Riley Knouse: We are too tired to be happy

Riley Knouse

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Right now, it is late and I am frantically trying to finish physiology homework and work on a blog for English/US History. Throughout looking for the similarities of connective tissues and trying to figure out how exactly I feel about John Brown, I procrastinated. Instead of actually focusing on my homework, I was listening to Gilmore Girls as I more or less worked on gists for physiology, and periodically checked Buzzfeed. All the while I chastised myself for not giving my homework more attention, yet still didn’t change what I was doing.

Despite inwardly scolding myself, I still procrastinated. I would have been finished sooner and in my bed, trying to sleep, but I know it’s useless due to all of the bright screens I’ve been looking at and the fact that as a teenager my body won’t start releasing melatonin until 1 am. However, since I am a teenager in love with sleep, just laying awake in my bed gives me a sense of calm.

I am literally trading in my state of calm for a state of stress.

Why am I still up? Why did I decide to work on this article in the middle of everything?

As weird as this may sound, it seems that the grand majority of Foothill Technology High School not only takes pride in their lack of sleep, but thrives because of it. Instead of laying in your bed, the boredom lulling you to sleep, you could not only do the homework that you have to turn in tomorrow, but also the homework due next week! Then, you can brag about it to your friends! Fun!

When we actually get a decent amount of sleep, or even a nap, we take even greater pride in ourselves. I don’t know about you, but my self-inflicted irregular sleep schedule is slowly but surely making me insane. Although I may be (somewhat) happy when I brag about my lack of sleep or glorious naps, I am not feeling any euphoria when I have to sit through a 90 minute lecture in history, or whenever the lights turn off feeling my eyelids become extremely heavy because I’d only had three hours of sleep the previous night.

My fellow teenagers, we must stop this madness. We need to find the line where “late” becomes “too late” and homework takes up our nights and early mornings. Actual sleep is essential to happiness, because when you’re tired you’re grumpy, and very few people take joy in being grumpy.

What do you think?