There are certain practices that are familiar to all college students; chief among them being the “all-nighter.” In our hectic lives, sleep is often the first resource abandoned in favor of studying or hanging with friends. This is a real shame, because sleep is far more significant to an individual’s well-being than most people realize. In this post, I’m going to make the case for sleep, and ideally open a few eyes to the necessity of this forgotten practice.
Let’s start with the basics: what is sleep? A good night’s rest can be broken down into 5 phases, which are cycled through repeatedly as one sleeps. As we progress through these stages, the body moves into an increasingly deeper sleep, until finally reaching REM sleep. It is at this point that we experience dreams. So called “deep sleep” and REM are the most critical phases, and receiving an adequate amount of each is necessary to feel rested in the morning. In fact, if an individual is suddenly awoken during REM sleep, their body will instinctually move directly into that phase the next time the person sleeps. And while this is all fascinating, it isn’t entirely clear why we sleep. That said, the effects of sleep deprivation are evident and worrisome. Continue reading