Tis Monday. Monday kinda sucks sometimes eh? Then again, there might be some of you who pranced to school today because you just simply love that it’s yet another school week. I didn’t prance. I kinda dragged my feet. Just a little (sshh…don’t tell the VP…I don’t think he reads this blog). I kinda wish I could still be sleeping on my sweet bed, like the doggies in the pic. So peaceful, so restful, so serene, so everything-that-is-nice-and-wonderful. For those of you who have been following my blog, you’d know that I’m kinda sleep obsessed. I like to sleep. Alot. And in my waking hours, I love to read on the different phases of sleep, catch up on the latest sleep research, the perfect temperature and lighting for sleep, what to eat and what not to eat to facilitate the best sleep ever etc etc. I know. I’m kinda weird in that way.
Anyways, in my sleep obsessive state, I came across this article on a piece of research that has been conducted on how ‘better sleep is associated with improved academic success’. I’ve written before on how sleep deprivation can lead to poorer performance in tests but not so much vice versa – that more sleep can actually make you a better student with better test scores! The research followed 56 adolescents and tracked their sleep pattern using objective measures like an actigraphy as well as subjective self-report like a sleep diary. Their findings showed that ‘higher math scores were related to greater sleep quality, less awakenings and increased sleep efficiency’. Being the sleep geek that I am, I then searched for more related news and it was like I opened a pandora’s box of sorts. In this other research by Ghent and KU Leuven University in Belgium, they surveyed 621 first year university students and asked them about their sleep habits during the exam period and concluded that ‘all else equal, students who generally got a good night’s sleep performed better on exams!!!’ Ok…that triple exclamation mark is mine, and not the researchers’. Researchers don’t tend to use exclamation marks. What’s more, in this same research, they found that those students who slept 7 hours each night got grades that were 10% higher than those who slept less than! 10%!!! that’s mighty significant if you ask me.
So it’s an indefatigable fact (yes I remember many big words cos I sleep alot) that sleep is an essential component to effective studying. It’s not a luxury, or something that you can or should ‘sacrifice’ so you can put in more studying hours. When you sacrifice sleep, you’re really sacrificing your performance in tests and your ability to concentrate, absorb and retain information in class. Depriving yourself of sleep is really one of the most counter productive things you can do as a JC student. Some of you may then be asking why? Why does sleep make such a BIG difference in learning and grades? And how? How do you get more sleep when you have so may things to juggle? Well I’ve been told that my posts are too long for sleep deprived JC students so I will write about that in another post soon to come. Meanwhile, you can check out some of the stuff I’ve already written on sleep debt, how to get more sleep and whether naps can help.
So yeah…my take on this? Sleep and wake up better, stronger and smarter!
American Academy of Sleep Medicine. “Better Sleep Is Associated With Improved Academic Success.” ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 15 June 2009. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/06/090610091232.htm>.
“Scientists Link A Good Night’s Sleep to Higher Test Scores.” Huffington Post, 22nd June 2014. <http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/06/22/sleep-hours-exam-performance_n_5516643.html>