Sleep is a Necessity, Not an Excuse

How many times over the past few years I’ve thought to myself, “I’m just really tired, I physically have to skip class” or “I’m exhausted, the gym is not an option” is, to be blunt, pathetic.

Lately I have been in attendance at basically every obligation I have, regardless of if I feel like going or not. I don’t even think about it, I just go (being overly ambitious has it’s perks).

After months of an on-the-go lifestyle, I woke up at 5 a.m. a few days ago overwhelmed with exhaustion. I hadn’t been that organically tired (no help from outside substances from the night before) since high school.

This epiphany caused me to think about why that was (and then write a blog post containing my personal conclusions that I would then share on Facebook to spam my friend’s newsfeeds, naturally).

Sleep isn’t really that important.

Before I came to college, I had attendance taken in every class. I was lucky enough to have parents that woke me up when I hit snooze twenty times too many. I had dance teachers that questioned my presence if I didn’t show up for class. I had clubs to attend with my friends.

Ultimately, I had people to answer to.

Even on the mornings when I felt too tired to get out of bed, I did. Even on the days (a lot) I wanted to skip a class, I (generally) didn’t. Even on the evenings I had piles of homework to do but I had dance, I went. Even the many times I was overwhelmingly exhausted, I did what I had to do.

Fast forward to freshman year of college, I’m 1000 miles away from home, on my own with breaks in my class schedule (that often didn’t include attendance), meals whenever I wanted and no curfew. As you can imagine, in the battle of nap vs. obligation- nap won, most of the time.

There are a million things I could get into about this vital, incredible transition in our lives. You learn, you change, you make mistakes and you grow. I’m happy with everything I did, every lesson I learned and every mistake I made. Without everything I have gone through the past four years at school I wouldn’t be where I am today (I won’t get into that now- I would write much more than you would want to read).

Something I hadn’t grasped from this experience until recently, though, was how to not let my need for sleep control my life.

Sleep really is important.

I know that I need 6-7 hours of sleep to function at a high performance level- be that at work, school, a social setting, physical activity- whatever. Some people need 8-9, some 9-10 (although hit 11 and I’m calling your bluff) and some are perfectly fine with less than 6 (the lucky ones, as I like to call them).

Regardless, sleep is important to us for many reasons. However with no supervision, being too tired to workout or too tired to finish reading for class had become an excuse used too much, at least by me.

We all need sleep. We all need different amounts of sleep and that’s okay. But getting a healthy amount of sleep and using sleep as an excuse to give in to the craziness that is life are two different things that we mix up all too often.

Get up, dress up and show up. Sleep is a necessity, but it is not an excuse.

 

P.S. I’m going to bed now instead of studying for my test, because I’m tired… no one is perfect.