Students in Ho Chi Minh City are diligently working on their assignments, even late into the night, increasing their risk of developing chronic insomnia.
Many 24-hour coffee shops have become a familiar sight for students studying and working during unconventional hours in Vietnam.
There is also a selection of cafes in the “Thu Duc University Village,” a cluster of universities in Thu Duc City that falls under the Vietnam National University in Ho Chi Minh City, catering specifically to students and their study needs.
A cafe on Luong Dinh Cua Street in Thu Duc City is known for staying open late into the night to accommodate customers, most of whom are Vietnamese, as the clock strikes midnight.
|Sleeping is not an option for students who are trying to meet their deadlines. Photo: P.K. / Tuoi Tre
“It is common for students to come to our store during exam season. We can have up to 100 customers during the peak period,” said Nguyen Thanh Vinh, an employee at a coffee shop.
The staff members take turns working at the payment counter to serve the customers.
Minh Chau, a night owl and a student at the University of Social Sciences and Humanities in Ho Chi Minh City, prefers studying at coffee shops during late hours to not disturb her dormmates.
Chau is a frequent customer at various coffee houses located in the “Thu Duc University Village.”
“My mom always complains that I stay out late without realizing that I need a suitable study environment and that I will catch up on sleep the next day to recover my health,” she said.
Vo Thi Bich Tram, a sophomore at the Ho Chi Minh City University of Technology, often spends her nights at a 24-hour cafe, starting from 8:00 pm and returning to campus at 9:00 am the next day.
Despite knowing the potential risks to her health, Tram continues the habit as she finds the late-night atmosphere most conducive to studying.
According to Tram, the quietness of the night helps her stay productive, and seeing others working diligently in public places like coffee shops motivates her to focus on her studies.
The consequences of staying up late include an increased risk of chronic insomnia
Le Cong Lam, the owner of a 24-hour coffee shop on Luong Dinh Cua Street in Thu Duc City, extended his business hours to 24/7 to meet the demands of students.
|There are two types of rooms at 24-hour cafés for students to select: one with hard wooden chairs and the other with soft beanbags. Photo: Bao Tien / Tuoi Tre
He has even provided beanbag chairs in his cafe, offering students a comfortable place to rest whenever they feel tired or sleepy.
The cost of a drink at the cafe ranges from VND20,000-40,000 (US$0.81-1.63), with an additional VND10,000 ($0.41) for a wooden chair or VND30,000 ($1.22) if the customer prefers a cotton beanbag.
Staying up late for prolonged periods can have detrimental effects on health, leading to various long-term consequences, warned Dr. Ha Thanh Dat, a lecturer at Pham Ngoc Thach University of Medicine.
An adult typically needs eight hours of sleep every night to allow the body to recover.
This enables the internal organs to rest and function at their best the following day.
“High-quality sleep can enhance the immune system and prevent health issues such as cardiovascular diseases, stroke, diabetes, and more,” Dat explained.
“Staying up late regularly can also result in chronic insomnia.
“Individuals experiencing severe symptoms should seek medical assistance to restore their normal biological rhythm.”
|This photo shows many students studying from late at night to early in the morning. Photo: Bao Tien / Tuoi Tre
In unavoidable circumstances, students should take short breaks of about five to 10 minutes every 45-50 minutes of intense concentration to optimize focus and prevent fatigue.
During these breaks, students can take deep breaths, drink water, listen to music, or do some light exercise.
Dr. Dat also recommends taking a nap of approximately 30-45 minutes after two hours of studying to allow the body to rest, recharge, and maintain stable concentration.