Oh, Those Dreaded Overnighters: Why being Sleep Deprived is Not a Sign of Productivity

Like every other U of T student, I have had a lot of assignments due before Reading Week. Given that I don’t have a time machine (I only have iTime 2.0, which doesn’t have the feature to go backward!) I unfortunately have to work with what I have. Time can be cruel. Consequently, I haven’t been sleeping all that much. You know that student at the back sleeping in class? Yeah I wish I could say that was me, but I haven’t even had the energy to go to class. So next time you see that guy, give them a high-five for at least showing up.
Haley looking tired at work.
Missing Class-Yet Worried about Work-Lifestyle
Haley going extremely tired and stressed.
                With a coffee in hand, I have been trying to power through my latest onslaught of assignments. Yet, my anxiety has been on high and I have been feeling increasingly depressed . Why?  most likely because I haven’t been sleeping. Sleep matters folks.This may seem like an obvious point, but here me out. According to a recent Huffpost Survey, two-thirds of folks report that getting too little sleep was a major source of stress for them in the past month. Guys, that was including people who were not students! I had to look more into this. As a history student, I was reading an article the other day, and apparently many back in the day thought sleep was unnecessary. This equation of sleep with unproductivity arguably derived from the work of Thomas Edison:
As Derickson writes in his book Dangerously Sleepy: Overworked Americans and the Cult of Manly Wakefulness, 'Edison spent considerable amounts of his own and his staff's energy on in publicizing the idea that success depended in no small part in staying awake to stay ahead of the technological and economic competition. No one, Derickson argues, “'did more to frame the issue as a simple choice between productive work and unproductive rest…' Over time, children's books and magazines began to promote this type of Edisonian asceticism... Edison encouraged all Americans to follow his lead, claiming that sleeping eight hours a night was a waste and even harmful. 'There is really no reason why men should go to bed at all,' he said in 1914.
This mentality is a complete farce. There is no glory in being sleep deprived. At the end of the day (literally), a lack of sleep will impact your health. In the short-term it will increase your stress hormones, and in the long term, sleep deprivation is associated with chronic medical conditions like diabetes, obesity, high blood pressure, and heart disease.   But Haley, sleep takes time! Yes, it does but here is my suggestion: when you feel like you have no choice but to pull an all-nighter, at the very least try to take a short, half-hour nap the next day. Longer naps can lead to drowsiness and could disrupt the nighttime sleep you will have in the evening. For my part, I find that when I take a nap after lunch, my writing performance is much better for the rest of the day.
Haley is smiling
Thinking about Naps.
Worst case scenario,  consider even taking a late penalty and handing the assignment in a day late because it could make all the difference to your mark. By not scrambling to finish a paper and taking those stressful hours to recharge, your increased productivity could lead to a more thoughtful paper and possibly better grade. Happy Reading Week, Haley

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