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It’s that time of year again for college students, the dreaded final exams. And with that usually comes a lot of stress, hitting the books, and not enough sleep. While many students have the misconception that pulling all-nighters will score them higher grades on their exams, research is showing that getting inadequate amounts of sleep can actually hurt your test scores.
It’s amazing what the human body is capable of but, in order for it to function to its utmost ability, it needs its rest. According to Dr. Robert Oexman, Director of the Sleep to Live Institute, “it is no surprise that college students are one of the most sleep-deprived demographics in our population.
What may be surprising is that sleep is as important to learning as exercise is to physical stamina. If you want to maximize your time learning you must sleep.” Dr. Oexman explains after extensive research that it is more beneficial for a student to sleep for a few hours before an exam, rather than to cram for a few hours right before the test, where much of the material is often forgotten.
According to the National Institutes of Health, “sleep deprived students have lower GPA’s due to the fact that it impacts memory and concentration.” Around finals time, students come up with every excuse in the book as to why it is more important to study than to sleep.
“I can sleep when my finals are over,” “I have pulled all-nighters before, so it’s no big deal” or “If I cram for my exam right before I take it then I will remember more information.” But what students need to know is that current sleep research findings show that getting enough sleep is actually smart, and according to Dr. Oexman, here’s why:
“Sleep is an active process where the brain works to heal the body by producing hormones beneficial for repair and growth. This is also the time for the brain to consolidate memories of what we studied and learned that day. Rapid Eye Movement Sleep (REM Sleep), which happens in the last part of the night, appears to be associated with learning and memory. This reinforces the mantra that you should be getting eight hours of shut-eye if you want the full benefits of sleep.”
Dr. Oexman points out that sleep and learning have one thing in common-a commitment, and that without enough sleep, your productivity level will not be at it’s utmost potential nor will it get you the grades you are striving for.
As a result, Oexman gives 8 crucial sleeping tips to land the grades you want: