The Importance​ Of Getting A Good Night's Rest—Why You Should Be In Bed By 10 P.M. Every Night

The Importance​ Of Getting A Good Night's Rest—Why You Should Be In Bed By 10 P.M. Every Night

Prioritizing sleep will lead to a happier and healthier life.

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It's come to my attention that a lot of high school and college students have stopped valuing sleep. People often sacrifice their sleep to finish assignments, study for a test, work out, and as you might have guessed, watch Netflix. I'm not trying to say that there won't be a night where you'll have to stay up past midnight to finish a Chem lab or to complete a paper, but I am trying to say that it should not be happening every night.

A study at Harvard found that sleep deprivation affects "people's ability to learn and perform a variety of tasks." If you're one of the people who think they can function without sleep, image what you could do if you got at least 8 hours of sleep every night. Also, take a look at this graphic by Johns Hopkins and see some other effects of sleep deprivation.

The Effects of Sleep DeprivationSource: Johns Hopkins

Not only can sleep deprivation cause 6,000 car crashes each year, but it can also lead you to gain weight, become more prone to heart diseases, and also have a higher risk of depression, irritability, and anxiety. I've seen too many of my close friends sacrifice their sleep to complete various tasks and ultimately they end up much more irritable and anxious. While it might seem like you need to stay up constantly to finish everything you need to do, please try to think about your mental health and the long-term effects it can have on your body. Sometimes you just need to close the textbook, turn off the laptop, and get a good night's sleep.

Before thinking that this article is irrelevant and doesn't apply to you because you can function without sleep, let's talk about what sleep does for the human body. On a basic level, sleep is important for brain plasticity and helps us function throughout the day. This means that sleep helps us process information and consolidate everything so that we can remember things in the future. For students, this is the most important thing for us.

While taking 12-18 credit hours per semester, we're usually in class every day and have to process the loads of information that our professors throw at us. It's important for us to be alert during the day so that we effectively improve our learning and memory. While we acquire and recall everything that's said during class, we need to be able to consolidate all this information and guess where that happens — while you sleep. I've seen a lot of people pull all-nighters before tests and while that might work for a small number of people, sometimes it's better to sleep and let your brain process everything that it's crammed.

Okay yes, it might be implausible for every high school and college student to be able to go to bed by 10 p.m. every night. Even though I try to make it in bed by 10 p.m. every night, there are still a couple nights this semester where I stayed up till 11 or midnight. The biggest tip I have is to make sure you manage your time!

I use Google Calendar for everything and map out when I'm going to complete assignments and readings. I also make sure I schedule time to go to the gym, go to professor office hours, etc.. I started doing this because I spent way too many days in the library staring at my computer for hours not knowing where to start with my work. Make sure to also use the resources your campus provides like office hours, review sessions, and writing centers. I usually try to get my papers done a week in advance so that I can visit the Writing Center and discuss my ideas with my professor or TA.

Also, another pro tip of going to bed early is actually going to class and doing your readings (woah). This makes it so much easier to write papers and prepare for tests because you won't have to pull an all-nighter the night before trying to make sense of the professor's notes or cramming 200+ pages of readings.

Now I'm assuming that some of you are still not convinced. You might be taking 18 credit hours, in 5 different clubs, or working multiple part-time jobs. I'm telling you — nothing is worth constantly sacrificing your sleep. In the long run, getting into a good sleep routine will ultimately make you happier, healthier, and less prone to diseases.

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The Truth About Young Marriage

Different doesn't mean wrong.
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When I was a kid, I had an exact picture in my mind of what my life was going to look like. I was definitely not the kind of girl who would get married young, before the age of 25, at least.

And let me tell you, I was just as judgmental as that sentence sounds.

I could not wrap my head around people making life-long commitments before they even had an established life. It’s not my fault that I thought this way, because the majority opinion about young marriage in today’s society is not a supportive one. Over the years, it has become the norm to put off marriage until you have an education and an established career. Basically, this means you put off marriage until you learn how to be an adult, instead of using marriage as a foundation to launch into adulthood.

When young couples get married, people will assume that you are having a baby, and they will say that you’re throwing your life away — it’s inevitable.

It’s safe to say that my perspective changed once I signed my marriage certificate at the age of 18. Although marriage is not always easy and getting married at such a young age definitely sets you up for some extra challenges, there is something to be said about entering into marriage and adulthood at the same time.

SEE ALSO: Finding A Husband In College

Getting married young does not mean giving up your dreams. It means having someone dream your dreams with you. When you get lost along the way, and your dreams and goals seem out of reach, it’s having someone there to point you in the right direction and show you the way back. Despite what people are going to tell you, it definitely doesn’t mean that you are going to miss out on all the experiences life has to offer. It simply means that you get to share all of these great adventures with the person you love most in the world.

And trust me, there is nothing better than that. It doesn’t mean that you are already grown up, it means that you have someone to grow with.

You have someone to stick with you through anything from college classes and changing bodies to negative bank account balances.

You have someone to sit on your used furniture with and talk about what you want to do and who you want to be someday.

Then, when someday comes, you get to look back on all of that and realize what a blessing it is to watch someone grow. Even after just one year of marriage, I look back and I am incredibly proud of my husband. I’m proud of the person he has become, and I’m proud of what we have accomplished together. I can’t wait to see what the rest of our lives have in store for us.

“You can drive at 16, go to war at 18, drink at 21, and retire at 65. So who can say what age you have to be to find your one true love?" — One Tree Hill
Cover Image Credit: Sara Donnelli Photography

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To The High School Senior Wishing She Could Fast-Forward To Graduation, Careful What You Wish For

Don't wish this time away.

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As the last stretch of my freshman year of college stands before me, I've been thinking a lot about where I was a year ago today. I've thought about how fast the time has gone, but also how much has happened in that year.

A year ago, I decided what college I was going to and was getting ready to graduate, and honestly counting down the days until graduation. Senior year was almost over, and I couldn't wait to walk across that stage, get my diploma, and FINALLY get to start my real life. However, now that it's a year later I honestly barely remember all those little moments and it feels like literally a world ago when I was in my high school and making my Senior Board full of pictures of my childhood. And part of me wishes that I hadn't wished all that time away.

So, to my high school seniors out there — I encourage you to cherish all the memories you are making. I encourage you to spend time with your parents and savor the meals you have with them and enjoy the conversations where your mom asks all the mom questions about your day, and your dad tells a story from his childhood that you've heard a million times before. I encourage you to appreciate the friends you have, and whether or not you plan to stay friends with them after graduation, be grateful for the time with them in this season and the role that they played in your life.

I ask you to look around your high school, stop and stare at the walls that you've probably been praying to get out of for a few months now and appreciate the memories and times you've had in those buildings. Whether or not high school was a great time for you or a bad time, it was a time of growth and the place where you matured and made mistakes and succeeded.

Seniors, enjoy these last few months because before you know it you'll blink and it will be a year later and you'll be miss those days that you complained about, those teachers you rolled your eyes at, and those friends that you shared that time with.

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