Up all night to get unlucky

For college students, sometimes seeing the sunrise is less of a beautiful moment and more an indicator that you’ve royally screwed up your life.

Not sleeping used to be fun. I would just stay up all night because I felt like it or because I had to do it for schoolwork, and I’d hit a point where I got so tired that I suddenly wasn’t tired anymore. The next day was always awesome – to cop a phrase from Slaughterhouse-Five, everything was beautiful and nothing hurt. My brain just drifted through the day in an overtired bliss.

This might sound familiar to you.

This will change.

Coming from somebody for whom all-nighters were once a full-blown hobby, I can say in my final year that messing that heavily with your sleep schedule isn’t sustainable. In the short-term, you feel fine. Maybe a little sleep-deprived, but overall fine. But you only have so many sleepless nights in you. After staying up all night approximately once every two weeks last year, I had to pull one all-nighter to write a paper this year and it flat-out destroyed me.

People our age need between seven and nine hours of sleep a night. No matter what you think, in the long-term you can’t just “power through it.” Biologically, you need to sleep for your brain to work. I don’t care how “good” you are at all-nighters. You can’t fight that.

All-nighters can be fun, yeah, and sometimes they’re unavoidable. But, for your own sake, be careful. Making too many withdrawals from the sleep bank will eventually leave you, metaphorically, flat broke.