Sleep is not for the weak


By Shankari Sureshbabu , Columnist

I have slept 14 hours in the last three days. One of my friends slept nine hours, and another lucky gal slept 19. This pattern of burning the candle at both ends seems never-ending and inevitable for college students.

Sure, everyone knows that “early to bed, early to rise makes a man healthy, wealthy and wise” but that man probably didn’t have an orgo problem set, a post lab and 70 pages of reading due tomorrow.

It doesn’t help that distractions are aplenty at the University, from your group chat being lit or Buzzfeed seemingly knowing that you have a midterm next week. (Each video is like 4 minutes but I’ve somehow wasted 2 hours).

I know I have it easy in the grand scheme of things, but between classes, extracurriculars and some semblance of a social life, sleep can get pushed pretty low on the priority list. In fact, I should probably be sleeping right now.

Unfortunately, this trend of sleep deprivation isn’t a personal struggle of my perpetually tired squad, but one that affects sleepy squads all across the nation. According to research done at Brown University, 73 percent of students said they had problems sleeping or suffered a lack of sleep.

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    That means around 3 out of 4 students are not getting enough sleep to be healthy, functioning members of society. Only 11 percent reported having good night’s sleep. In case you were too tired to comprehend that statistic, a vast amount of young people are not getting enough sleep.  Sleep deprivation impairs people’s ability to pay attention in class and go about their day, which often leads to lower academic performance, which leads to lower GPAs, which leads indirectly to death (because your parents will not understand your struggles and kill you).

    This epidemic is not new; everyone has heard these problems before. The only thing more difficult than getting out of bed for your 9 a.m. is forcing yourself to go to bed at 10 p.m.

    But this problem, although an old one, is important. It is in many ways a part of the bigger issue of self-care. For those who don’t see the buzzword popping up everywhere on the Internet these days, self-care is pretty self explanatory. It is making sure you take time out of your day to take care of your “numba 1”, or yourself.

    Simple actions such as making sure you get three meals a day or taking some well-deserved breaks can often be overlooked by college students who have a constant list of other things (aka turning up) to do.

    If you have trouble making time to relax, there are plenty of resources on campus to help students when times get tough, such as the Counseling Center or McKinley Health Center.

    The structure of college, with seemingly bottomless piles of work to complete daily, makes properly taking care of yourself a difficult task for even the most well-intentioned and organized students.

    These may seem like frivolous actions, but ultimately they could be the difference between having a smooth semester or having a mental breakdown every other week.

    At the very least, taking care of yourself can help your sanity last long enough for midterm season to come along and screw it up all over again.

    Shankari is a sophomore in LAS.

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