Students glorify sleep deprivation, ignore health implications in college

As finals approach, many college students feel there is no way to avoid the dreaded all-nighter—realizing the harm, however, that staying up all night has to a student’s physical and mental health is imperative to breaking this damaging finals week ritual. 

You can care about your grades as much as the next student, but pulling all-nighters is not always the necessary route to success. There are ways to get all of the necessary work done that don’t involve staying up all night. It is possible to wake up early, to stay up late and even to cancel plans with friends. 

It’s hard to juggle clubs, homework, classes, work and a social life in college. Dating goes out the window and Netflix shows remain in your queue for months. It appears that there is no time for completing normal activities, nonetheless sleep. 

Internships and the future are all college students can think about, so many students feel pressured to stay up all night studying for a test; these students think that this will help them to do well, though in reality it causes more harm than good.

When it comes to studying, however, USA Today states that it is psychologically proven that students won’t do well on a test that they have the next morning if they stay up all night trying to take in as much information as they possibly can. 

Cramming is an impractical way to take in academic material. Repeated exposure over time is what helps students remember things. 

When a student’s body is sleep-deprived and they are riding on nothing but coffee and energy drinks to stay awake, they are not only damaging their body, but also robbing it of the one thing it needs to retain information: sleep. 

Her Campus reports that students cannot effectively retain information unless their brains take the time to sleep and recharge.

It is also important to note all the other adverse health effects that sleep deprivation has on the body. These include, but are not limited to, mood swings, weight gain, poorer concentration, unhealthy eating habits, a decline in social skills and poor decision-making. 

These side effects are dangerous and no college student should put themselves at risk. In addition, staying up all night—despite its inevitable health problems—is completely avoidable if students stay on top of their work and organize their schedules. 

Unfortunately, staying up all night to finish a paper or to study for a test has been accepted as a normal part of college life. It has become a sort of bragging technique to prove how dedicated you are to school: if a student pulls an all-nighter, it means that they are more invested in their education than the next student who got their eight hours of sleep. 

Students who stay up all night often see themselves as super-human, when, in fact, they should be admonishing themselves for their lack of time management skills.

Self-care in college is often overlooked, even though it is one of the most important things to do when students’ bodies are under such immense amounts of stress. It is imperative that students stop depriving themselves of sleep and praising others for doing the same.