Gordon Finnegan '13 learned this month after his mom prompted him to enter a Huffington Post contest that challenged college students to get eight hours of sleep every night for an entire month and track their progress on Facebook. As one of six finalists in the contest, Finnegan put together a video testimonial of his experiences titled “How Eight Hours of Sleep Changed My Life.” With more sleep, he got up on time, took better care of himself, caught up on readings, and got more out of lectures.

“Before the contest I relied on my afternoon naps to get me though the day. When I devoted myself to the eight hours I wasn't even tempted,” Finnegan says. “It surprised me that my mother was right all those years!”

Readers of the Huffington Post voted on the six videos, and Finnegan came in second when the polls closed October 12 — losing to his brother Patrick, a student at Whitman College. Yet while it will be his sibling that gets the grand prize of a trip to New York at the end of the month, Finnegan says simply participating in the contest and developing new habits was rewarding enough.

“I make a nightly effort to be in bed by 11 p.m.,” he says. “It pays off, and I intend to continue benefiting from it.”

Contact Kari VanDerVeen at 507-786-3970 or