Studying Vs Sleeping

Studying (gaining knowledge) Vs Sleeping, what do you choose?

As I was surfing the net, I became curious about the longest time an individual can go without sleeping. This has came into my mind after wondering what most can chose between sleeping and gaining knowledge such as studying in the case of students. Many have put their experiences and research findings. The world record stands at 260 hours which translates to about 11 days awake. This was hit by none other than a 17 year high school student Randy Gardner in 1964 as documented by John Ross of the US Navy Medical euro psychiatric Research Unit in San Diego. It is said that after 11 days without sleep he suffered no hallucinations or paranoia and no psychotic symptoms. The impact are documented in a book by Stanley Coren titled “Sleep Thieves” who argues however that, there were consequences such as trouble in focusing his eyes on day 2, hallucinations on day 4 and slurred speech and a short attention span by the last day.

Before that, a disc jockey Peter Tripp stayed awake for more than 8 days in 1959 as a promotional stunt. It is believed that, he began to hallucinate after few days, seeing kittens, mice and cobwebs. Tripp became paranoid insisting that an electrician had dropped a hot electrode in his shoe. This is also narrated in Coren’s book. Anyway, they all had missions to accomplish such as Randy who aimed to break a record.

I thought of whether this can be used by students in their studies, certainly not as it is way too much and inhumane. There is no apparent reason for such close extremes by students however, some goes up to staying for 2 days awake especially preparing for intense examinations. Well, this is worth taking in my opinion as I put special attention to education since it is a phase which has to be passed-by. On the other hand, there are people who love sleeping. They sleep for the sake of enjoying it. It’s scary to me as I always see money in time. This tends to be serious when it becomes students doing such a thing. Perhaps it can be justified for non-students but how can they do it when they are expected to put food on the table if they are adults? Or kids I believe qualifies for spending excess time sleeping.

What can one choose when given the option to spend the whole day either sleeping or studying? This is indeed debatable but I can say it all depend on the person who makes a response. There is no bad choice here. Perhaps starting with an option of studying, why would one prefer to study? This may depend on various reasons such as: what to study; why studying; etc. Bloggers would definitely opt for studying as it opens their mind into new avenues of knowledge. Someone without anything to do would really opt for sleeping. However, another question is that, if such a person is given useful material to study, can the person later opt for studying or maintain the initial for sleeping?

Sleeping is a rendered as a need; Abraham H. Maslow – a historical motivational theorist puts it as a basic need. Everyone requires a good sleep to function properly and effectively. Psychologists states that a normal person needs 8 hours of sleep per day to function effectively. Interestingly, this prompts me to understand why entrepreneurs are rendered “not normal people” as an 8-hour sleep is not part of their schedules no matter what. Basically, entrepreneurs are individuals who start and successfully run a business or businesses. These people need vast of knowledge to identify a sustainable viable business and this needs lot of reading to get an understanding of how everything blends in their area of interest. To them, a sleep can be viewed as a waste of precious time. We see large corporations such as Microsoft, Google, Facebook, Apple, Dangote Group (in Africa), and Econet and many more. I believe, Facebook founder, Mark Zukerberg never spent 8 hours when he was putting together the idea of linking friends to what is now known as Facebook.

As an aspiring entrepreneur, I present a different reason for a sleep – “to rest“. I believe one has to sleep to rest such as 2 – 3 hours. It pains me to learn how other people recklessly use their time – imagine an individual sleeping for whooping 12-hours, shocking that this does not happen to hospitalised patients. Definitely, these should not be students let alone the pregnant. I was unfortunate that I grew up (23 years) in rural areas where I never had the chance to lay hands on a computer but now that I am privileged to use the internet at any second, I see myself to learn beyond imagination. That sounds more of a joke, however, I made my mind not to watch movies, sleep to just rest, and spend every second adding value to my knowledge. I am to learn at least a new thing every day. There is much to learn in life not just for better decision making but for establishing new ideas. I use the theory by Victor Vroom – Expectancy Theory to raise my performance. It is simply applied in my scenario that efforts exerted shall lead to the attainment of my academic and personal life goals too.

A Psychologist Professor at Northwestern University Paul Reber says that the brain can never run out of space: “The human brain consists of about billions of neurons. Each neuron forms about 1,000 connections to other neurons, amounting to more than a trillion connections. If each neuron could only help store a single memory, running out of space would be a problem. You might have only a few gigabytes of storage space, similar to the space in an iPod or a USB flash drive. Yet neurons combine so that each one helps with many memories at a time, exponentially increasing the brain’s memory storage capacity to something closer to around 2.5 petabytes (or a million gigabytes). For comparison, if your brain worked like a digital video recorder in a television, 2.5 petabytes would be enough to hold three million hours of TV shows. You would have to leave the TV running continuously for more than 300 years to use up all that storage”.

Really, there is more than enough brain space.

My whole point on this article is, never find yourself sleeping unnecessarily, always remember that time is the only thing which cannot be bought in life. Given the resources such as presented by the internet, there is no reason to remain ignorant. Spend it on reading, learning new things or anything that adds value to your life.


Posted on 31/03/2013, in Education, Motivation and tagged , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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