By Katrina Liu

I’ve realized as I’ve grown up that I value sleeping so much, which is ironic since I used to beg my parents to stay up late when I was younger. 

When high school came around, I always seemed to be up way too early and couldn’t sleep until late — I longed for the time to take a nap. But I always fought that feeling and forced myself to stay awake, because I thought the time I used for napping could be used for something much more productive, like studying for a test.

Waking up at 6 a.m. and going nonstop until 11 p.m. was the norm for me. I would be lucky if I had more than one hour during the week to just sit on my couch and just do nothing.

But, honestly, who is that girl? I don’t recognize her anymore, though I respect her a lot.

The “norm” in our society is for our brain to be constantly moving and thinking, to always be doing something. Whether that be school or work, we’re supposed to always be busy. Having excess free time is looked down upon because if you have too much free time, you’re not being “productive.”

Now, let’s break down what’s wrong with that negative mentality. 

Our brains were not created to deal with everything that is constantly thrown at us. We’ve adapted, of course, but with all the stimuli that surrounds us each day, it makes sense people burn out. It makes sense we often don’t remember the true joys of life, because the time to reflect on our own values is nonexistent with the “can’t stop, won’t stop” mentality we live with. 

This is also not just me spewing out nonsense — and if I am in current dire need of sleep, that’s neither here nor there.

The Sleep Foundation states that naps “restore alertness, enhance performance, and reduce mistakes and accidents.” Maybe if someone had told me that napping is a blessing and not a sin, I would’ve gotten a better grade than a C+ in Geometry.

Another interesting thing is that doctors always tell you to sleep at least eight hours a day. We know that sleep is important, but society places a bad reputation on napping, calling it a waste of time or unproductive, when in reality, they’re pretty much the same thing. Maybe that’s why I only started taking constant naps senior year of high school — it was either that or down two cups of coffee before my three-hour dance classes at night. 

My point is, even though you can see your planner filled with all the things you haven’t done yet, take that nap if you really need to. You’ll feel better about completing that assignment later when you’re awake rather than right then when you’re practically falling asleep.