I remember sleeping. It was fun. I could go to bed late and wake up even later — I miss that.
That was when all of your classes did not have tests in one week. That was before homework took more than an hour to do. That was high school.
In college, sleep has become a precious commodity, a weird occurrence we all want to happen more, but are willing to forgo.
Getting a full night’s sleep is more uncommon now than getting a good GPA. This is because, as college students, we have agreed to sacrifice sleep to get good grades.
When everyone wants to get good grades, party from Thursday through Saturday, and spend Sunday recovering, that leaves little time for sleep. Not to mention students’ extracurricular activities, which take up time during the week.
Sleeping takes too long. Sure, we could sleep for eight hours a night, or we could be using those hours instead to study, do homework, and then study some more.
All-nighters have become a regular thing, with some people I know pulling all-nighters multiple times every few weeks.
I remember pulling an all-nighter with a friend to finish a paper that was due at 10:10 a.m. the next day, and we ended falling asleep while eating a Schultz breakfast.
Sure, better time-management skills could help, but when you realize there is a large portion of the day spent in your bed that instead could be used for something else, you take it.
Those wee hours in the morning have now become a college student’s prime time. You can witness this yourself by going to Torg Bridge or the Empo late at night. There is a surprisingly large number of students at each location, and that number significantly increases as finals draw near.
Running on little-to-no sleep has become commonplace, so much that our bodies have begun to adjust to it by relying on things like coffee, Monster and Adderall — hopefully not at the same time — just to have everything completed on time and our tests well prepared for.
Some colleges have begun to realize this transition of shifting work to the late night/early morning and have implemented some unique ideas of dealing with the problem.
The University of Louisville has started doing “flash naps” around campus, where participants will stop what they are doing and take a nap. And Macalester College in Minnesota distributes nap maps highlighting the best places to nap on campus.
Not only would it be awesome to have designated napping areas around campus, it has been proven sleeping for 15-to-20 minutes at a time during the day can energize you more efficiently than drinking coffee or energy drinks.
If we, as students, are going to sacrifice sleeping at night, we should try to nap during the day. This would be the best bet toward the mounting sleep debt that has been building on campuses across the nation.