The importance of sleep

Today we live in a very sleep-deprived society. Sleep is often pushed to the side in favor of “getting things done” and we often stay up all night finishing studying or working. It almost seems that nowadays sleep is seen as optional rather than a necessity.

I definitely know in the college scene, sleeping more than 6 hours a night is unheard of. When people hear that I sleep about 8 hours a night, they often look at me with suspicion and confusion. They ask me “how do you get so much sleep a night?” or “how do you get enough time to get things done?”

Often times people believe that you can only get sleep if you aren’t busy. But I am just as busy as any other student by workingĀ 20 hours a week, being active in my Korean Catholic fellowship, teaching Sunday School to High School students, exercising regularly, taking photographs, writing, while taking 4 classes.

So how do I find enough time to get everything yet still average 8 hours a night? Easy. I make sleep a priority in my life.

When I get enough sleep, I am more energetic, productive, and happy. I wake up feeling full of energy and ready to seize the day. And when I have to study or get things done, my brain is fresh and ready to get work done. On the other hand, when I am tired I can’t get anything done. The entire day I feel miserable and when I try to study nothing absorbs.

I often hear my peers having to stay up late or pull all-nighters to finish their assignments. I understand that sometimes unexpected things occur in which we have no choice but to pull an all-nighter, but the majority of the time we are just wasting time when we stay up like chatting or being on facebook.

When we are sleep-deprived the work that we can do when we are well-rested in an hour can take twice or even three times that long. Sometimes when we are sleep-deprived, we can’t absorb any information at all.

We also feel miserable when we don’t get enough sleep. How can we enjoy life when we constantly feel fatigued and like we’re going to fall asleep?

Some easy ways to get more sleep:

1. Reprioritize your life

What is truly important in your life? Anything that isn’t, cut it out. I used to love playing computer games and would stay up all night playing them but I get so much more sleep after I have cut that bad habit.

2. Exercise regularly

I know a lot of you guys out there have insomnia and feel restless when you get to bed. Regular exercise can cure that problem. By getting good workouts daily, we expend all that extra energy we have cooped up in our bodies which tires us out when it is time to sleep at night. It can also make us happier, because when we exercise our body release natural endorphins which make our body feel good

3. Set a regular sleeping schedule

We can’t expect to get regular sleep if we sleep at 10pm one night and at 3:00am the next. Set a certain time for going to sleep (mine is 11pm) and try to get to bed 30 minutes before. So when I see the clock at 10:30PM I shut off my computer, brush my teeth, and hit the sack. By having a regular sleep schedule, our bodies will know when to go to sleep and will thus become naturally tired at that certain time.

4. Make sleep a priority

I said this is my secret to getting enough sleep and it could be yours too. Realize that you can’t just put off sleep and expect that your body is going to be okay. Try to get all your work done early, so you can get enough sleep at night. Realize how much more productive and happy you are when you get enough sleep, which will compell you to get more sleep.

5. Look forward to the next day

Whenever I go to sleep, I am always excited for the next day. The feeling of waking up to the sun, getting my morning workout and the refreshing shower afterwards. I look forward to the people that I am going to see the next day and the new experiences I am going to encounter. When you thrive off life, going to sleep early will help the next day come sooner.

So hopefully these tips help out! So don’t stay up on Facebook all night stalking that one cute girl you met at the party or watching those Gossip Girl reruns. Go to your beds, they are calling for you.