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This Is What Happens When You Prioritize Sleep in College

02/16/2015 11:34 am ET | Updated Apr 18, 2015
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A college student who gets a full night's sleep may be an anomaly. It's almost an oxymoron and reading this your initial reaction may be, "That's not possible." Still, the National Sleep Foundation recently published new guidelines, "How Much Sleep Do We Really Need?" which shows that Young Adults (18-25 years) require 6-11 hours of sleep, with 7-9 being seen as the sweet spot.

I recently got through reading Arianna Huffington's Thrive and was taken by the inspection of many people wearing their lack of sleep as a badge of honor. In "Thrive," former Google China President Lee Kao-Fu is quoted by saying: "I naively used to compete with others to see who could sleep less. I made 'fighting to the death' a personal motto."

On campus, I'm pretty involved. I'm a Peer Advisor, involved in a variety of leadership and media clubs, and I am on my fifth internship. In the fall of my sophomore year, I was working 6 jobs. People would joke with me about how I did it all, and my common response would be "Who needs sleep?" or "There ain't no rest for the wicked."

But why is that cool? Why is it, that we admire and aspire to sleep little. So after reading Thrive, I've made sleep a priority. I set a "bed-time" alarm, don't use my phone in bed, and try to schedule sleep above many other things. Has it been easy? Of course not, but I feel much better and it's given me quite the cynical lens of viewing others.

So I'd like to share, in Gif form what it was like to prioritize sleep:

The First Night Feels Really Weird


I got in bed at 10:00 p.m., and felt like there were so many other things I could be doing. I could do my laundry, or just go chat with my roommates? Or I could sleep.

You Get Laughed at For Your Bed Time


Get used to being called a grandparent. I have a smart watch and my roommates/friends all share an ever-so-warm eyeroll when it begins vibrating. Guys, I'm about to turn into a Pumpkin...sorry.

You Get a New Definition of Importance


Binge-watching Dexter or just shooting the shit till 3 a.m. kind of loses its appeal. Midnight openings? Who do I look like?

Staying Up Late Becomes an Actual Chore


On the rare occasion I do have to pull a close-to-all-nighter (sorry, I'm not a time-management Superman) it is a struggle. Midnight feels like 4 a.m., and you regret every minute of daylight you wasted.

You Try to Convert Your Friends to Sleep Evangelists


"I promise you'll feel incredible." "You know you'll live longer?"

You Start to Judge Everyone Else's Sleeping Habits


Wait, you're telling me you stayed up till 4 a.m. doing what? It's 6 a.m. why aren't you asleep yet? You must feel great right now. Bet you wished you went to bed early last night?
These may or may not be statements I have said to my actual friends in the past week. I'm sorry.

You May Be a Little Spiteful in the Morning


'Nuff said.

But Ultimately, You Feel Great