As someone who suffers from clinical depression, I've learned the hard way that staying up until three in the morning is one of the worst things someone can do to themselves.
According to a Feb. 2017 article by National Sleep Foundation, teenagers need from eight to ten hours of sleep a night, and young adults need at least seven hours of sleep.
Nighttime, and consequently, sleep, is for our brain to reset. For night owls, nighttime is when we do homework, watch television, or hang out with friends. It is also when I get my most severe depression symptoms, such as feelings of worthlessness, laziness, thoughts of suicide, etc.
According to a Sept. 2013 study published in a psychology journal, "Personality and Individual Differences," night owls are more susceptible to be part of the "Dark Triad," which includes traits of narcissism, Machiavellianism (manipulation and deception), and psychopathy. Moreover, sleep disorders, such as insomnia, and mental health symptoms are innately linked since sleep disorders can be caused by emotional distress.
Being in college, it is difficult to strike a good sleep and awake time balance. However, it is important to be aware of what we do to our bodies both physically and mentally because what we do to one affects the other.
According to a July 2017 study by the American Psychiatry Association, sleep problems means lesser brain function which can then lead to exhaustion, irritability, and the inability to make decisions. Furthermore, sleep problems or lack thereof, can heighten mental health issues and lead to other health problems, such as diabetes, and vice versa.
We can improve our overall health by sleeping earlier, at least before midnight. We can read, listen to ASMR, use essential oils, refrain from eating late, or wear a sleep mask to block out any visual distractions. This change will be a slow process, and sometimes, sleep can seem like a waste of time. We must not forget, mental health is health, too.