Death’s Friendliest Cousin: How Sleep is Changing My Life

(If I’m melodramatic today, I blame Chateaubriand. #EnglishMajorProbs)

Me (minus some hair)

Me (minus some hair)

As if life wasn’t cruel enough, my internship supervisor made me write a blog post about why sleep is important. Me. A college student. An over-achieving college student. Yeah, not cool.

Anyway, I did all this research (translation: I googled it and read blog posts) and found out that sleep deprivation is horrible. Like, kill you horrible. Great. So I’m super productive, but probably dying sooner. Oh, and probably not that productive–it’s proven to ruin grades and athletic performance.

And sleeping in on the weekends doesn’t really help–it actually throws off your circadian rhythm (use that phrase in everyday conversation!) and makes you more groggy. There goes that plan.

I was already ahead on homework for the week (light week before death), so I decided to give this sleep thing a try. Obviously, there are constraints–I have required meetings at 10:30 at night, I scheduled 8 am classes and work shifts, no time for naps. But I’m consistently getting about an hour more sleep. And more than that on the weekends.

And this crazy thing happened. I’m happier. I’m more motivated. I’m more energetic and animated. I work better–because I’m not falling asleep on my textbooks. My brain feels less fuzzy (and yes, that’s completely scientific).

I really don’t want to make this sound too much like a cheap advertisement, but guys! College normally feels like “shoot me I’m so tired please when can I sleep.” I wake up grumpy and fall into bed at 12:30 exhausted. I fall asleep in choir, for goodness sake!

And now you’re thinking, “Well yippee for you, but I could never do that with MY schedule.” Ok, I can’t see your life, but to be honest, I kind of doubt that. The conclusion of my research (and personal experience) is that sleep is worth rearranging your life. Dropping an activity or some free time is completely worth the physical and emotional benefits of sleeping a reasonable amount.

For more on scheduling, look for an upcoming post about time management and productivity!

Are you a fan of sleep? Seeing positive or negative effects on your life from sleeping too little/much? Hated college sleep deprivation? Tell me about it!

5 thoughts on “Death’s Friendliest Cousin: How Sleep is Changing My Life

  1. I think I get more stuff done in a day than most people I know, but I still manage to get at least six hours every night, and typically more like 7-8. Sleep and exercise both are often under-appreciated, but I’m finding them to be essential to productivity and happiness.

    It wasn’t always that way. For a long time I’d average less than six hours a night, and I never had time to exercise, but I think I get more done now and I am definitely happier about it.

    Suffice it to say, I’m a big fan of sleep now. (I’m a fan of this post, too — nicely done!)

    • I’m still working on the exercise part–one step at a time!

      Even if I weren’t more productive, I think I would choose to sleep more for the sheer emotional benefits. Nothing can compare to staying consistently happy throughout a day.

  2. Yes, we all function much better with a proper amount of sleep. I learned while in college that my study time was much more productive when I was reasonably rested. The proper amount does vary some from person to person. Since I just had a sleep study done, I found out that the quality of that sleep is also important! Enjoyed the post!

    • Quality is definitely very important–I did a bit of reading into best environments and amounts of time for sleep as well, but it didn’t fit well in this post. Hope the results of your sleep study help you find the right quantity and quality of sleep!

  3. I literally read this while falling asleep in the middle of class; so, yes, I relate to this post as a sleep-deprived fellow English major. It’s great that you were assigned to read this much about the topic: I feel like almost everyone at college knows they need more sleep, it’s just moving from intention to action. I definitely think a lot of people would be more efficient in their daily lives if they acquired more sleep – even an hour would help a lot for certain people. Glad that this post focuses on a positive change in your life!

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