Sleep More Study Less
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Health and Wellness

Sleep More Study Less

Late night cramming might not be as beneficial as you may think.

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Sleep More Study Less

Dead Week, that week right before finals where an eerie silence falls over the campus. Students are crammed into libraries, study halls and dorm rooms silently studying to pass finals. One signature of dead week is the late night cram sessions right before the test. It’s three am and where there should be sleeping college students, there is instead a vacant, lonely bed because the student in instead sitting at their desk getting that last formula memorized. But would it surprise you that maybe going to bed two hours earlier will get you a better grade on that test?

We all know we need sleep to survive but what many don’t realize is that means 7 to 9 hours of sleep per night. Yes, that means when you have an 8 a.m. class you should probably go to bed no later than 12:30 a.m., assuming you don’t want a full breakfast and are just going to roll out of bed for class. This is very difficult for college students all year around but especially during the week leading up to finals. The amount of sleep also varies from person to person. I need more sleep than the average person but others need less.

There are four stages of sleep, but the most important is the last stage, rapid eye movement (REM). We cycle through these four stages multiple times when sleeping. Studies have shown that REM is how we store our short term memory from the day. When studying late we often can’t reach the REM stage enough or even at all. The studying you just did is not even stored making it less beneficial to stay up an extra two hours to review, especially if you won’t even remember it.

Sleep is when your body regenerates. The muscles relax and repair from daily damage. The organs cleanse and prepare for the next day. When we don’t get enough sleep the body becomes sluggish and our reaction time is not as quick. Our brain is too tired to function, which in the long run could do permanent damage if lack of sleep is persistent. Eventually, coffee and willpower will run out and there will be no chance of finishing those last nine problems because you are “just going to close my eyes for a minute."

If you can't remember, much less sleep, why even bother staying up extra late for a final that you've been studying for all week. Study smarter, not harder and not longer. You have been in this class all for 9-plus weeks, so go to bed. You can do it. And just remember, once this is over it's Christmas.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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