Earning A’s by Catching Z’s

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Finals season is right around the corner, which for some people means their sleep schedule is about to take a turn for the worse. Cramming, while sometimes necessary, is definitely not the best studying tactic. There is a fine line between knowing when it’s time to hit the pillow rather than continuing to hit the books, so let VALLEY explain to you why sleep is key.

Memorization 101

While professors are big on the difference between memorizing and understanding topics taught in class, memorization is a big component of test taking. If an individual is sleep deprived, their focus is not going to be as strong or concrete. When looking over material late at night, your mind may be too tired to hammer in the notes you are reviewing. A bad night’s sleep negatively impacts the brains process of retaining information, which ultimately leads to a less productive study session.

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Not only does sleep impact your brain’s ability to memorize and comprehend information, but it also determines how productive or motivated you are to do that studying in the first place. This seems like a given, but it bears repeating that the more tired you are, the better looking your bed is. You will not feel like making the hike to the library if you are running on three hours of sleep. In order to maximize your daily productivity, you need to give your body the proper rest it needs. Without this rest, you may become unmotivated, along with anxious and flat out grumpy.

Caffeine’s Role

It is recommended that adults get about 7-9 hours of sleep every night. For some, this might seem unlikely. There are a lot of reasons why a good night sleep can be unattainable for someone our age. First off…caffeine. On average, about 92% of students consume caffeine daily.

Here at VALLEY, we like our coffee just as much as you do, but that is not to say that the rich and creamy drink does not have negative impacts on your sleep.

The whole point of caffeine is to keep you awake, so it makes sense that sleep is a more difficult task after a Venti from Starbucks. Another factor that can wreck the quality of your sleep is screen time. The blue light that is emitted from your phone screen is really damaging to your eyes as it messes with the melatonin production, which is what controls the circadian rhythm.

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Sleep Struggles

If you are someone who struggles with getting a good night sleep, Penn State offers sleep resources, where things like workshops, wellness services and even a relaxation room are available and catered towards giving you the sleep of your dreams. You’re not you when you’re tired, so it is very important in these exam-filled days to allow yourself to get a good night sleep in order to get the grades you deserve.

Good luck on finals everyone!



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