Preparing for the exam: why you shouldn’t be cramming all night long
Studying the night before an exam is not the best solution to the problem. And there are proven explanations for that. But sometimes you can’t do without it.
Unfortunately, a lot of students sacrifice their health and mental well-being to show the best academic results. Is it worth it? Maybe yes, maybe not. Of course, you may succeed in your studies and get a well-paid job later, however, there is a huge possibility of you getting into too much stress and quite often even depression.
Sometimes, students do not only do their own assignments but also help their peers with theirs too. If you have a friend who constantly asks “can you write my paper for me”, then you should always think first about whether helping your friend won’t cost you an all-nighter for completing your own tasks. Tell your friend that there are lots of worthy professional writing services, for God’s sake! You deserve to have some rest!
Here you will learn why you should not cram at night and what to do if it is the only way out.
How a night without sleep interferes with memorization
The mechanism of remembering is as follows: the brain filters information during the REM sleep phase and leaves the one that is of interest. Without this phase, the transition to long-term memory is incomplete. Short-term, too, will likely not be able to retain the amount of information that students expect to learn overnight.
Repetition is important for learning new material: we forget most of the information in the next few hours. That is why scientists recommend that we review important material from time to time during the next few weeks or months to consolidate the results.
Lack of sleep negatively affects the immune system and changes eating habits. It reduces performance and cognitive functions: a tired brain needs more time to process and reproduce information. So even if you manage to learn a new topic overnight, your thoughts will be so muddled that you will not be able to reproduce correctly what you knew.
Is it worth studying the night before the exam?
If you regularly are missing lectures and seminars, some time to study is necessary: for the silence at the exam you certainly do not get a positive mark. However, you should not devote all night to studying, too. If you missed the time and you have less than a day to repeat it, take the evening to prepare, then after a few hours of sleep get up early and review the material you studied the day before.
Choose the most basic and important topics that address the most questions from the list. After you’ve studied the basics, move on to the details. Make diagrams and keep an outline: visualization will help consolidate the material.
Don’t forget to rest: short breaks of 5 minutes every half an hour will save you from overwork. This time can be used for a walk, a quick snack, or exercise.
How to minimize the damage
Sleeping a few hours instead of the 7-9 hours that the adult body is supposed to get is also stressful. You can reduce the level of damage by following our recommendations:
Eat protein rather than carbohydrates. The body tries to compensate for the lack of energy with the increased consumption of sweets. Do not go along with it: an excess of carbohydrates will cause sleepiness, but a meal rich in protein will help maintain alertness.
Drink coffee. During prolonged wakefulness, levels of adenosine, a neurotransmitter that signals that the body is tired and needs to rest, increase. Caffeine blocks adenosine receptors in the brain and weakens the effect of this chemical compound.
Turn on the bright light. The human body is used to living by an internal clock that determines sleep and wakefulness times. You can trick it by studying at night in bright light. The production of melatonin (the main sleep hormone) is most strongly suppressed by a bluish light.
Warm-up. During sleep, the human body temperature drops and reaches a minimum between 3 and 4 a.m. Dress warmer at night so you don’t get distracted by the cold.
Get some rest before a new day. After you finish your tasks, sleep for 1.5 hours, which is usually how long a full cycle of sleep lasts. Waking up in the fast phase won’t make you feel broken, but you’ll have time to rest a bit before an exam or test. The next day, go to bed early in the evening to restore your sleep pattern.
The best way to avoid a sleepless night before an exam is to start preparing in advance. But if you’re pressed for time, professional specialists can help you complete important study papers and do your research papers. Just don’t forget to check the best essay writing service reddit reviews to make sure you receive truly high-quality service. And you can use the time you save to get a good night’s sleep before the big day.