Beauty Sleep

Allison - Harrisonburg, Virginia
Entered on February 26, 2009
Age Group: 18 - 30

A good night of sleep is nature’s cure for almost everything. Being in college, getting eight hours of rest isn’t simple. Our nights end late and mornings start early, and negative effects start to take place. I struggled with this repeatedly last semester as my sleep schedule became irregular, my stress increased as grades suffered. This is why I believe in a good night’s sleep.

When friends or upperclassmen say “don’t take eight a.m.’s”, follow it. I wouldn’t call it smart when I signed up for eight a.m.’s every morning last semester. I chose this schedule because I thought it would be easier to stick to the schedule I followed from public education. I was wrong. I started making friends, piling up laundry and my first tests were rapidly approaching. My midnight bedtime slipped to three a.m. because there just wasn’t enough hours in the day.

This caused a chain of cause and effect. I would go to my eight a.m.’s in a zombie state and spend the entire class trying to open my eyelids. My exhaustion impaired my ability to pay attention to lectures and take adequate notes. Once class ended, I would head straight for a two hour nap. Although this nap made paying attention in next classes easier, I would still nap afterwards. This created a never ending cycle. After sleeping all day, I wouldn’t accomplish anything or fall asleep until a ridiculous hour. I also started having lots of stress. Since it would be late afternoon or dinner time before I got around to studying or homework, I never had enough time to complete anything. Stressing about work caused me to not sleep well. My lack of sleep caused me to feel fatigued. I became sick more often and sick longer. Being sick caused me to not have energy to do work. My grades suffered. I received a D in a class and failed a final exam. My score was thirty-seven. That is embarrassing.

I know this sounds dramatic and I could have made a quick fix by going to bed and completing my work earlier. But once you get into a habit, it is hard to break. So when it came time to make schedules for spring semester, I was determined not to make the same mistake twice. I made sure I had zero eight a.m.’s and a day with only one class. Therefore if I got off track, I could catch up. But I had to break my sleeping habits. I got the chance over winter break; a month of family, holidays and sleeping the day away. I caught up with my sleep and felt normal being on the same page as everyone else. So far this semester, napping is scarce. My days consist of me doing things besides sleeping and going to class, and I feel healthier. And although stress is still prevalent, I feel more confident in my ability to complete my work.