Into the second week of class, I think we can all agree that we are once more swung into the throes of another heavy-loaded college semester. Not only do we have our class schedule tacked up somewhere in our room or copied into our planner, we’re starting to get a feel for when we’ll be able to squeeze in lunch, dinner with friends, homework, maybe working out, our jobs, calling our moms and oh yeah, sleep.
If I’ve seen anything in my past three years here at Eastern, it’s that sleep gets pushed to the backburner. A lot. Whether it’s because someone works a lot, is taking an extra load of credits, stays out late partying or even just loses track of time scrolling through the Internet, one thing seems to be pretty clear: nearly everyone does it.
And like a bad hangover, we don’t see the problem until it hits us like a brick wall. I’ve even seen people catch persistent colds from simply being overworked in one way or another, coupled with a lack of sleep.
So what can we do?
Before we can ever start to push ourselves to maintain a decent sleep schedule, we need to realize the importance of sleep. That our pillows aren’t just a soft spot to relax every night but a place for our bodies to slow down and, according to health.com, recharge and be better equipped to fight off diseases and even remember material more clearly for our next big exam. Going to bed an hour or two early might seem like a big sacrifice in the moment if we feel like we’ve got more studying to do or it just feels like a good night to be awake. But that extra hour or two could be the difference between staying well and being bedridden for a day or recalling a couple more answers on a test or not.
Once our rational minds can convince the rest of ourselves that getting more sleep is the better option in the long run, we can either determine a consistent, healthy sleep schedule for ourselves or simply take a moment each day to think about what time we need to be up the next morning so that we can get to bed at a decent hour.
Will there be nights where we’ll still only catch three or four hours? Who are we kidding? Most likely. With all the intensity of college life thrown on us, late nights are really hard to keep away from. But as long as we keep the importance of our sleep at the front of our minds and maybe get eight or more hours a couple times a week, the health of both our minds and bodies will be so much better off.