Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Forget all-night studying, a good night's sleep is key to doing well on exams

Date:
November 21, 2012
Source:
Harris Health System
Summary:
As fall semesters wind down at the country’s colleges and universities, students will be pulling all-night study sessions to prepare for final exams. Ironically, the loss of sleep during these all-nighters could actually work against them performing well, says a sleep specialist.

As fall semesters wind down at the country's colleges and universities, students will be pulling all-night study sessions to prepare for final exams. Ironically, the loss of sleep during these all-nighters could actually work against them performing well, says a Harris Health System sleep specialist.

Related Articles


Dr. Philip Alapat, medical director, Harris Health Sleep Disorders Center, and assistant professor, Baylor College of Medicine, recommends students instead study throughout the semester, set up study sessions in the evening (the optimal time of alertness and concentration) and get at least 8 hours of sleep the night before exams.

"Memory recall and ability to maintain concentration are much improved when an individual is rested," he says. "By preparing early and being able to better recall what you have studied, your ability to perform well on exams is increased."

As head of the Harris Health Sleep Disorders Center, a nationally certified facility by the American Academy of Sleep Medicine, Alapat and his staff perform about 1,200 sleep studies a year to evaluate patients for a variety of sleep disorders, including apnea, insomnia, restless legs syndrome, narcolepsy and chronic fatigue syndrome.

College-aged students ideally should get 8-9 hours of sleep a night. Truth is, most students generally get much less.

"Any prolonged sleep deprivation will affect your mood, energy level and ability to focus, concentrate and learn, which directly affects your academic performance," Alapat adds.

Throw in the occasional all-nighter, consumption of caffeinated beverages like coffee, tea or energy drinks, and students are at risk for developing insomnia, as well as increased risks for alcohol abuse and motor vehicle accidents.

"A lot of college students graduate high school and leave the protective family environment where they have curfews or set bed times," Alapat says. "In college, they don't have these guidelines for sleep and recognize that they can stay up late. This likely contributes to the sleep deprivation seen commonly in college students."

Alapat's recommendations:

• Get 8-9 hours of sleep nightly (especially before final exams)

• Try to study during periods of optimal brain function (usually around 6-8 p.m.)

• Avoid studying in early afternoons, usually the time of least alertness

• Don't overuse caffeinated drinks (caffeine remains in one's system for 6-8 hours)

• Recognize that chronic sleep deprivation may contribute to development of long-term diseases like diabetes, high blood pressure and heart disease

If suffering from bouts of chronic sleep deprivation or nightly insomnia that lasts for more than a few weeks, Alapat suggests consulting a sleep specialist.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Harris Health System. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Harris Health System. "Forget all-night studying, a good night's sleep is key to doing well on exams." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 21 November 2012. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/11/121121145400.htm>.
Harris Health System. (2012, November 21). Forget all-night studying, a good night's sleep is key to doing well on exams. ScienceDaily. Retrieved December 18, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/11/121121145400.htm
Harris Health System. "Forget all-night studying, a good night's sleep is key to doing well on exams." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/11/121121145400.htm (accessed December 18, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Mind & Brain News

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Yoga Could Be As Beneficial For The Heart As Walking, Biking

Yoga Could Be As Beneficial For The Heart As Walking, Biking

Newsy (Dec. 17, 2014) Yoga can help your weight, blood pressure, cholesterol and heart just as much as biking and walking does, a new study suggests. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
1st Responders Trained for Autism Sensitivity

1st Responders Trained for Autism Sensitivity

AP (Dec. 16, 2014) More departments are ordering their first responders to sit in on training sessions that focus on how to more effectively interact with those with autism spectrum disorder (Dec. 16) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Guys Are Idiots, According To Sarcastic Study

Guys Are Idiots, According To Sarcastic Study

Newsy (Dec. 12, 2014) A study out of Britain suggest men are more idiotic than women based on the rate of accidental deaths and other factors. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Believing in Father Christmas Good for Children's Imaginations

Believing in Father Christmas Good for Children's Imaginations

AFP (Dec. 12, 2014) As the countdown to Christmas gets underway, so too does the Father Christmas conspiracy. But psychologists say that telling our children about Santa, flying reindeer and elves is good for their imaginations. Duration: 01:57 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins