The more sleep, the happier


Holly BIll

This view of Holly Bill's alarm clock is what she wakes up to every morning.

The past few nights, I’ve been getting less sleep than normal. I recently returned from the journalism conference in San Francisco with the Newsstreak staff, and my sleep schedule has been pretty wonky ever since I returned. Between the time change and late nights catching up on assignments, I haven’t gotten as much sleep as I most often do. This has taken a noticeable emotional toll on me.

I got a decent amount of sleep in San Francisco, especially on the plane where I was four for four for sleeping during flights. It may not have been deep sleep, but nonetheless, I still logged a couple hours each flight. However, the second I walked in the door of my house after the trip, the sleep deprivation hit me. All I wanted to do was pass out on the couch. It was an exhausting trip, and I was not prepared to readjust to my normal, fixed sleep schedule I’ve kept for years. The San Francisco trip was the first time I had to abandon my normal sleep schedule completely for a long period of time.

Returning to Virginia during Sunday’s early hours and having to go straight back into the school week was a struggle for me. I’ve been back in Harrisonburg for a few days now, and I’m still in the adjustment period. I have slept little at night and on and off during the day. These past few days, I have barely been able to pay attention in class or do my homework, both due to the lack of sleep and the fact that I have definitely left a few of my brain cells on the West Coast. All I can think about is sleep, for I haven’t had the energy to be my ordinarily lively self. I just haven’t been normal.

What I can conclude from all of this is that sleep is the obvious key to my happiness. I’m a different person with sleep than I am without. While many teenagers are on that “no sleep grind”, I find it hard for me to maintain an optimistic personality without a reasonable amount of sleep. Not only am I a better person emotionally when I’ve had a good night’s sleep, but sleep deprivation studies have proven that an optimal amount of sleep also keeps your immune system healthy. Sleep really does make you a happier, healthier person.

While I definitely do not get the recommended nine hours of sleep, I sleep the bare minimum in order to stay happy and focused at school, which is normally between seven and eight hours a night. If I do not get this satisfactory amount of sleep, you will seldom catch me with a smile on my face. Personally, a decent amount of shut-eye is the number one factor to my happiness.  

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