Sleeping Early Vs. Staying Up Late: Is it Worth The Risk?

This article was written to explore every side of this issue by providing a point-counterpoint argument from our writers Lily Anne TranCat and Isabel Lee.

Many of us (especially those with finals and APs) are willing to forgo sleep to cram more studying in, finish homework, etc. Some of us push our bodies to stay up until the only options we have left are to fall asleep at our desks or to attend classes without resting first. While this method may help with reducing those pesky assignments, is it really worth it in the long run? Below are arguments both for and against staying up late.

Staying Up Late:

As a wise man once said, “I can sleep when I’m dead.” And you can! When you finally succumb to the sweet arms of death, you can slumber peacefully beneath the ground. But today, you need to work. Whenever you feel sleepy, think of all the tests you have to study for, the essays you need to write, the applications you need to fill out. That should jolt you from whatever dream you’re falling into.

But in all seriousness, sleeping isn’t going to get you that A in your chemistry class. Sleeping isn’t going to get you into your dream college. Sleep isn’t going to create memories with your peers that you’ll treasure forever. When you sleep, you’re unconscious! But when you’re awake, you can live life to the fullest.

Furthermore, there are plenty of substitutions for sleep. Maybe they don’t work out so well in the long run, yes, but as long as you manage to catch up every couple of days you’ll be fine. In the meantime, why not take advantage of caffeine? Don’t go overboard- but a little can go a long way.

Now why are you still reading this? Get to work! Sleep is for the weak.

Getting to Sleep Early:

Let’s go back to those Moving and Learning days, specifically the SMART Goals we were forced to set for our sleep schedules. During Sophomore year, we all brushed these goals aside and continue to do so. “Teachers give out lots of homework and we’re taking hard classes and there’s so little time to do everything else,” we would say in order to justify depriving ourselves. Although we sacrifice sleep to finish up work, isn’t it time that we prioritize our health instead? Now you may be thinking to yourself, “Please. That can wait. Once school’s out, I’ll be sleeping until noon.” But here are some reasons you may want to start sleeping early, now.

Little to no sleep will affect your focus during classes as well as for extracurriculars. You may find yourself making little mistakes on quizzes or tests that you would not have made with enough sleep. Whole class periods will pass by and you may not remember what you just learned because you’ve spent the time being a glazed-over zombie. Because of this, you may find yourself spending more time on homework in order to make up for the class time you missed, causing you to stay up later in an endless cycle. If you absolutely refuse to miss out on class time, then you may resort to other methods of staying awake like coffee or tea or even caffeine pills. In the end, you’ll pass out anyways whether it’s during a break or right after school.

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