The Sanctity of Sleep

Lindsay Lillig

College students are predisposed to developing poor sleeping patterns. Weird class schedules with heavy course loads, rehearsals and practices, full- or part-time jobs — all are culprits of depriving us of the proper amount of rest.

I am a morning person. I have no problem functioning on all cylinders before the sun is up. Waking up at 5 a.m. was a habit of mine even in middle school. Running on five hours of sleep was no problem … until I started college.

During my freshman year, I was in my first show with the theater department. An average rehearsal runs from 7-11 p.m. As a commuter student, that put me home around midnight every night. I had an 8 a.m. class on Monday, Wednesday and Friday, and I opened a store on Tuesday and Thursday. Being the morning person that I am, I pushed through the late nights and early mornings like a champ. I was a regular Rocky during September and October. Then it hit. I never saw it coming. Sleep deprivation kicked me in the face. Coffee quickly became a necessity and a nap of any length of time was a golden opportunity. I knew it could only get worse from there. And it did.

My acting professor, Scott Stackhouse, told us from day one to keep things in check because life will catch up with you. He specifically stressed the importance of getting enough sleep, and it is now extremely apparent why.

This year I was cast in my fifth show at UMKC. I also increased the number of credit hours I was taking in addition to joining the University News staff. Now, I have been tired before. Every semester I have taken has been a nonstop endeavor, but this fall has been unparalleled. My mind has actually shut down at times. I have woken up to realize I inadvertently slept for two hours. On a bench … in Grant Hall…

Here lies the ultimate problem. We disregard how tired we are because we literally don’t have time to even think about how tired we are. We go and go and go. We work and practice and study and repeat, repeat, repeat. Amid all the things we have to do, we stretch ourselves that one extra mile to attempt to do something we want to do. Like eat good food or see our family for five minutes. We forget about sleep. It is at the bottom of our to-do lists. I am here to inform everyone that we have it backwards. Without sleep, we cannot have to-do lists. We won’t be able to achieve anything if we’re all lying around in exhaustion-induced comas.

There will never seem to be enough time, but please hear me out. Do yourself a favor and take that nap. Let yourself rest. You will thank me later.