Before I begin– Wake Up! Sleep has had this oddly wired and alert trajectory since as far back as we have been really conscious of our lifespans as creatures on this planet. I am sure there is an incredible story that has been lost to the ages about someone waking up with great ideas, telling of the first person who realized how much life is seemingly wasted upon sleep. The hours that would follow of them raving around, trying to stay awake forever, cursing like a barrister in court— probably the same chump who invented the word damn, because eventually they probably collapsed in a feeding trough and pushed into a hay stack. Sleep, like the Grim Reaper, comes for all of us at some point— they are probably cousins, mythologically speak, of course.
Then, down the road, sleep became less of a worry about dying by the hand of your cowardly younger brothers sword (in search for the crown, obviously…), and instead became a mainstreamed dada escapism, where we could revel in the fantasy of our dreams and escape the unimaginable problems of World Wars, racism, sexism, and pretty much every -ism comes under fire around the same time. We longed to sleep to dream of something else, or a life beyond. Then the 80’s came around with its quaalude’s and coke, and pretty much convinced the world that sleep was for the weak. You got to stay up until the break of day, because tomorrow is not guaranteed.
Benefits of waking up early
However, now we know better and we are discovering how beneficial a proper amount of sleep can be to the productivity of adults in their woke lives (yeah, I said it). Arianna Huffington has been a huge advocate for proper sleep, and believes you got to, “…Sleep your way to the top.” In order to find success, sleep has to be in the equation. But if this is so important, why are we still going to bed late and waking up early?
If you are reading this, you are probably in college or just venturing beyond it, so you know a thing or two about not getting sleep. There never seems to be a better time then twelves hours before a final, to study for an 8:00AM final. Also, morning parties where everyone taps a keg, rages into the high noon sun, and you get to participate in the evening walk of shame back home is just never going to become a thing (Coachella and Burning Man are the exceptions that prove the rule). Studying is at its most dire, concerts are turned to eleven, parties at peak networking, physical attraction levels go up by like 35%— All when the sun goes down.
What we can do about it
The question cannot be changing the system of evenings, but how do we, as adults, manage our morning after moments? Sleeping in until 11:00AM once in awhile is good for anyone, K-12 and beyond, but not every day. You are waking up late for a very particular reason— you’re living for the night, so what I challenge everyone to do is to create reasons for facing the morning. Don’t go moving all your nighttime extravagances to the morning or anything, but give yourself motivation to wake up. You might be tired at first, but trust me when I say that you do not need 13 hours of sleep every night after staying out late. Use this list template, save it to your phone, and remember your motivations for taking in a couple extra hours in the morning for your day. And hell, if you start showing up to Katie Gibson’s parties a little more tired than usual, it just means you will drink less and might make a few less bad choices, so in a roundabout way you will be adulting just a little bit more by proxy.
Use this template on your phone!