Chase Cantor lays in bed snuggling a pink stuffed pig wearing a dark blue shirt and grey shorts.

The Frenemy Named Sleep

By Timia Cobb
Web Content Contributor

Sleep has always been the one thing people can count on. Sleep isn’t just for when someone is tired but when they want to escape, hide from the hardships of life and just disappear under layers of blankets in bed. Sleep has the power to make anyone feel comfortable and safe. Nonetheless, sleep isn’t as good as we think it is. It might be the one thing that makes us feel okay but sleeping too much can slowly become a coping mechanism to avoid struggles in life. Making sleep the frenemy we don’t need.

We obviously need to sleep to stay energized but if you’re spending most of your day sleeping and still finding  yourself tired than there might be a bigger issue that needs to be addressed. As the saying goes too much of a good thing can be a bad thing , this proves to be correct when it comes to sleep. Sleeping too much can be associated with increased body pain, signs of depression, impaired fertility, higher risk of heart disease, diabetes, obesity and more according to research done in the article Oversleeping: The Effects & Health Risks of Sleeping Too Much

Now don’t overreact if you find yourself taking more naps than you usually do. Napping is perfectly fine, although if you’re taking nine hour naps plus sleeping at night this would be something to worry about. A healthy amount of sleep is about seven to nine hours a night as reported by the National Sleep Foundation. Sleeping more than nine hours a day can slowly start to affect you in ways you wouldn’t prefer. 

College students have it the hardest when it comes to scheduling sleep. It sometimes feels like I can go days without sleeping but then spend an entire weekend in bed. We have all nighters, outrageous sleep schedules, insomnia and lets not forget the lovable day napping sessions to blame for how exhausted we are. This unbalanced relationship we have with sleep can hurt us more than we think. It can cause us to not feel as energized during the day, have mood swings and makes us very irritable to be around. 

Having a reasonable and healthy sleep schedule can possibly help your day go by easier and for once allow you to not hate the thought of going to that one class that always puts you to sleep. You can try having a better sleep schedule by not taking super long naps during the day. Try your hardest to wait till you’re going to bed that night to go to sleep. You’re also not benefiting your sleep schedule by pulling all nighters. It’s understandable when you have a big test the next day but to stay up all night chatting with friends, watching netflix, etc. multiple times a week isn’t going to do you any good in the long run.

This might seem like a lot, knowing that too much sleep can be unhealthy and so can too little. However, when you think about it this is how most things are. For example eating, someone who eats too little can be considered unhealthy just the same as someone who eats too much. We as adults just have to know our bodies well enough to know what’s good and bad for us. This is why knowing the amount of sleep we need and don’t need is important. I know staying up to the crack of dawn and drowning on three shots of espresso is an option but now you know it might not be the best one.

Featured image by Timia Cobb

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