Many college students are surprised to learn that getting sufficient sleep is one of the best ways to prepare for an exam. Research demonstrates that sleep is a restorative process that strengthens your immune system and promotes healing. Sleep also reduces the risk for hypertension, irregular heart rhythms, obesity and diabetes. According to studies, sleep has a major role in cognitive functions, such as learning, memory and creativity. Sleep is essential for your overall wellness.
Sleep prepares your mind and body for the demands of academic challenges. It also increases your ability to recall information, which increases the potential that you will receive a higher grade.
Studies confirm that you need to sleep after learning new information. This provides the time that your brain needs to process and organize memories. Sleep enables you to store and recall important facts that you need for exams. While you are sleeping and your body is relaxed, your mind is actively working to build new pathways and areas of learning. If you do not get sufficient sleep before an exam, your brain will not have time to fully process and synthesize the information that you learned in class and during study sessions. You may actually forget information. Unfortunately, your exam will not reflect the extra time and effort that you invested.
Adequate sleep enables you to focus your attention during an exam. If you are alert, you are more likely to achieve a higher level of academic performance. Without sleep, you will be easily distracted and mentally exhausted. Sleep deprivation makes it difficult to stay on task. The effects of sleep deprivation can last several days. Staying awake all night for one exam can have a detrimental impact on exams that you take later in the week as well.
Your mood has a major affect on your academic performance. Sleep deprivation increases your risk for mood disorders, such as depression, psychosis and anxiety. When you sleep normal hours, you will have an optimistic perspective about your life and education. This positive attitude will motivate you to prepare for your exam, which reinforces your positive attitude.
Sleep enhances the efficiency and effectiveness of your cognitive performance. This enables you to retrieve information quickly during an exam. A lack of sleep can greatly hinder this process and prevent you from achieving a better grade.
Contrary to conventional wisdom, all night study sessions are not the way to improve your academic performance. A study published in the 2008 issue of Behavioral Sleep Medicine evaluated the effect of “the all nighter” on students. The scientists noted that the sleep-deprived students had lower GPAs and a higher rate of depression than students who maintained normal sleeping patterns. Sleep deprivation hinders you from achieving your full potential.
Sleep increases your ability to retain information that you have learned and to concentrate during the exam. Getting sufficient sleep will improve your academic performance whether you are taking mid-terms, finals or a pop quiz.