If You're Tired and You Know it, Go to Sleep
Photo illustration by Rachel Rippetoe
It’s almost finals week, which means that soon, we’ll drag our corpses to take our final exams and turn in our final projects. RIP y’all. Resting in peace counts as rest, right? NO. Death ≠ sleep. The truth is, the world will end someday so you might as well get some shut eye now (yes, during finals week) before IT’S ALL SHUT EYE.
Hey, sleepy head. You have two options right now: either go to sleep or keep reading and then go to sleep. Your choice.
Still here? Okay. You’re tenacious. I like it. The rant starts now: You should aim for at least seven hours of sleep a night. You’ve heard this before. It’s not news. And it’s actually impossible for your body to “make up” sleep, so it’s far better to sleep a normal amount each night instead of an ungodly amount over the weekend.
Think about sleep like studying. Sure, you can try to cram it all in at once, but that doesn’t actually work. Besides, it’ll probably lower your stress levels to do a bit each day (sleeping and studying) instead of procrastinating ‘til the last minute.
Also take into consideration our undergrad brains aren’t totally developed. If you’re up at 2 a.m. and it feels like your brain refuses to concentrate, you’d better call it a night and hit the hay. What helps with development you ask? Sleep, among other things, like eating fatty brain food with Omega-3s (think fish or nuts), and exercise.
The last thing you need right now is to get sick, which is far more likely to happen if you don’t go to sleep. Plus, lack of sleep can affect your long-term health as well. Newsflash: Sleep ain’t a luxury, folks. It’s a necessity. You can’t “make up” sleep later if you don’t live to later. Besides lowering your risk for certain chronic diseases, sleep also helps you maintain a healthy body weight and reduces cravings for fast food.
To make more time for sleepy-sleep, try spending less time on your devices (except for studying). If your friends can’t deal with you disappearing off social media for a few days, too bad. You time is important and sleep is essential.
If you’re a night owl and can’t do much to change your sleep pattern, that’s okay. In the long run, studies have shown it actually is important for you to sleep at night. Back in the olden days (before electricity), we primarily used the sun to light our days and to tell us when it was time for lights out. Our bodies are still wired that way. But for the two weeks of death and finals, just get some sleep when you can.
As a certain musical group of great renown, The Lonely Island, said in their hit song YOLO, “This life is a precious gift. So don’t get too crazy, it’s not worth the risk.” And make no mistake: not sleeping is crazy. You wouldn’t deprive your body of oxygen, would you? Or water? Or food? Sleep is just as essential to your well-being. Within the same song, The Lonely Island also gifted us with these golden lyrics. “You only live once, that’s the motto. So take a chill pill, ease off the throttle.” In this case, we can interpret “chill pill” to also mean melatonin or nighty-night tea. What you do is up to you, but please, go to sleep.