Enough With the Sleep Deprivation Olympics. Working Late Doesn't Equate to Working Hard

As a high school student, I cannot go a single day without hearing a peer mention how little sleep he or she got the night before.Whether it's because of a project, sports competition or test, someone I know is bound to have finally fallen asleep after 3 a.m. and wants to let the entire class know about it the next day. Often, another student will jump in and claim to have stayed up even later, flaunting sleep deprivation as a trophy.Why?Among many students, there's an unstated idea that your sleep deprivation makes you a hard worker —as if not staying up past midnight to study for that math quiz illustrates your laziness. But this is not necessarily true, and often the opposite is actually true.Throughout my three years of high school, I've found that at my most motivated times, I've gotten all my work done early, and I've had no reason to repeatedly stay up late. Of course there have been exceptions — such as when I have late-night events to cover for my school newspaper — but in general, my occasional weeks of extreme sleep deprivation have been a result of procrastination.If you had studied for that test over the weekend, you wouldn't need to pull an all-nighter Tuesday.The culture of showing off your "dedication" through loud declarations of sleep deprivation needs to end. It's not just annoying; it's extremely unhealthy. A lack of sleep contributes to a plethora of health issues, from high blood pressure to heart disease. It contributes to car accidents and to mood swings that hurt relationships. And when my classmates are smugly yelling about the three hours they slept last night, often I feel pressured to do the same. I wonder if the fact I can stay awake in class means I'm not a hard worker. I know I shouldn't feel that pressure, but I still do.So, stop patting yourself on the back when your eyes start drifting shut in the middle of the day. Get yourself together, stop procrastinating, and get more than three hours of sleep each night.Pramika Kadari is a senior at Coppell High School and executive news and executive enterprise editor for the Sidekick Newspaper at CHS. This story was first posted published by Lune Magazine.  Continue reading...

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