Sleeping is the key to success

Emily Doran

At some point or another, most college students experience difficulty managing their workloads and various obligations. With pressure to achieve high grades, participate in extracurricular activities, work a part-time job and maintain a social life, it’s no wonder that most students inevitably put something on the back burner when their schedules grow too full.

Unfortunately, one of the most common things to be neglected is sleep. This is understandable. After all, unlike with homework, you don’t get graded on the amount of sleep you get. Therefore, homework comes first. In the same way, unlike with a job, you don’t get paid to sleep, so work also comes first. This type of reasoning can be applied to almost any other circumstance, and as a result, sleep is often one of the first items on a student’s “to-do list” that gets thrown out.

Nevertheless, sleep is just as important as anything else on your schedule. Without enough of it, every other aspect of your agenda will suffer. Your productivity will go down the more exhausted you are, and you will also make yourself more susceptible to illness. In the end, while you may think that you are saving yourself precious time that you can then devote to school or work, you are in fact setting yourself up to perform much worse in these areas than you otherwise would with enough sleep.

I learned firsthand the importance of sleep this semester by trying to work without it, and then suffering the consequences. I’ve already been sick multiple times and have had difficulty concentrating in some of my classes because I had to stay up very late the night before in order to complete homework. I even pulled my first all-nighter this semester, and that was one of the most unpleasant experiences I’ve had all year. (If you’ve ever had to pull an all-nighter, then you know what I mean; and if you are still one of the few students who have not had to do so yet, I would recommend avoiding it at all costs. It’s really not fun and rarely worth it.)

So, I’ve been thinking about how I can possibly increase the amount of sleep I’m getting, while at the same time not sacrificing my grades or too much of anything else. I suppose it’s all about achieving some sort of balance, although that is, of course, easier said than done.

What does it even mean to achieve balance? Maybe it means that some nights you’ll have to stay up late to finish an assignment that is due the next day, but then the next evening you can try to catch up on sleep. Maybe it means not attending a particular social gathering so that you can go to bed early and be fully awake for your 8 a.m. class, and then going out and having fun over the weekend.

In the end, while it is easy to neglect sleep when your schedule grows overwhelmingly full, try to get enough. Doing so is vital if you want to maintain your health and academic success.

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