by Rory from Rory’s Echo Chamber.
I can’t be the only one who has noticed the euphoric side effects of sleep deprivation. There is something about depriving your body of one of its so-called “essential needs” that results in a very unique and fun experience that can’t be replicated by anything else. In this paper, I will detail my adventures into the realm of nocturnal fun.
Recently I embarked on the no sleep diet, due to the fact that I had waited until two days before the deadline for a month-long research project. Unfortunately, I had no terminally ill relatives, so I had to buckle up and get to work.
Although my time was limited I had one great trick up my sleeve, the classic all-nighter. Luckily for me, one week of normal time translates into a few hours of all-nighter time. Realizing how much time I had left I decided I should kick back and relax for a bit before I got started. I had the whole night ahead of me, tomorrow was weeks away and I earned a break after making the responsible decision to take an all-nighter.
After a couple hours of rewatching some of my favorite comedy sketches on youtube, I started to think that I might want to get started soon. I glanced at the time, it was 2 in the morning. I realized that I still had plenty of time and happily went back to rewatching old Key and Peele sketches.
A few more hours passed and as I was checking the “sightings’ ‘ section of the Loch Ness Monster’s Wikipedia to see if it had changed since the time I read it last week, I decided I should check the time again. To my surprise, the little numbers at the top right corner of my laptop now read 5:23 AM. I decided that it was officially time to start working on my paper, right after checking to make sure that there had been no new developments on the Wikipedia entry for Mothman of course.
I worked tirelessly on the opening of my paper. Over the course of 2-3 hours, I constructed the initial arguments of my paper, the thesis, and some of the opening paragraphs. After finishing a couple pages I was worn out from all of the hard intellectual labor that I was undergoing and decided that I had finished enough work for one night.
I checked the time, and it was almost 7:30. I had classes at 9 and 12 that day. Because of how worn out I was I figured it would be best for me to get some rest. After reviewing my schedule, I came to the conclusion that if I skipped my 9 am class that would give me roughly four hours to sleep before my noon class. I gave myself a pat on the back for my shrewd time management skills and after checking the Twitter accounts of people who angered me for a bit I drifted off to sleep.
After finishing my class, I got back to my dorms and decided that I deserved a break. A short break turned into a long break and the next thing I knew it was already getting dark out. I decided that I would have to pull another all-nighter again. I gathered the necessary supplies; caffeine-infused diet soda that tastes like piss and Adderall (It’s prescription I swear). Unlike the night before, I was prepared to get lots of work done without goofing off.
Later that night, as I was laughing at clips of the great Chris Farley (Rest in Peace) I started to notice something. Jokes were funnier, my diet coke tastes even more diet coke-ish than usual, and the couch I was sitting on was getting more comfortable by the minute. I started to theorize that being sleep deprived was making the pleasures of life more pleasurable.
I decided to consult the experts on the world wide web to see if I could find anything to confirm my theory. I started to type the phrase “sleep deprivation makes you euphoric” but before I finished typing I noticed the wide range of suggested searches that came up for “sleep deprivation makes you”. Among the suggested ways to end the search were “happy”, “depressed”, “feel drunk”, “suicidal”, and “feel crazy”.
I laughed a hearty laugh upon seeing the numerous contradictory suggestions. As I was laughing I started to gaze into the flickering fireplace in front of me which was seemingly becoming more mesmerizing by the moment. Life was good.
After I was finished chuckling I typed in the word “euphoric” to finish my search. A couple results came up that seemed to agree with my assumption. One of the results was from Harvard, or maybe it was Stanford, I don’t remember. Anyways the website said some stuff about how sleep deprivation affects a part of your brain that makes you feel good or something like that. I didn’t really read the article, but the fact that a major university published something that sounds vaguely like my initial assumption was enough for me to be certain that my hypothesis was correct.
The hours blew by like the wind as I made gradual progress on my paper in between youtube videos. Eventually, after finishing a couple pages of my paper and a few documentaries about obscure video games from the early 2000s it was morning.
One of the biggest advantages of sleep deprivation is being able to go into the morning completely awake. Unlike most mornings in which I find myself forcefully ejected from an extravagant dream world full of aliens, adventure, and my crush falling in love with me, only to be thrown into a bleak and disappointing reality, staying up all night allows you to bypass the initial grogginess of the morning. I didn’t need a half hour to convince myself to get out of bed. I was already wide awake, in a caffeine and Adderall-fueled frenzy, ready to grab the world by its horns. As I walked to my first class that morning I marveled at how beautiful the trees I encountered were, and giggled at nonsensical jokes that popped into my head.
The morning after an all-nighter is always awesome, but as the day goes on things start to become distant. Roughly halfway through the day, I started to notice something just didn’t feel right, but I couldn’t put my finger on it. Classes, conversations, and youtube documentaries about the rise and fall of Disney channel child actors seemingly drifted by without leaving a lasting impression. As the day went on I started to make more and more mistakes like having to go back to my dorms after forgetting my coat, then having to turn back again five minutes later because I realized I forgot my wallet as well.
Sleep deprivation is like turning to a random page in a choose-your-own-adventure book, you have no idea how you got where you are or where you should go, and that’s what makes it so mysterious and exciting. During the afternoon my key fob disappeared into thin air. I recall trying to use it to get into the dorms, only to remember that the doors weren’t locked during the day. I don’t remember what happened to it after that.
I finished my classes and rushed back to my dorm, hoping that I could finish my paper before midnight. I would zone out frequently, absentmindedly staring off in the distance, before catching myself. After several hours of typing the end was in sight. I had made all of my points, restated them several times over to fill up space, and inserted a couple of sources I found on Wikipedia. All that was left was to write a conclusion.
As I was wondering what to write for my conclusion, I started to notice how fascinating my fan was. It seemed to be moving in some kind of infinite loop. As I watched the blades of my fan dance around my mind started to drift out of my body. My mind was barren for a while before the thought of “what time is it ” hit me like a truck and jump-started my brain. I had no idea how long I had been zoned out. I glanced at my clock and to my horror it was 14 minutes to midnight.
My adrenaline kicked in and started working faster than I had all week. Keyboard clicks rattled like machine gun blasts as I pieced together a conclusion that just restated my main points alongside some stuff about how the bubonic plague was very sad because lots of people died or something. My eyes routinely glanced up at the little clock at the top right of the screen that was gradually ticking closer and closer to midnight. I typed my last word and ran a spell check, clicking agree to every suggestion. I downloaded my paper and turned it into Canvas as the clock struck 11:57.
In the past couple of days, I learned several valuable lessons. First of all, I learned that Mothman sightings in Point Pleasant, West Virginia decreased dramatically following the 1967 Silver Bridge collapse, implying that Mothman was either killed in the accident or was the cause of it, fleeing the scene afterward to avoid accountability. I also learned that sleep deprivation is a very powerful tool that can allow for a much-needed extension on homework while giving a strangely euphoric bonus. Finally, I learned that If you manage to stay up long enough you will start to make new friends. Unlike daytime friends who have a habit of causing a ruckus, these nocturnal pals won’t get you any noise complaints, as no one else is able to hear them.
(This article was written after another successful night of avoiding Mr. Sandman)