“All-nighter” culture is counterintuitive

Maytinee Kramer/Staff Writer

As final exams week looms nearer, sleep-deprived students are dozing off in library cubicles, napping on the benches or grass outside and even catching a few z’s in their cars. Leading up to final exams, Panthers will be pulling night after night of studying into the early hours of the morning, living off endless coffee and energy drinks and power naps. All-nighters are nothing short of ordinary, but the college experience is fueling a burnout culture where it’s normal, and sometimes even celebrated to forego sleep.

As reported in a study by the University of Alabama, approximately 60 percent of students receive insufficient sleep, and worse, 30 percent of college students confess that sleep difficulties have been “traumatic” or “very difficult to handle,” shows the American College Health Association.

There is a mantra that exists between sleep, grades and maintaining a social life, but many college students feel compelled to cut one out. It’s not necessarily a matter of being inefficient or procrastinating the day away, but some students really do have a lot on their plate. If sleeping more means doing less, then it’s only natural that sleep feels like the most dispensable of the three.

Most students would never cut out drinking, eating, or other vital necessities to their daily routine, so why is sacrificing sleep acceptable? While pop culture likes to claim otherwise, there is more to college life than going out to parties, Netflix and Chill and cramming school work. However, college students will remain unwilling to change their habits to better suit their health and happiness as long as cultural norms that maintain this pressure continues.

A 2014 report by the American Psychological Association found that millennials, ages 18 to 33, were the most stressed generation, with more than 52 percent lying awake at night due to stress. Arianna Huffington, founder and editor-in-chief of The Huffington Post, who is currently doing a book tour to promote her new book, “The Sleep Revolution,” is traveling to over 50 college campuses across America to help students create better sleep habits and improve many aspects of their lives. The goal of the The Sleep Revolution College Tour is to start a cultural conversation around the importance and power of sleep, its benefits and its lack of side effects.

Huffington hopes to change cultural norms.

“It started with the industrial revolution, when we began to think human beings could be treated like machines. The goal of a machine is to minimize downtime, but human beings are not machines,” Huffington said during an interview with The Guardian. “The need for eight hours’ sleep is evolutionary, it’s not negotiable. If we ignore that need, we pay a huge price in every aspect of our health and cognitive performance.”

Research shows that the “all-nighter” culture is counterintuitive. By exploiting health for grades, college students have inhibited their capability to develop memory, attentiveness, physical coordination, stress management and emotional stability. College students are ambitious, drunk on determination and strive for near perfection. That’s great and all, but blurring the lines of day and night causes us to relinquish our health, something that shouldn’t be considered as a badge of honor.

Granted, students are wired differently. Some may enjoy staying busy and being involved on campus, but everyone needs to recognize when they need a break. It can be difficult to get a full night’s rest in college but it’s not impossible. By making sleep a priority, Panthers will feel happier, healthier, and enjoy a fuller and richer college life.

 

DISCLAIMER:

The opinions presented within this page do not represent the views of FIU Student Media Editorial Board. These views are separate from editorials and reflect individual perspectives of contributing writers and/or members of the University community.

Image courtesy of Flickr:https://www.flickr.com/photos/hackny/5605024451/in/photolist-9xiduB-atMLeP-nhJzn6-bH3W4M-7iEQjx-da6tqu-9rdmrF-bvqpqu-8vEXjo-8vBVTe-8vEXkh-8vEXd9-anh3kj-8vBWaH-8vEXtU-7E2wjB-8vEXmG-8SUpiM-aBBrzz-aSVgvR-9DiEPK-buRLHu-okGd94-8vEXbY-5zYqyR-8vBVYn-8vEXpw-9nv1Y-9Ep5Qo-8vBVWt-bHLu96-nfFXqF-9cqB7o-n3TU3P-75aQPe-8vEXvJ-5wjcnB-6fSXcE-8uVTTM-dCUU7E-9Ep1Qw-9EmEdB-9EnUkx-9Eryu1-2wJZp-9jqybv-9EoZgp-4nWCrn-4RUr87-cG2ymd

About the Author

Maytinee Kramer
Call me May. I’m a senior double majoring in Asian studies and broadcast media and minoring in international relations. I’m a K-pop and Disney junkie, but I also enjoy watching anime and cosplaying. Some of my favorite shows are “Once Upon a Time,” “Supernatural,” and “Food Wars!: Shokugeki no Soma” while my favorite music artists are 2PM, GOT7, DEAN and Eddy Kim. After college, I hope to work as a news anchor, but I’d eventually like to host a show/segment that focuses on traveling. I am fluent in Thai and currently learning Japanese and Korean.

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