It is three days into second semester junior year, and I am tired.
My classes are as I remember them. The classes I find worthy, I pay attention in. All other classes, I find something else to work on. It’s a delicate cost-benefit analysis. The teachers haven’t changed, nor has the work, I’m thankful for the small workload so far.
But what I always forget is how tired I am. I remember being sleep deprived over the break, but I don’t realize how bad it is until I experience it. I usually get anywhere from 6 to 8 hours of sleep every night. As much as you want to argue that that’s a lot, it’s not enough.
Sleep deprivation doesn’t just make me feel horrible; it impairs the sensation of everything. I frequently get dizzy during the day, and even though I get some mental stimulation from my classes, my brain is constantly fighting to enter autopilot mode.
Being tired has also become a convenient excuse for everything. I don’t seem interested in what you’re talking about? I’m tired. In a bad mood? Tired. Forgot something important? Tired. Pulling out my hair? Tired. It’s become my excuse for actively engaging in the world, and frankly, I hate myself for using it. I don’t want to remember high school as a time when I barely got enough sleep and regularly interacted with a bunch of sleep deprived zombies.
There’s a sort of romantic idealism that briefly presents itself in the late night hours of the night though. Working alone, listening to calm music, the late night conversations, thinking to oneself in the dark, the simplicity of everything, that sense of ultimate serenity. It’s almost worth paying the price of waking up groggy in the morning.
I try to block out the possibility that I’m just being stupid and hurting myself by not getting enough sleep, but it’s a difficult choice sometimes. What if something important comes up at midnight? Do I wait until 4PM the next day to do it, or do I just do it right now?
They say it takes 30 days to form a habit. That’s not happening with sleep. By the time school lets out, I’ll fall right back into the cycle of sleeping late and waking up late. Probably goes to show how unnatural sleep deprivation is.