Massachusetts Daily Collegian

A free and responsible press serving the UMass community since 1890

A free and responsible press serving the UMass community since 1890

Massachusetts Daily Collegian

A free and responsible press serving the UMass community since 1890

Massachusetts Daily Collegian

Why you should be in bed by 10 p.m. (or at least get 8 hours of sleep)

Don’t cut yourself short of a good night’s rest
(Jackson Cote/ Daily Collegian)

On the snow day a few weeks ago, I experienced the miracle of going to bed by 10 p.m. It was honestly an extraordinary event for me—I usually go to bed between midnight and 2 a.m. and wake up at around 8 or 8:30 a.m. Most days I struggle to get out of bed and tend to be grumpy for my first class, which I often need to rush to because I was slow moving out of bed. I find myself in an endless cycle of exhaustion that leads to mid-day naps, pushing back the time I go to sleep. This is a norm not only for me, but probably for most students on campus. Here are a few reasons to motivate you to get to sleep sooner (or set yourself up to sleep for longer).

Sleep helps the immune system

There is not a single person that enjoys getting sick, and we’re in the midst of cold and flu season. Studies show that when you are sleeping, T-cells regenerate. T-cells are specialized lymphatic cells that fight against bacterial infections and viruses and move throughout your body using blood vessels and the lymphatic system. The more of these germ-killers you have, the easier it is for you to fight off sickness.

You get to eat three meals a day

No need to have a weird brunch because you overslept and missed breakfast. The dining halls switch over to lunch at 11 a.m., which sounds reasonable, but if you sleep in until 10 a.m. and still need to get ready for the day before heading out, you’re cutting it close to missing breakfast. I faced this struggle almost every day of freshman year and only made it to breakfast a handful of times throughout the week.

You’ll get to enjoy more sunlight

Too much sun exposure can be dangerous, but in the winter, when there are fewer hours of daylight, the opportunities to produce vitamin D are slim if you sleep the day away. If you can get enough sleep and wake up by 8 or 9 a.m. then you can take advantage of the opportunity to spend more time in the sun. Vitamin D deficiencies can cause you to get sick, lose energy and can lead to depression.

You’ll be in a significantly better mood

There is nothing like waking up in the morning and wanting to quit school that very second and sleep forever. Getting a good night’s sleep makes that moment less likely to happen. Studies also show that sleeping can reduce levels of anxiety and depression for college students. By starting your day off better hopefully you can have a more positive attitude throughout the entire day.

You’ll have more energy (think of the possibilities)

Hopefully, with a better mood and more energy, you will be able to be more productive as a student. Sleeping reduces your feeling of fatigue, which can weigh you down throughout the day and make you want to nap or lay around instead of being productive. You can get those OWLs and forum posts done before the day they are due. You can finally make it to the gym, which you’ve been putting off because you were tired.

Overall, sleep is a natural function that is required to “recharge” us mentally and physically. Copping out on some much needed sleep can have all sorts of negative effects; making the time to get a good night of sleep will vastly improve the quality of your next day!

Sophia Perkins can be reached at [email protected].

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