Sleep deprivation is something that I’ve experienced time and time again since I came to Drexel University, and it’s made me realize how important it is to go to bed early and get rest.At this point, I’m practically convinced that everyone has a period during college when they get no sleep because they put off working on a group project until the last second, or they choose to write an essay the night before it’s due. Whatever the cause may be, we’ve all been there at some point.
There was an exceptionally lengthy period during winter quarter of freshman year when I suffered from sleep deprivation. It was a regular occurrence for me to be up at 4 a.m. doing something that I had no business doing, like math homework that was due at noon. That certainly wasn’t a pleasant experience, but I had nobody to blame but myself and my poor planning.
I’ve always believed that was by far the worst quarter I have ever experienced at Drexel, because the majority of it was a struggle and the cold weather only added to it. It wasn’t until the end of that quarter that reality gave me a hard slap in the face during a brunch date with a friend of mine.
The main thing that I remember from this brunch date was the moment my friend told me that I looked tired and moody. The only reason I remember this moment is because I had never been told something like this to my face before, although that’s probably because I was rarely, if ever, tired and moody when hanging out with a friend. But like I said, this was a slap in the face and it certainly woke me up.
After this occurred, I made it a goal of mine to always be in bed by 10 p.m., and to never stay up past 1 a.m. unless it’s an emergency or the weekend. I never did any research online or read any scientific studies on the benefits of going to bed at an early time, but I could tell after a week of sticking to my new goal that there were some real benefits.
One of the benefits is the general improvement of a person’s mood, and this is the one that I initially noticed the most. I felt far less pessimistic about college life in a general sense. That oh-so-dreaded math homework that was due the next day was no longer so dreadful.
Getting more rest also helps with people’s problem-solving ability. Obviously going to bed early didn’t immediately wipe away all of my worries, but it did however make me feel less concerned about said worries. I also got a lot better at thinking about whatever problems I had in a constructive manner and as a result I was able to solve them more quickly and more easily.
Another benefit is the reduction of stress levels and anxiety. You won’t feel like the weight of the world is constantly coming down on top of you. I remember starting to feel far more relaxed, and I was no longer getting irritated by small inconveniences, like forgetting my textbook when I would go to class or having to walk all the way back to my dorm because I forgot my wallet. Additionally, I started to enjoy the company of my peers even more than I usually did. There was this natural sense of optimism that came over me after I started to go to bed earlier, and I’m certain that this change is very real, because now when I don’t go to bed early and get sleep I’m always at least a tad bit grouchy the next day.
There are plenty of other benefits that come from getting the proper amount of sleep, like your looks for example. You won’t have bags under your eyes, which will make you look more approachable and friendly, and who doesn’t want to look more approachable and friendly?
I strongly encourage you to look up some studies on sleep deprivation. You may be surprised by some of the positive effects of being well-rested.