A wise man once said: “never waste any time you can spend sleeping.” As students, though we would tend to agree with this truism, it is easy to forget just how valuable sleep is when exams sneak up and the study seems never ending.
Study vs. Sleep
Sleep is proven to boost your immune system, heart health, performance, mood and memory. On the other hand, a lack of sleep will hinder your ability to learn, process or retain content which is essential to effective study. This is because memory and learning are processed and integrated during your REM sleep which occurs after your deep sleep in our sleeping cycle.
To put it simply - sleep makes your brain work. When you go to sleep, your brain has the chance to prepare for the day ahead by organising information and activating memory. By clearing this space you will have the capacity to pay better attention, be more creative and solve complex problems.
Are you getting enough sleep?
As a student there is the pressure of juggling not only academic commitments, but also social, familial and extracurricular endeavours. At least eight hours of sleep is required per night for adequate physical and cognitive health to be maintained.
You are probably thinking that in stressful times, such as exams, that having a few late nights is a worthy sacrifice for better marks. This is a common disposition; however, it is proven that the times when we are required to retain a great deal of information is exactly when our sleep should become a priority. Why? Sleep grants our bodies the ability to prioritise memories by breaking them up and organising them according to your emotional importance.
So next time you are thinking of pulling an all nighter to cram for your final exams, remember, if you aren’t sleeping - you are wasting your time!
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