Sleep and its Absence in the College Student’s Life

Up to last week, my sleeping habits had been reduced to the sliver of time when both night owls and early birds are awake. I had turned into both a nocturnal and a diurnal being. The piles and piles of work consumed me, and despite my best efforts to stay on top of each class, there seemed to always be a looming deadline. The hours would grow and die and grow again, and still, I’d be plowing away at an essay, sunrise nearing the doorstep. I would fall asleep with clocks blaring 4 AM in my face and wake up a few hours later to a cell phone alarm. And with every sleepless night came a day of classes during which it became harder and harder to stay awake.

Last weekend, I decided that there was a reason why night owls would never get the early worm and why early birds never have to worry about nightvision. With a sudden wave of exhaustion-prompted epiphantic thought, I realized that I, quite simply, cannot subsist on a mere few hours of sleep. And so my weekend saw nights of eight-to-ten hours of sleep. Surprisingly, depite the hours I lost sleeping early instead of working, my productivity had reached an all-time high, and I went into the week with a headstart. I partitioned my work I had left in such a way that each night I’d spend a few hours researching, a few hours doing math, etc. And for every night this week (with the exception of last night), 2 am saw me fast asleep.

I had come to the blinding realization that sleep was a necessity of life, rather than a hinderance, and that sleep was the solution to managing schedules in which time is of essence. Sleep is the motivator of productivity, so to be without it is to deplete efficiency by n-fold. So from now on, though it is impossible to guarantee a full night’s sleep every day of every week, I will at least have some sort of “norm” for my sleeping habits, which is already a dramatic increase from the nights of insanity that plagued the first five weeks of my college experience.

Moral of the story? Sleep. It’s relaxing, amazing, and good for you.

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~ by thechanster on 11:02 am, Friday, October 31, 2008.

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