an exhausted looking woman asleep on a desk with her laptop, book, and coffee around her

How the Lack of Sleep Impacts My Studies

It’s 4 AM and I haven’t slept a wink. I have an online college lecture at 9 AM. That’s only 5 hours away.

I want to be asleep. This class is really important. I can’t miss it. Now, even if my pain eased, I still couldn’t fall asleep. My mind is racing with anxious thoughts about how I’m going to fail college if I miss this class.

I’m in my final year of my degree. It’s just one more year; I can do this. But it’s hard to do this. I suffer with chronic pain and chronic fatigue, which has led me to have sleepless nights.

Taking online college courses

Due to COVID-19, my college course is online. I am very thankful for that, as due to my ankylosing spondylitis, I don’t think I would have been able to continue my studies. I’m finding college very difficult. Like I said, I’m in my final year. There is a lot of work to do. I have many assignments to do along with my dissertation.

Since college is online, all my lecturers record the classes and send them to us. I find this so helpful that I can go back and watch the classes, pause them, and take notes.

Except for one. And of course, this is the lecturer that I have most mornings at 9 AM. I never have him at a later time. And, of course, due to my inconsistency with sleep, I usually end up missing this class.

Diffiulty concentrating in class

I will always set my alarm for before 9 AM. I either roll over and turn it off, or I wake up. I wake up feeling absolutely miserable. My body needs me to go back to sleep, so I do.

The mornings that I wake up and stay up, I have no idea what is going on in the class. I feel like I’m dreaming, and I can’t concentrate. I might as well be asleep.

Chronic sleep issues affect my studies

I need to be able to sleep. I need to be able to function properly, to be able to listen, and take in what my lecturers are saying. 

Instead, I just think about how awful and tired I feel. Living with consistent sleep problems really affects my studies. I can’t concentrate. I know that I can do better in college. I just need to sleep better first.

Consistent lack of sleep affects many parts of my life

But at the moment, it is affecting college the most. I’m stressed about college as I am in my final year, and I want to do well in my degree. The lack of sleep is another stress. I live with an autoimmune disease. Stress is the worst thing for me as it causes me to flare.

Since being diagnosed with ankylosing spondylitis, I always tell myself that I need to look after my body. I need to do whatever my body needs. I want to feel better. Avoiding what my body needs causes me to feel worse. Unfortunately, my body needs sleep. But my studies need me to be awake.

Still searching for a good routine

I need to find a way of working both into a routine in my life. This is hard. I’ve been trying to have a good routine with sleep and college for the past 2 months. But my relationship with sleep will not listen to me. It wants to do its own thing and not have a routine.

Do you have any tips for helping me to get into a better sleep routine when I’m having such a hard time sleeping?

By providing your email address, you are agreeing to our privacy policy.

This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.

Join the conversation

or create an account to comment.

Community Poll

Does anyone else in your family have insomnia?