Stop Measuring Your Success With Your Lack Of Sleep

Stop Measuring Your Success With Your Lack Of Sleep

Sleep away your stress!


As the well-known Asher Roth anthem "I Love College" goes, "Pass out at 3:00, wake up at 10:00 / Go out to eat and then do it again"- the lifestyle of putting sleep at the bottom of one's priorities in college is all too familiar. Though many aren't spending their time partying like those in the song, sleep is something rarely had on college campuses because of habits that start as early as middle school. My 8th-grade cousin described her encounter with anti-sleep culture to me when she told me that it's common for her and her friends to stay up until midnight doing homework while chatting over various social media platforms.

In high school, I wouldn't have batted an eye at someone telling me they went to bed at 4:00 AM. With difficult classes and a million extracurriculars, it seemed impossible to establish a healthy, normal bedtime. I myself made it a habit of going to bed right after I came home from Cross Country practice only to wake up at 2:00 AM to do all of my homework then go straight to school. For me, 3 to 5 hours of sleep was the norm. Looking back, as a college student who now gets 8 hours or more of sleep a night, I realize how unhealthy that practice was. My hair started to fall out in the shower, I could barely make it through a class without falling asleep, and I now feel as if the anxiety and extreme sadness I endured spring semester of my senior year (to be discussed in another article) was only exacerbated by my lack of sleep.

But why? Why did I endure all of the negative side effects of sleep deprivation when I could have just gone to bed earlier? The easy answer is procrastination. But the harder answer comes with asking why once more: Why did I procrastinate? Why, still, does everyone I know in college wait at least until 12:00 to start their homework and refuse to retire to their bed anytime earlier than 4:00 AM.

I can only speak my truth, but I think there's a certain pride in being the model example of the depressed, sleep-deprived, high achieving student. This early competitiveness in sleep deprivation seems to mimic the revelations of the workplace and super-adults who claim to rule the world on minimal sleep- Marissa Mayer, former CEO and president of Yahoo!, clocks out her sleeping time at 4 hours, Indra Nooyi (chief executive of PepsiCo) sleeps for the same amount, and President Trump boasts of getting only 3-4 hours a night.

In the way prominent business leaders equate their exhaustion to a measure of their hard work, it seems as if we, the aspiring professionals, have come to do so as well.

This habit is all at the expense of our health, mental well-being, and ability to be successful in the workplace. Professor Russell Foster at the University of Oxford says that we have become too arrogant in our ignorance of sleep, and that soon our rebellion against the clock will come back to bite us whether it be by falling asleep at the wheel, during an important meeting, or even just losing track of mind and missing a critical moment at work- is this really worth the artificial feeling of accomplishment we get from the dark bags under our eyes?

Though it's easy to measure success with sleep deprivation, I'm challenging myself and those around me to accomplish what seems to me to be an even more difficult task: reorganizing my schedule to get enough sleep. Sure, the exhaustion of long hours staring at the blue light of my computer feel gratifying, but hitting the pillow after a jam-packed day will feel even better.

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50 Things To Be Happy About

It's the little things in life.

It is always easier to pick out the negatives in life. We tend to dwell on them and drown out the happy moments. I asked a friend to tell me something that made them happy. They sarcastically laughed at my question then thought about it for a minute. Nothing. But they could easily come up with things that made them unhappy. Then I read them my list, and they were smiling and laughing in agreement the whole time. There are so many more things to be happy and laugh about than we realize. After all- it's the little things in life that can mean the most! Here are 50 things that make me happy. What are your 50?

  1. The first warm day of the year
  2. Laughing so hard your abs ache
  3. Freshly washed sheets
  4. Looking through old pictures
  5. The smell of a coffee shop
  6. Eating cookie dough
  7. Reading a bible verse that perfectly fits your current situation
  8. Seeing someone open a gift you got them
  9. Eating birthday cake
  10. A shower after a long day
  11. Marking something off your to-do list
  12. Drinking ice cold water on a really hot day
  13. Dressing up for no reason
  14. Breakfast food
  15. Being able to lay in bed in the morning
  16. Finding something you love at the store
  17. And it’s on sale
  18. Cute elderly couples
  19. When a stranger compliments you
  20. Getting butterflies in your stomach
  21. Taking a nap
  22. Cooking something delicious
  23. Being lost for words
  24. Receiving a birthday card in the mail
  25. And there's money in it
  26. Finally cleaning your room
  27. Realizing how fortunate you are
  28. Waking up from a nightmare and realizing it wasn't real
  29. Fresh fruit
  30. Walking barefoot in the grass
  31. Singing along to a song in the car
  32. Sunrises
  33. Sunsets
  34. Freshly baked cookies with a glass of milk
  35. Summertime cookouts
  36. Feeling pretty
  37. Looking forward to something
  38. Lemonade
  39. Comfortable silences
  40. Waking up in the middle of the night and realizing you have more time to sleep
  41. Surviving another school year
  42. The cold side of the pillow
  43. The smell of popcorn
  44. Remembering something funny that happened
  45. Laughing to yourself about it
  46. Feeling weird about laughing to yourself
  47. Printed photographs
  48. Wearing a new outfit
  49. The sound of an ice cream truck
  50. Feeling confident
Cover Image Credit: Tumblr

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Poetry On Odyssey: Some Days

A poem that reminds you that you're not alone.


Some days,

You dread the sound of your alarm. You snooze and snooze and snooze and snooze.

When you finally pull yourself out of bed, pressed time forces you to throw on stained sweats

you find yourself chugging a cup of coffee.

You sit on the couch and contemplate calling out of work

You caught the stomach bug,

Or perhaps the flu,

Maybe you broke your collar bone

Or need a new phone

The endless list of excuses repeats through your head as you sit on the couch, wishing you were still in bed.

It takes every ounce

Every breath

Every fiber of your being to pull yourself off the couch

And into the car

And into the building where you work

Some days,

This is just how it goes

You are not alone.

Some days,

You awake to the beautiful sound of birds

Chirping outside your window

The sun sneaks its way into your room

A smile creeps across your face as you realize you are awake to see a new day

You make a good breakfast

You read a few pages of your favorite book

You get your mind ready for the things it will accomplish today

Before you know it you've worked an entire day

Your job is done

As you pull into your driveway,

you take a few breaths

Feeling grateful for another meaningful day.

Some days,

This is how it goes

You are not alone.

Every day is a gamble,

Every day is a gift

The key to getting more good days

Is believing that everyday is one.

You are not alone, this is just how it goes.

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