We have been discussing the different states of consciousness this week. It is interesting to see that while a lot of details concerning the topic are now known, consciousness itself remains a mystery. Perhaps this is where psychology’s version of Sir Isaac Newton comes in. However, since new psychological knowledge cannot always be acquired mathematically or even empirically, that makes it harder. It is also amazing to see that consciousness is only the tip of the iceberg. There are a lot of processes taking place in the brain without our knowledge. We actually have less control over who we are than we usually think.

The book’s discussion on sleep really fascinates me. I never realized most people today are sleep deprived. That means the US government is  not the only one with accumulated debts (LOL). I honestly believed that sleepiness was the natural response to monotony. In my opinion, most of us today need to spend a lot more time in bed rather than on so-called social activities or recreation. The idea that one should stay up late and get up early to work, which propagates Vietnam, proves untenable. Moreover, people tend to allow themselves to stay up late during holidays when they almost certainly know, albeit with varying degrees, that doing so is not beneficial for their health. I am certain large sleep debts in one of the major factors behind the increased violence at school and aggression on the streets in Vietnam. I honestly do not understand why most students procrastinate till the last day before the deadline to finish their assignments and spend the day before an exam staying up late rushing materials into their heads. More ominously, I saw an example in an Economics book, which discusses trade-offs, says that one might gain academic success by trading off some hours of sleep. That is totally not the case. Distributed learning and sufficient sleep are the tools behind success. I think we psychology students need to practice this then go around the school to spread the word. Perhaps ask the administrators to add a note onto the morning announcements.

We need to spend our breaks and holidays wisely! Don’t stay up late!!! Take a nap whenever possible!!

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2 responses »

  1. I could not agree more. Sleep is my biggest challenge to my consciousness these days (that and sugar). A saying I heard that gets me into bed earlier is: every hour spent awake after midnight is like losing two.

  2. Mr. M. says:

    Great observation Scott! Maybe in the spring… after the test that is… we could have a sleep awareness project at school. I don’t know what the answer is to procrastination, but I think it has something to do with dealing with anxiety. People are either motivated by anxiety or paralyzed by it. Many people choose to distract themselves from anxiety rather than deal with it.

    See you in the new year! Keep up the good work.

    Mr. M.

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