I have always said that if I went to bed early enough, I could be a morning person. I've never really been someone who's hard-wired for evening, with a brain more alert the darker it got outside. In contrast, my eyes get heavy as day becomes evening, I get far too comfortable studying in my bed, and quite honestly, I would love to just go to bed whenever I wanted. By logic, if I went to bed earlier, I could get up earlier, work out in the morning, be more productive in the daytime hours, and more. All in all, the keys to my success seem to lie in simply going to bed.
So, why don't I? Of course, there are exceptions to every rule, but most nights, I don't actually have so much homework and studying to do that I must stay up until all hours of the night. Most likely, I could go to bed by 10:00 PM each evening if I wanted to. The problem is, I don't want to, for an absurdly common reason: Fear Of Missing Out.
Fear of missing out, or FOMO, is the anxiety that an exciting or interesting event may currently be happening elsewhere. So many of us stay up late to talk to our friends, hear about our roommates' days, to somehow be in the loop. Because, in all honesty, when picking between having a great night's sleep or having a great social life, most in the 18-22 age range will choose the latter. And, even once going to bed, many people stay up late on their phones, scrolling through Instagram feeds or checking out the coming weekend's Facebook events, in case we get a text or Snapchat. We are so terrified of missing out on what everyone else might be doing.
At some point or another, however, especially when it comes to our health, we have to stop making choices that benefit others, and instead focus on ourselves. Even when you want to stay up to hear the latest gossip or have the latest bonding moment, think: Is this benefiting me in a unique way right now? Will this make tomorrow's self happy? If yes to these questions, then by all means, stay up. But if not, go to bed when you can. Making sure you get enough sleep is the most common, daily practice of self care you can do.