All Nighters Aren't Worth It

It’s exam time in colleges around the U.S. and elsewhere, and a great line comes from a story in the Binghamton University newspaper:

There’s a reason Thanksgiving comes before finals — once exams roll around, nobody’s grateful for anything, except sleep.

It’s a rite of passage to pull “all nighters” when exam time comes around.  In addition, many adults who are long past college find themselves staying up all night readying for the big presentation that’s going to impress the boss the next day.  The fact is, however, that there comes a point where sleep deprivation kicks in and your brain cannot learn anything else.  On top of that, your brain simply doesn’t think as quickly when it’s deprived of sleep, which means an unexpected question on the exam or an unexpected comment from the boss could make your whole house of cards fall down when it comes time to perform.

So, how do you avoid having to stay up late to cram for exams or that big presentation?  It’s simple — plan ahead.  If you learn throughout the school semester or do a little bit of prep for that presentation each night rather than trying to do it all at once, you’ll sleep a lot better and your brain will be a lot more rested.  Recent studies have shown that sleep not only rejuvenates your brain, it also helps categorize memories so they’re more usable.

If you simply HAVE to cram, do it wisely and be well-prepared when you start.  This article from eHow has some great study tips.  Time wasted during studying could be time spent sleeping.