The stages of sleep deprivation as told by someone currently sleep deprived.
There is little time to sleep in the beginning of a new semester, you are getting used to new professors and a new schedule as well as trying to have a social life and catch up with all of your friends you’ve been away from. Throw in sorority recruitment on top of that and there is a guarantee of sleep deprivation. Everyone experiences sleep deprivation differently, but the list that follows are the stages I have personally experienced this as well as what I have seen some of my sorority sisters go through in the past week or so.
1. You are tired, want to sleep but cant. You have a hard time keeping your eyes open as you yawn and search for the closest coffee shop. Your body craves sleep but you do your best to fight it with a semi-constant intake of caffeine.
2. The laughing stage, usually experienced with other over-tired friends. You will laugh at anything and everything. This is the kind of laughter that once it starts it is close to impossible to make it stop. You are convinced that you and any of your other sleep deprived friends will all have a six pack after laughing uncontrollably together for such a long period of time.
3. The crying stage. You begin to cry in the middle of normal conversations, your friends start to question if you are okay. You reassure them that you are and that you have no idea why there are tears flowing from your eyes as you are not sad in any way.
4. Delirious, there isn't much to say about this stage as people now know why you can barely function. Deliriousness is the most obvious form of sleep deprivation, people don’t make much sense and have a hard time preforming every day tasks and holding simple conversations. This stage can also be a combination of the laughing and crying stages as you often find yourself both laughing and crying for no reason.
5. Pure exhaustion. You can no longer function properly as you go about your life. Your personality is nonexistent and when people address you directly it is best to just look back at them silently because you know that if you open your mouth to have a conversation they will understand about as much as if you were speaking a foreign language.
6. The crash. There is not much to say about the inevitable crash. You are about to experience one of the best sleeps of your life. You pass out hard and you pass out fast and there is little that can be done to wake you up.
For as much as most college students value sleep it seems to be the first thing we are willing to give up when we get overwhelmed with school or when we want to stretch ourselves thin between a social life, school, and work. Sleep deprivation is as inevitable in your college career as the final crash after multiple sleepless nights.