At 6:15 p.m. Wednesday night, a crowd of USC students and guests pushed their way through the doors of the Ronald Tutor Campus Center Grand Ballroom to catch a glimpse of Arianna Huffington, co-founder of The Huffington Post.
To spread awareness of sleep deprivation among the college demographic, Huffington is jet-setting on her Sleep Revolution College Tour, with a stop Wednesday at USC.
The event, put on in coordination with USC Visions & Voices, centered on the release on Huffington's fifteenth book, The Sleep Revolution: Transforming Your Life One Night At A Time. The book focuses on Huffington's belief that today's society is undergoing a sleep-deprivation epidemic and calls for a "sleep revolution."
In addition to Huffington's talk, the event included a sleep fair, where attendees could mingle with representatives from companies trying to tackle sleep deprivation. Sleep gadgets included the Sleep Number bed, a sensor-laden headband that emitted white noise, and the Sleep Hoodie, which contained an inflatable pillow in its hood.
"I love the idea of making sleep a little bit more accessible for us college students with the hoodies," said Lucy Condolora, a senior theater major.
Condolora said she struggles to maintain healthy sleep habits despite her efforts.
"On average, I run on about four hours of sleep a night," Condolora said. "Six hours is a really nice night for me. And, the thing is I love to sleep; I can easily sleep for 12 hours, but I'm so busy.
I think that just comes with being a student, and I've just adapted and I know that's bad for my body. I really am very curious about [Huffington's] research and where that will lead me as a young adult going into the real world."
Clint Keaveny, a freshman studying political science, came to the event hoping to learn about balancing life with sleep.
"It will be interesting to hear from [someone as successful as] Arianna about how … it is necessary to eventually scale back and be healthy about sleep," Keaveny said. "I'm glad that people have realized that it's a really systemic problem on college campuses, and I'm glad that they're doing it in a way that's applicable to us — through technology."
Corrected April 14, 1:26 p.m. Pacific Time: Arianna Huffington's first name was misspelled in an earlier version of this story.
Corrected April 14, 2:02 p.m. Pacific Time: Edits have been made to improve spelling, grammar, and clarity.
Reach Staff Reporter Taylor Edghill here.