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Wellness > Mental Health

I Tried Sleeping 8 Hours a Night For a Week

Getting eight hours of sleep a night should not be difficult. I like my sleep and I don’t believe in pulling all-nighters. However my college is far from home and the long commute means I wake up at 5 a.m. That combined with the fact that all my modules have assignments due every day (except Thursday) makes me a very stressed student.

For a week, I tried to get eight hours of sleep. These were my results.

Night One (Sunday)

I specifically chose this day to start because this starts my last week on campus. I planned to go to sleep at 9 p.m. but tossed and turned till 9:30 p.m. (that’s thirty minutes earlier than my normal sleep time though so I guess it’s something). I woke up exhausted and considered just not bothering going to sleep early. However, I know from past experience it takes my body three days to adjust to a new sleeping time.

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Today was the day that I needed to do a test online and hand in a translation assignment. Because I was tired this was all that I did. I tried to take a nap in the afternoon but it only lasted five minutes. I really, really missed my bed. I swear my eyes are closing right now…zzzzz.

Night Two (Monday)

I fell asleep at 9 p.m.! Or a few minutes after, I’m not too sure. Being tired all day definitely worked in my favor. I was incredibly thrilled that a) I slept straight through the night and b) woke up a few seconds before my alarm, feeling totally rested — a first for me.

The assignment due today is the translation I handed in yesterday as well as a Classical Civilization assignment. Unfortunately, these assignments are weekly so once I hand in this week’s assignment, I get another one. So instead of having to have to come in next week when all my lectures end this week, I simply did the assignment today and handed them both in. I also managed to print out all my notes and start on my studying for finals. I feel pretty proud of myself.

Night Three (Tuesday)

Okay so I slept through the night but woke up at 4:45 a.m. So not happy with that. At least all that’s due today is some reading for Classical Civilization. We have a new lecturer who likes to ask questions on the readings as well as have us all sit in the front of the class (tell me I’m not the only person who thinks he’s evil). Since all I had to do was my reading for Classical Civilization, I also read seven chapters of my assigned reading for English. I also had to go print more notes because the lecturers sent them to me last-minute. I sometimes think they secretly enjoy making me work this hard.

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Night Four (Wednesday)

I went to bed at the late hour of 9:30 p.m. since I have no classes tomorrow. I woke up at 5:30 a.m. and then went back to bed. Treat yo’self!

Today I completed the last of my online tests for Classical Civilization as well as some Criminology work. I also read 30 pages of Mhudi (my English reading). Can you tell how pleased I am with my new productivity levels? I feel like there’s nothing I can’t do.

Night Five (Thursday)

I don’t want to go to campus tomorrow! It’s a Friday! I know I went to bed at 9 p.m. but I’m pretty sure I tossed and turned for a while. Going to campus on Fridays upsets me since before this semester, I never had to go to campus on a Friday. Oh well.

I wake up with my alarm at 5 a.m. and my eyes seem unable to open. This is not good.

Since today is my last day on campus, I decided to treat myself with some shows. I was halfway through watching Jane The Virgin when I found out that my seminar was cancelled as the tutor’s mother was unwell. (See? Told you the university liked me to work for no reason). Thankfully I was able to go home early. I did nothing productive but I played through several levels of Pet Rescue Saga and I didn’t need a nap.

Night Six (Friday)

Why is there nothing on TV? I went to bed at 9 p.m. Stupid idea since I ended up waking at…yes, you guessed it, 5 a.m. I read for an hour before I decided to try and review some of my notes. There is such a thing as too much productivity. I went back to bed at 6:30 a.m…because I could.

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Night Seven (Saturday)

I went to bed at 9 p.m. again and woke up at 6 a.m. to get ready for church. I did nothing but I don’t feel bad. I’m on study leave which means you’re supposed to leave your studying alone. Kidding. Sort of.

So that was my week sleeping eight hours. It was incredibly tiring after the first night since it was difficult to adjust to a new sleeping schedule but it was so worth it! I was not as stressed as usual, I got lots of work done and I was not as tired as usual. I think eight hours of sleep a night is going to be something I’m going to do every night.

It seems like it’s great for my productivity levels—instead of doing just one assignment a day, I was able to do two or three. I was also able to work in advance on assignments which was a huge advantage since this freed up time for me to start my studying. I suggest that everyone at least try for eight hours of sleep a night. It’s healthy, you wake up well-rested and you’re able to accomplish more the next day. I guess there’s a reason those eight hours of sleep have always been recommended!

Shanice Singh is an English graduate from the University of KwaZulu Natal. She enjoys reading, writing, spending more than she should and obsessing over fictional characters. Shanice has a weakness for books, shoes, handbags and anything else that catches her eye. You can find her on Twitter @Shanny_Singh.
Cara Sprunk has been the Managing Editor of Her Campus since fall 2009. She is a 2010 graduate of Cornell University where she majored in American Studies with a concentration in cultural studies. At Cornell Cara served as the Assistant Editor of Red Letter Daze, the weekend supplement to the Cornell Daily Sun where she also wrote for the news and arts section and blogged about pop culture. In her free time Cara enjoys reading, shopping, going to the movies, exploring and writing.