We’ve all been students at some point or the other in our lives. Although, this goes out specifically to students that are still within the four walls of a school. It is a letter written by a student to fellow students, encouraging them to find a balance between their sleep life and other things that matter.
I hope this finds you well. So, here’s my boarding school experience that expounds the need for you to get enough good sleep even when you still have to burn the midnight candles.
Sleep, was that really important as a student? I will not forget that night, it was my first night away from home ever, I felt so alone as I slept that night. My mattress was my solace, the only thing familiar to me in a room filled with so many strange people, which was ironic given that it was my first time on the said mattress. But it was mine and mine alone, my space.
Before boarding school, I had slept on a standard 6 x 6 with my siblings. It suffices to say that in the first couple of weeks I fell off the top bunk. One moment you are rolling around in your huge lush mattress; the next moment you are free-falling through space back to reality.
Boarding school was a war zone, a breaking away from old formed routines to a new regimented existence. We went from sleeping at 10 pm to wake up at 5 am, sleeping on a full stomach some days to sleeping on an empty stomach some nights. There were nights we slept at midnight and woke up at 4 am, the question was, did we really get much sleep in school?
Truth is, you cannot discount the importance of a good night’s rest in the life of a student as it was essential in recharging the “batteries”. Over time, research has shown that sleep promotes cognition and memory, facilitates learning, recharges our mental and physical batteries, and generally helps us make the most out of our days. With plentiful sleep, we improve our mental and physical health, reduce stress, and maintain the routine that is critical to healthy daily functioning.
The boarding school isn’t a perfect place for top-notch sleep lifestyle because you spend most of your time dodging vindictive senior students. Other times you are thinking up creative ways to keep your possessions safe and away from the “thieving hands” of fellow students, some nights you literally sleep with one eye open for fear of being at the end of some creative but painful pranks by your mates. Who sleeps really? During the “siesta period” you rarely get to shut your eyes. At other times when you’re not in a class, you’re either doing “manual labor” or doing some personal chore or running some endless errand for an errant senior student. Boarding school was no doubt was an exciting time.
There was so much to do, a lot to learn and if you shut your eye for just one second, you might miss out on a decade’s worth of life lessons, somehow, as a boarder, sleep wasn’t a priority. After all, we made up for sleep during prep and “boring” subject’s classes.
Finally, my Dear Students, you need to hear this; your body needs good sleep. Understandably, your current environment may not guarantee that, but there’s always a way around:
Ensure your bed is at least comfortable enough for you
Go to bed when you ought to
Catch siesta at the time given
Your body’s need for quality sleep cannot be overemphasized. Whatever you do, remember that your health is both paramount and essential, and it is, of course, your duty to ensure.
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