Challenge Series: Going to sleep by 10 PM for a week

The Galileo Journalism staff recently embarked on individual challenges meant to push their boundaries and lead to improvement. Each challenge lasted between one to two weeks and was meant to evoke some self realization. Here are their stories.

Ever since my Sophomore year of high school, I’ve never gone to sleep earlier than 11 PM. And when my Junior year hit and I began taking more AP and honors classes, my bed time changed to a 1-2 AM average, at times even later. Ever since then, I have not been able to fix my sleep schedule, even if I did not have much to do that day. I would end up staying up because of procrastination or occupying myself with other non productive activities. I was constantly tired and had very low energy. Thus, I decided that I should take on a challenge to sleep at 10 PM every day for a whole week.

 

It was pretty difficult for me to adjust to sleeping early because I got used to starting homework late, around 9 or 10 PM. So instead, I had to start homework right when I got home, which was around 7 PM, and in order to finish homework and my other responsibilities, I did not have time to procrastinate, which I would usually do by watching videos or going on my phone for hours. It was also very hard because I felt like I was losing time to study for tests or quizzes I had the next day that week because I was so used to staying up late to study. When I wasn’t able to finish homework, I would do it the next day whether in the morning or in a free class period.

 

The first couple days I slept by 10 and got around 8-9 hours of sleep, I didn’t feel much difference physically, in fact I felt more tired. I figured that it was because my body was so used to less sleep that if I get more, it feels like I overslept, which usually makes me more tired and lazy.  I didn’t really have trouble falling asleep because I was just so tired from always sleeping late that I can basically fall asleep at any hour. However, one thing I did notice was that it was a lot easier to get out of bed in the morning and I was able to get to school on time, with time leftover.

 

Whenever I went to bed by 10, my parents would wonder and question why I was sleeping so early because they were used to me staying up past their bedtimes. My mom said she noticed I had more energy in the morning. After a couple days, I noticed I would have less of a tendency to fall asleep in class or doze off. Overall, I just felt more healthy. However, I did find it very difficult to keep up and I probably won’t be continuing to sleep at 10, but this challenge did allow me to realize the importance of sleeping early and the major differences it made to my health.

 

Although I would have liked to continue this habit of sleeping early, I also felt that it was unrealistic to maintain this schedule because sometimes there can just be way more homework than other days or unexpected responsibilities to take care of. I just think it’s not possible to have a constant bedtime everyday and still manage to have time to relax and time to complete all my assignments and commitments.

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