baby-22194_1920You’ve got a final exam or you have to give an important presentation to the agency that could give you a promotion. There is so much to study and so much at stake.  So you decide to pull an all nighter. Cram a bit more, review the important points of your presentation.

Exhausted, you’ve had about 3 hours of sleep. It’s now morning and you’ve got to be on top of your game. You grab coffee and psych yourself up for the big day. OK here you go…

We’ve all done this, but does this work? Is it a good idea?

No! Lack of sleep can result in LOWER grades and performance because it impairs learning and memory. Sleep helps what is called memory consolation–getting the information to stick! So an all nighter is actually the wrong approach. In fact, if you really want to remember and be prepared, sleep before and after learning something.

To better remember things, sleep stages are needed to consolidate that memory. In other words, you need to sleep to learn and remember! In fact, students who get around 8 hours of sleep a night tend to have higher grade point averages than those who are shorter sleepers. Why? Because sleep impacts their concentration, working memory, mathematical capacity and logical reasoning. The part of the brain responsible for higher level cognitive functioning needs sleep!

And the lack of sleep can also impact your mood. In fact, in some cases, insomnia can prompt suicidal thoughts. If you think about it, when are people more irritable and cranky? When they need sleep!

Finally, lack of sleep reduces your alertness, making you more prone to making errors and mistakes. Your perceptions and judgments are off. You  simply don’t focus as well.

So to best prepare for that final exam or important presentation, review your notes and then get a good night’s sleep! Forget the all nighters. They simply don’t work! And you will be more pleasant to be around!




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