I check the time on my phone. It’s midnight. I have two paragraphs left to write for my paper on Great Gatsby – due tomorrow. I have one episode left of “Game of Thrones” – everybody will be talking about it at school. Ugh – I just remembered I have a lab quiz tomorrow too! It’s a lot to do… I’m not even really tired… I guess it’ll have to be an all nighter?
The answer is no – it never has to be an all nighter.
For many of us, it’s often so easy to fall into traps like this and not get enough sleep. Sometimes letting our bodies and minds have an opportunity to rest just doesn’t seem like the first priority.
But the fact of the matter is, sleep needs to be pretty high on all of our priority lists.
We all want to do well on our lab quizzes (and midterms and finals for that matter), but at a certain point, getting a full night’s sleep is just as important as studying. That is not to say studying isn’t important! But sleep is important too. At the end of the day, you might know all the information you’re being tested on, but your brain will be too exhausted to apply it to the exam. (I’ve had friends who have actually studied all night and then fallen asleep during the test itself – that doesn’t help very much at all…)
A lot of people say things like:
“Well, that doesn’t apply to me.”
“My body is totally able to function on only a few hours of sleep!”
“I catch up on the weekends.”
“It’s what I have to do to get into college.”
And I get that! I get that sleep can seem like a waste of time – how could 8 long hours of laying on my bed and doing nothing be more productive than reading my history textbook once more?
But in the long run, it’s a matter of keeping our bodies healthy, and treating them how they deserve to be treated. And eventually the difference is extremely apparent.
When I feel well rested, I think more clearly, my brain makes more connections, I’m nicer to my friends, I am more efficient with my studying.
Sleep is undeniably important – although it can be difficult to prioritize, I think it’s totally worth it.
– Lindsey 16 yrs