Warning: If you’re under the age of 16 then you might not understand where I’m coming from.
Back in elementary school, adults always emphasized to us kids that we need a minimum of eight hours of sleep.
Most of us were forced to be in bed by 9pm, and then would be pissed about it because we weren’t tired.
Oh how times have changed. I don’t know about you but going to bed at 9 every night is a look. Lol definitely on my bucket list.
You might be thinking, “what is this girl talking about sleep for?”
Well, here’s my answer :
It’s not just sleep; it affects how we think, feel,and act. That matters.
I had to learn the hard way.
Throughout my childhood years I could pull all nighters effortlessly and still be fine, unfortunately, your body’s abilities change as you grow up Of course being the determined person I am, I thought I was still capable of such things. This led me to carry on poor sleeping habits to my teenage years.
As a teenager, I became obsessed with the idea of bettering myself so much to the point where I forgot to let myself rest. I was apart of several academic programs and clubs that required time and volunteering. While having my schedule loaded to keep myself busy, I never noticed how neglectful I was to my sleep; I became a vampire, I never slept at night.
I easily slipped into the habit of staying up until 1am every night of my junior year just to do homework. To top it off, I’d rely on coffee to keep me up while at school. Coffee was literally my downfall. I’m already a coffee addict so of course I didn’t consider the risks of “overdoing” the coffee (because what is overdoing coffee in a coffee lovers eyes lol). I would drink around two to three cups of coffee a day. Eventually, I became immune to the caffeine so it stopped working!
Then I tried a new approach, I started taking “after school naps.” I put the quotations there because they weren’t actual naps since I slept for about 2 hours. A nap would be the maximum of about 20 minutes. After waking up from these “naps”, I’d still be tired.
So guess what I’d do?
I’d drink coffee AGAIN so I would be alert while doing homework. You would think that I’d learn my lesson! SMH!
The cycle just continued until the end of that school year.
Because I was always tired, I always had a headache … because I always had a headache, I was always irritated; now do you see the problem!?
I was far from happy. I hated feeling tired ALL THE TIME. I hated the fact that my lack of sleep limited my potential.
This was a problem I caused for myself.
My ability to be present in the present was limited.
Prioritize your sleep people.
Here’s how you can start 😉
- Know Your Body : How many hours of sleep do you need in order to feel refreshed when you wake up in the morning? 6? 10? 8? Figure it out!
- Once You Get In Bed, Phone Time is Over: have enough self-discipline to ignore notifications once you’ve hit the hay. If you touch your phone while in bed, before you know it, it’ll be 1am and you’ll be wondering where has time gone.
- Hardest one … Limit Your Binge Watching on Netflix/Hulu: You don’t have to stop watching shows but just make sure you are in control and aware of how much time you’re spending watching the shows. Spending too much time on this could easily lead you to working on an assignment later than normal; that’d definitely cut into your sleep time 😦
Here’s How I Got Myself Back on Track:
First, I’d only drink coffee in the morning because drinking coffee in the afternoon can disrupt your sleep. Every night, I’d force myself to go to sleep 30 minutes earlier than the night before. I continued this routine for about a week while following the three steps listed above. I’m relieved to say that I felt my normal self coming back within that week.
If you feel sleepy, try taking a real nap. Set your timer for 20 minutes and keep your eyes shut during the duration of that time. Once that timer goes off, you should feel refreshed and not groggy. It’s always worth a try!
All I can say is alhamdulillah for the experience because I learned my lesson and I hope you avoid making the same mistakes I’ve made.
I WILL NOT PLAY WITH MY SLEEP AND NEITHER SHOULD YOU.
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