Why You Shouldn't Pull an All-Nighter

Posted by Veronica O'Brien on

Pulling an all-nighter during college is almost a right of passage. You haven't truly experienced college unless you've stayed up all night cramming for an exam or finishing a project, right? Despite this clichè, sleep is essential. We all fundamentally know that humans require sleep to survive, but do you know just how important sleep is? Those right-of-passage all-nighters could be more harmful than helpful because sleep is directly linked to one’s health and academic success. Sleep is as vital to humans' survival as water! 

Though researchers are unclear how long one can survive with no sleep, it doesn't take long to start experiencing the effects of sleep deprivation. Having just one poor night's sleep can disrupt cognitive functioning and reduce your immune system response, meaning you'll undergo a lack of concentration, irritability and are more susceptible to getting sick. Did you know that staying awake for 24 hours is just like having a blood alcohol content of .10%? For reference, the legal limit is .08%. Moreover, if you go without sleep for too long then you risk experiencing hallucinations. 

If that alone doesn't convince you, then may this will - While we sleep, our brain takes our memories from the day and moves them to our long term memory. Without sleep, your brain won't do this task efficiently, and you're likely going to lose the memory of a lot of the materials you are studying. Basically, you'll be studying all night to ace an exam with the likelihood of not being able to recall the information at exam time. The right of passage all-nighters is an extremely unproductive way to obtain good grades on finals. You won't be at your optimal cognitive performance level, and you likely won't recall much of the information you attempted to cram - sorry, friends!

Alright, all-nighters are an ineffective study method, so what's a better solution? I have two tips for any college student's success on an exam: (1) always get enough sleep, (2) study in smaller chunks. In case I haven't made myself clear, sleep is incredibly important, and you need it to retain information. And I get it, it can be challenging getting enough sleep in college environments, but that's why there are sleep aids such as a Sleepyhead mattress topper to help promote more restful sleep. Studying in smaller chunks seems like a huge burden, but it will actually take less time to memorize/ learn the materials if you review your notes more frequently rather than trying to cram last minute. Rest up and stay organized for your best chance at success in college. Happy studies, friends!

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