We all can agree that sleep is wonderful…for those who can sleep or those who have a regular sleep schedule. From my experience being in university, there are three main types of sleep a university student can have: *Feel free to add your own in the comments section below
- The “I am going to go to bed early so I will be well rested,” but your body, or mind, or both feel like you just ran a marathon and are too wide awake to sleep (despite your desire to). And thus you fall asleep much later than intended or 1 hour before you are supposed to wake up.
- The “I have an assignment and/or test that I need to work on and I don’t want to go to bed”. Shrugging off all the studies that show that sleep actually helps you learn and retain information, because like me sometimes you feel that some how you are the exception. Spoiler alert! Though it may be in different quantities for every person, no one is the exception, we all need our sleep.
- The ever allusive good night sleep. Which some times comes from being so exhausted you just crash, or your body/mind finally goes to bed once you lay down. However, this can sometimes lead to sleeping-in the next day. Hopefully the next day is a day off from school and work for those reading this. However, in my experience it has either caused me to almost miss my bus/ride to school or as a result of a very good night sleep, I have slept half of what was supposed to be a productive Saturday away.
Never the less, we try our best. We try and take those who give us tips and tricks to sleep in combination with reading countless studies and articles on what will get us to sleep faster and more peacefully. But at the end of the day, you have to take other’s advice with a grain of salt and look inward (and I know for some this might sound silly), but really ask yourself why you aren’t getting a good enough sleep.
Are there external factors causing a lack of sleep, internal, or maybe a bit of both? For me I know it is a mixture of both. It’s equal parts – my body is wide awake, I feel restless, uncomfortable, and I just want to be hit over the head with one of those cartoon mallets and have stars or birds fly around my head. On the other side, I know I have a problem with completing assignments the night before they are due. And let me clarify, I do not procrastinate, I really do plan out what I want to do. And yet, without fail I always end up putting everything together the night before, regardless of any preparation I might do. Because something can always be fixed or tweaked. And finally, sometimes I let myself get so exhausted, running around and trying to get things done that I just pass out once my head hits the pillow. Usually waking to an unknown time, my phone, glasses, and headphones still somewhere wrapped up in my bed sheets, but I don’t know where. Some how I am both refreshed and still tired, and feeling a sense of disappointment because I really wanted to be productive the next day. I can even remember a time where I had been getting up really early but going to bed fairly late for a week, that when it came Friday and I told myself I was just going to lay down for 5 minutes. I hadn’t realized I had fallen asleep till I woke up several hours later.
However, there is one type of sleep I forgot to mention. As we are all in the age of technology, it can become very tempting (and I often succumb) to go on my phone late at night before I go to bed. Extending the process my body takes to fall asleep. And I know if I want a proper sleep than I have to put it down. But really the only time I get to do what I want to do or catch up on my favourite shows or videos is the time between when I go to bed and when I am about to fall asleep. But that is no excuse. And yes I have a ‘night time mode’ setting on my phone but nothing beats a natural good night sleep. Nothing is worse for your body and your mind than not getting any sleep.
With lack of sleep can come anxiety, paranoia, exhaustion phases and just a lack of enthusiasm mixed with extreme bolts of energy, as far as my experience has shown me. And as students I know it can be hard to take time for ourselves, but we need it. We need to give our bodies and minds a break, so we cannot only be of use to others, but to ourselves as well. And I understand that everyone has their own schedule and their own way of doing things, but you should never underestimate a good night sleep.
Well wishes, L.R.