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The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.
This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Warwick chapter.

I started writing this article one month before I committed to finishing it. As I usually do, I think of an article subject some time before I flesh it out. Except, this time it took considerably longer for me to figure out the specifics. I rarely have a paragraph-by-paragraph plan, so to speak, more like a vaguely organised spiel that I hope will become comprehensive. This introduction, for example, is 100 words of me saying ‘I don’t really plan things’ or ‘I had an idea but was slow to come back to it’. Both are true. The actual point of this paragraph though, before I distracted myself, was to say that I had a slow start to the article and a slow time writing it. Not only did it take me a month to begin writing, but it took me just as long to write it in a way that wasn’t all doom and gloom about my insomnia. It’s on you to judge how successful I’ve been.

I’ve never been good at it. Sleeping, that is. My Mum says that I didn’t sleep through the night until I was 6 and, even then, it was only for a few hours. She thinks that routine did me good and that, when I first started school, it gave me something to focus on, to act around. Whatever the reason, university has messed it up. In the 2 and a bit years since I got here, I’ve changed and fixed my sleeping schedule more times than I can count, to differing levels of success. Now it’s my final year, I’ve decided to embrace the uncouth hours and focus on being productive when possible, waiting until after graduation to return to conventional timings. As my mum says, if it works, don’t break it. And mostly, it works.

My lack of sleep, and the hours that I sleep, haven’t always been problematic. Aren’t always problematic. In the holidays, for example, routine is less important to me, so when I sleep changes a lot more. Sure, I wake up tired when I have 7.30am start at work, but I usually compensate for that by sleeping earlier the night before or drinking coffee and water that day. When I have no plans, I stay up until I get tired or my brain quietens down enough for me to sleep. That’s usually between 1-3am (if it goes past that I get frustrated at myself). Nighttime is when I’m most creative or productive, so I will paint or write or sometimes even tidy. A large part of it, I think, is the lack of distractions. I’m conscious of not being loud because I don’t want to wake up my flatmates, I’m not pressed for time between meetings and seminars, and I adore working with the lamp instead of the big light. I hold myself accountable in a way I don’t during the day.

This isn’t new for me. Mostly it works, until it doesn’t. At secondary school, for example, I’d get maybe 5-7 hours sleep, or 8 on days where I was exhausted or depressed. It wasn’t healthy, I know, but it also wasn’t a considerable problem because my body was used to that. The bags under my eyes bothered me the most. But when it came to revision for my GCSEs, I knew something had to change. I was becoming more and more stressed and could hardly focus. Lunchtime and after-school revision sessions were pointless, and I wasn’t engaging in lessons like I should. Though I was getting the work done, it often wasn’t until 10pm or later, too late for it to be socially acceptable to email my teachers about anything. I got through my GCSEs by, rather unhealthily, consuming mass amounts of caffeine and cigarettes (six years on and I still can’t shake it) and having cold showers and blocking everyone out. After exams, I burnt out. I slept a lot, or not at all, and was catatonic either way. I’d go to work but not be able to tell you what happened. Eventually, I fixed it, but it’s not a place I can or should go back to.

How does it compare to now? At the end of Term 2, I’d rarely sleep until 3am, and often found myself going out at 2am for a walk and a smoke because I was feeling restless. Then, I’d wake up between 8-11am after a night of scattered sleep. I only had four seminars per week but still found myself missing at least one. Staying in became too easy. Over Easter, I spent a lot of time doing uni work to catch up. I’ve managed to start sleeping earlier again, usually at 1.30am. But now that I have no more seminars, have finished my term as society exec, and know the library is open 24/7, it’s very likely that I’ll become reclusive and nocturnal. I have no routine to ground me, no obligations that mean I speak to others and, frankly, no desire to. I just about got through final essay deadlines and am still recovering from spending nights awake and sleeping intermittently where possible. I recognise that what I’m saying might come across as unhealthy- sometimes I think it is too- but I’ve had poor sleeping habits for years and generally don’t let it slip horrendously. I’m okay with making myself breakfast in the afternoon and greeting my flatmate, who has just finished their day of seminars. If I get the work done and continue to enjoy being able to create, then what does it matter? Besides, I didn’t do so well last year so really wanted to pull my grade up. Now, I’m recovering from the intensity.

Have I been tempted to fix my sleeping schedule in these last few weeks of term? Absolutely. 100%. But I know how much effort goes into readjusting it and, frankly, I don’t have a particular need to right now. Plus, I’ve found friends who make me laugh and we spend time together some evenings. Instead of painting or gaming at night, sometimes I’ll go to spoons or sit with them. It very well may be better for me if I did sort my sleep out, but I won’t. I’m a person who craves routine, or at least knowing what I’m doing, and I know how I work at night. I can make myself functional if I have set plans, like a meeting or a train to catch. I’ve got this. Over summer, perhaps, or when I’ve got a job locked in post-university, I’ll make changes. But for now, I’m tired.

So, unconventional as it may be, I won’t be fixing my sleeping schedule until after graduation. I’m not going straight into a career- as a writer, I don’t know if I ever will- and am planning to work in retail or hospitality while building up my portfolio. That will shape my sleeping habits. Until then, I’m not taking the risk: graduation is in July. I’m here to enjoy the time I’ve got left at university.

Hi, I'm Kelsey, a final year student at Warwick Uni. I study English Lit and Creative Writing so books, unsurprisingly, take up a lot of my time. I'm seriously considering taking a blanket into the library because I spend so much time there. When I'm not panicking over my degree, I write articles for here, co-run online poetry collective BoundBy, organise the BeaconLit Book Festival, tutor, read and write nonsense, paint instead of sleep and think about my pets. And also schedule in way too much. But, I wouldn't change a thing (except maybe my time management).