Tales of a sleep-deprived Trevian

Sleep? Who is she?

I think I vaguely remember her from freshman year.

Okay, but seriously, my Circadian rhythm must’ve decided to part ways with me somewhere in the knot of high school, because I’m 99.9% certain I’m not getting enough sleep most weeknights. I wager I get about 2-3 solid hours a night. At my worst, it’s about 45 minutes in a night. (My all-time record was my first all-nighter at the end of my junior year.)

It sounds absolutely horrendous, and let me tell you, it is. Most mornings I feel like I’ve been resurrected, engaged in a constant war with my eyes to keep them open. Of course, Early Bird doesn’t really help matters.

I don’t even know why I stay up so late. I definitely don’t have so much homework that I’m grinding it out for nearly 8 hours a night, totaling to around 40 hours a week.

For the past couple of years, I’ve launched what one might call an “investigation” into the root cause of my egregious sleep habits, and here’s what I’ve found so far.

First theory: maybe I’m just a slow worker. That’s the most plausible explanation that I’ve come up with, and also the ones that my friends suggest pretty frequently. I convinced myself that I just needed to get a move on with completing my assignments, studying, whatever it is that holds me up at night. So I decided in October of my junior year that I’d come home and do nothing but homework all night, hardly any breaks incorporated into the mix, and try to complete all of my assignments within three hours of getting home.

To my chagrin, it didn’t work all that well. I slept maybe thirty minutes to an hour’s worth more, and I was doing a bad job on my homework. Was I really that slow of a student, I wondered? Am I freakishly sluggish? Is it a disorder? I actually Googled whether I had some sort of sleep issue or severe time management issue. This, of course, proceeded for about an hour, leading me back to square one with being one of the least productive students on this planet.

I thought to myself that I couldn’t possibly be so clumsy with handling my time, but writing this now, I realized that that sounds about right.

But recently, I’ve come up with a more brazen theory: maybe I like being the living dead. Maybe I enjoy being sleep deprived.

The idea seems ludicrous — getting no sleep is cruel and unusual punishment. I wake up every morning in a dismal state because of my lack of shuteye. Thus, it’s only logical that sleeping more should reduce my morning blues and hopefully boost my grades a bit.

But there have been brief periods of time (as in, a stretch of a couple days) in this first semester of senior year where I’ve gotten at least six hours, and after the initial wake up, I feel no different. Actually, I feel like I’m missing something.

Sleep deprivation has become a frenemy of sorts, endearing in its own zany way. I feel “off” when I don’t get enough sleep, but I feel even more “off” when I do, leading to a never-ending downward spiral into the destruction of my REM cycles.

I guess the point of my whole journey is this single warning: steer clear of any sleep schedule that looks like mine. Once you start going to bed at ungodly hours, you won’t be able to stop the madness. The madness might even become your friend like it did for me, almost like Stockholm Syndrome. It’s a locomotive that never stops going once you’ve boarded.

Even if you have leftover work to get done in the late hours of the night, I say just go to bed. It’s what I should’ve done the past 730 days.