Vitamin Z doesn’t just stand for “zoo”

Melody Zhang

What do many students lack more than fun nowadays?


This is a serious problem in our generation. Once in a while, it is totally understandable and even recommended to stay up, be “young and wild and free”; to have fun with friends, finish a life-changing book, or cram for that one test. But when it becomes a daily procrastination habit that headache-racked students regret in the morning and forget about again every evening, this cycle could do lasting damage to the body and mind.

The effects of the chronic loss of sleep, or sleep debt, are far from short-term. Students may feel infinite in their confidence for what their bodies can handle now, but the detriments will come for payback sooner than you expect them to.

As humans, we have a built in biological clock that establishes a natural sleeping rhythm. The biological clock follows the rise and setting of the sun, and therefore the optimum sleeping schedule is one in which the body wakes with the sunrise and sleeps with the sunset. It is painfully clear that there are very few people left, especially in our generation, who follow the natural rhythm.

The daily ignorance towards bodily needs from the student body poses serious concerns. A 2012 study at Oregon State suggested that when the biological clock is ignored, cell systems and proper growth and restoration cycles are deeply ruptured, which leads the brain on a path of neurodegeneration. Faster aging, is directly linked to this process, and in turn, an early death.

So is the everyday procrastinating for hours on end (mostly on social media sites) and then disordered cramming really that worth it, given the hazed morning feeling, the weak state of mind during the schoolday, strong mood swings, and the serious future effects it holds?

Do yourself a favor and take care of your body for your future self. Watch one less episode for the night and snuggle up with some tea for a good night’s sleep. You can always scroll through your Dashboard, Newsfeed, or Twitter Feed in the morning; those posts aren’t going anywhere and your friends are not going to unfriend you because you go to sleep earlier than them.  Chances are, you will inspire them.