School, work, partying and life take a toll in general. Over time, we find that we can party or play the new Legend of Zelda or play a game of monopoly into the dead of night, because we can stay up until the brink of dawn. Yet, dawn is just the beginning. This mindset of staying up later and later is a toxic one indeed. Though some people will claim that they can sleep for a mere four hours a night and be completely functional, I’d advise against it.
During this semester, I’ve attempted to stay up until 3 or 4 in the morning almost every night. My thought was that I could always sleep more if it felt like I needed to, but I never did. Until last night, I couldn’t remember the last time that I slept for eight hours straight. I’ve been too busy with school, writing and life.
Yesterday was the first day I felt the adverse effects of sleep deprivation. I began feeling like I couldn’t stand. I was dizzy and I couldn’t see. My body felt like it was rejecting the notion of survival, and I was forced to take a nap like a child. Interestingly, I felt like a child when I woke up as well. I had an abundance of energy that I hadn’t felt for upwards of a month.
As it turns out, sleep is very important. Since I wasn’t getting enough sleep to restore my cells, I was eating things high in carbs and sugar, so that my body had energy to continue on with the day. Unfortunately, I quickly gained weight from this. Memory loss and blurred vision were another set of symptoms I felt. The worst symptom was that I couldn’t focus or concentrate on anything specific.
I’m not advocating for people to stop drinking energy drinks, or to stop pulling all-nighters watching every YouTube video by Dr. Ashens. I think you should do those thing as long as you are still capable. However, no one stays young forever with the exception of vampires and other immortal deities. Just remember that you are a living organism filled with various symptoms you cannot directly control. Depriving yourself of sleep is like depriving a plant of light, eventually neither of you are going to like it much. So before staying up all night, remember that your body cannot cope with minimal sleep for long, and if yours can, you may want to check if you are a vampire. You are going to need to rest to enjoy the rest of your life.