Sleep more for higher scores

Everyone says that once you are in college you can say goodbye to sleep, which of course no one believes at first. It isn’t until your head is bobbing up and down at 2 a.m. because your Red Bull has worn off when you finally believe these wise words.
Studying all night can be a common scenario for a typical college student on any given night, and it is usually one that is repeated multiple times throughout the semester. In some cases, it can be a daily recurrence in a student’s life. While most think that burning the midnight oil will help them ace that tricky devil of an exam, it can actually make it even harder to pass, regardless of how many hours you stared at the information.

Sleep deprivation, which is the general lack of necessary sleep the body needs to function properly, can do much more harm than making someone cranky the whole day. It takes eight full hours of sleep for the human body to get enough rest to reach its full potential. Not getting a full night sleep every night can pile up quickly. According to, if a person sleeps an average of four hours a night, which happens occasionally in the life of an on-the-go college student, the brain reacts as if the person had not sleep in three consecutive nights.

According to, sleep deprivation can lead to the inability to concentrate, short-term memory loss and difficulty speaking. These symptoms are dangerous for anyone, but even more harmful to college students, since they oftentimes must read endless pages a week and be able to retain it for intensive examinations. Without an efficient, sharp memory, everything learned in class and study would be pointless.

The National Academy of Sciences has conducted studies that show a person could run the risk of not perceiving the correct thing in front of them when sleep deprived. This can lead to the wrong materials retained, which leads to poor test scores.
However, all-nighters sometimes seem like the only possible way to complete all the work that is necessary, which at times can be very overwhelming. Stress alone can make it harder to take a test because of the pressure to perform well, and when coupled with lack of sleep, the chances of a satisfactory performance are slim.

Most students think that if they do not feel tired, then they’re not. This is a common myth, because caffeine can be used to ease the sleepiness symptom of sleep deprivation. Therefore, energy drinks such as Red Bull and Rock Star, along with the original all-nighter drink of choice, coffee, will prevent you from passing out but won’t assist you in remembering the material.

So, is it possible to get enough sleep, juggle academics, extra-curricular activities, work and a social life without needing a clone? There are ways to get enough rest and boost test scores. Taking short power naps that last between a half hour to an hour can reenergize the brain so it can process information easier and more efficiently.

Time management is also a key tactic in avoiding sleep deprivation. By allotting a certain time frame for each subject a night, studying can be made easier, because it is done a bit at a time in a relaxed atmosphere. This method of studying is less stressful than staring at endless pages of notes with bulging eyes the night before the test, almost ready to pull your hair out. Yes, it is hard changing a repeated cycle of late-night studying, but it can be beneficial to your personality, academics and body.

With two weeks until midterms, do not let lack of sleep hinder you from achieving your maximum potential. Instead of reaching for the Red Bull, reach for the light switch and give your brain a break, and your GPA will thank you.