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Wake up! Anti-sleep culture isn’t cool, World Sleep Day reminds public

by Joyce Remo

Recently updated on March 20, 2023 02:11 pm

FOR 20-year-old engineering student Bianca Dela Cruz, sleep deprivation is like a badge of honor that can be equated to productivity.

“I feel like, whenever I am deprived of rest and sleep, I have accomplished something significant, especially in terms of my academic duties,” she told republicasia in an interview.

Dela Cruz is not alone.

Political science student Andrea Yap, 20, gets “a maximum of three hours of sleep per night” when reviewing for midterms and finals. 

To make matters worse, Yap gets anxious each time she attempts to get some shut eye. “I feel like when I sleep, I would lose all the things I read, reviewed, and memorized and it gives me anxiety that I wouldn’t be able to pass my exams,” she added.

The anti-sleep mindset is common among the youth and is often romanticized as part of hard work that is essential to success. 

Students are not insulated from this toxic behavior that has permeated across generations. About 70% of university students in this study said they experience insufficient sleep especially during “hell weeks” as their schedules are often swamped with projects, activities, and exams.

Even sixth graders suffer from sleep inadequacy during school days, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

It does not help that famous personalities boast lack of sleep as a key factor that helped them get ahead in life. It just further cements the anti-sleep mindset among the youth.

For this year’s World Sleep Day, doctors and advocates issue a “global call to action to organize sleep health awareness activities.”


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There is no substitute to sleep, reminds the World Sleep Society, a group of doctors and sleep advocates who established the annual celebration in 2008.

Lourdes DelRosso, a co-chairperson for World Sleep Day 2023 said “people should think about sleep like they do other important healthy behaviors such as exercise…so that one can feel better and remain healthier over time.”

“Adequate sleep contributes to a student’s overall health and well-being. Students should get the proper amount of sleep at night to help stay focused, improve concentration, and improve academic performance,” CDC said. 

Fang Han, a physician and co-chairman of the annual sleep celebration, said people should not take sleep for granted.

“Just because sleep is a natural behavior does not mean that sleep should be taken for granted,” Han said.

Instead of productivity, lack of sleep does the reverse. 

Students who sleep less  risk compromising their academic performance, memory, and alertness. It also leads to other complications like obesity and poor mental health.

The CDC added that “children and adolescents who do not get enough sleep have a higher risk for many health problems, including obesity, type 2 diabetes, poor mental health, and injuries.”

“They are also more likely to have attention and behavior problems, which can contribute to poor academic performance in school,” the CDC said.



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