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Our love-hate relationship with the wonders of sleep

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OCTOBER 30, 2017

If we had to pick a slogan for our lives, it would probably have to be, “I’m so tired.” A close runner-up would be, “I’m hungry,” followed by, “It’s not that important for me to go to class.” While our perpetual state of exhaustion has become the new norm for us, there’s one anomaly that we’ve yet to figure out. Namely: how we can be so exhausted and still put off going to bed.

You see, every few weeks the rare opportunity for us to actually go to bed at a decent hour will arise. We’ll have either given up on the possibility of productivity earlier than usual or, and this is almost unheard of, actually be caught up on the work we have to do. Whatever the case may be, we tell ourselves that we’re going to be in bed and asleep by 10 p.m., 11 p.m. at the latest.

Since we live our lives half asleep already, the prospect of an early bedtime seems like a slam dunk. We should be doze off the moment our heads hit that pillow. Yet, for some reason, we find ourselves scrolling through Instagram until 1 a.m. or deep in the throes of a suggested video vortex on YouTube for hours. The precious time that we could’ve spent closing our sleep deficit is reallocated for watching a video about the inner workings of international airlines. 

Even on nights when we finish our problem sets at 2 a.m., we still make the time to spend that extra half hour in bed perusing the world wide web. We’ll be exhausted all day, but when the opportunity to go to bed presents itself, we manage to procrastinate on actually falling asleep. Our eyeballs burn and our eyelids droop, yet we continue to look at memes we only partially understand. We know that we’ll pay for this in tomorrow morning’s 8 a.m., but we still can’t put our phones down. 

So, what is it? Are we actually tired or are we just assuming we’re tired? We suppose one could argue that our passion for social media supersedes our need for sleep, but the three all-nighters we pulled last week make this theory hard to believe. Perhaps we put off bedtime because we enjoy the hurt so good sensation of falling asleep in lecture. Or maybe we’ve gotten so used to being sleep-deprived that we don’t know what life would be like otherwise. Honestly, who knows. We’re too tired to figure it out.

Contact Amanda Chung at [email protected].

OCTOBER 30, 2017