It’s safe to say that every college student wants more sleep. Between finishing homework, going to meetings/events for school-based organizations, studying for that test they forgot about until right now, exercising, and trying to maintain a healthy social life, there’s not much time left in the day to catch up on your Z’s.

I am no exception to this rule and my average nightly sleep lasts about 6 hours. My days start at 7 am and go nonstop until 12:30 or 1 the next morning. As the side effects of sleep deprivation have slowly crept up on me throughout the semester, I have been vigilantly trying to find new ways to convince myself that sleep is for the weak (spoiler alert: it’s not). One week, it involved cutting out exercise – that didn’t work. In another attempt, I decided to skip my lunches in order to catch up on homework – that lasted two days before I spent an entire two hour lunch break eating and not getting anything else done. Most recently, I decided to increase my morning coffee intake to two cups – which gave me plenty of energy, but also caused me to organize a doomsday plan in case of a zombie apocalypse… for three hours. Two cups of coffee was definitely a no-go.

I had exhausted all other options and my last resort was also my worst fear: going to bed earlier.

It’s not that I’m afraid of going to bed early, but I am afraid of what that means. On a normal day, I stay at the library until it closes at 11 pm, head home, shower, tidy up, and get my things ready for the next day. Going to bed earlier means cutting one of these out of my schedule (relax, I didn’t cut my nightly shower). I tried not cleaning up my house before bed, but found myself too anxious to have a dirty house every night, and I knew that if I didn’t get my things around for the next morning I would run late..r than normal.

If you aren’t great at deductive reasoning, that leaves only my library schedule on the chopping block. I went back and forth with myself for quite a while on the decision to leave the library early. I can’t study at home, and I barely get all of my homework done in the time that the library is open already, how could I leave earlier?! Only after I realized that I spend roughly 30% of my time at the library scanning Twitter and Pinterest, did I decide not only to shorten my time at the library, but to be more productive while I was there.

To sum up what has been a great battle (or just a mediocre push in the right direction), I have been leaving the library at 10 or 10:30 for about two weeks now, and while I still feel like I’m not getting ALL of the sleep I need, I definitely feel more rested than before.

-MC

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