Health: Sleeping to Win

Sleep is the single biggest thing you can do to stay refreshed and focused for your exams. Get to bed early and you’ll have a head-start on the day to come.

Maybe you’ve fallen out of bed at 7 am, but you still need to get ready for school and have the all-important breakfast. Perhaps you just had to see the end of that show on TV and, as a result, it was nearly midnight when you took yourself off to dreamland. Seven hours are not enough. You’ll be like a zombie for much of the day. Teenagers need more sleep than adults do.

In the run-up to the exams, you must rearrange your schedule. Go to bed earlier and avoid lie-ins in order to get your body clock adjusted. During the night’s rapid eye movement (REM) sleep, the brain organises and consolidates material learned in school and study during the day. At this time, emotional experiences are also sorted out. So, if you’ve had an upset of some kind during the day, provided you get the correct amount of sleep, you will wake up feeling better. You know the phrase, it’ll all be better in the morning? Well, it’s true!

If your body clock is programmed not to power down until very late at night and not to wake up until late the next day, the result can be a feeling similar to jet-lag and it can affect your study and exam performance. The problems arise when your body clock runs late. If you have become used to sleeping from 3 am until noon, you’re programmed to be asleep at 8 or 9 am when you get into school. This won’t help your concentration levels.

Your body has started to take the late hour of getting up as your official start time, so you may find that you begin to come out of your sleep-deprived state around lunchtime, by which stage you’ve missed lots of classes, or indeed the exam is over!

The secret ingredient for success is always sleep, and rest is always best.

There is a strong connection between with poor grades and lack of sleep with a resulting difficulty in concentration. In order to perform at your best, you must have at least nine hours’ sleep, so if you get up at 7 am, you need to be going to bed at 10. To keep you disciplined, think of the resulting benefits for your exam success!

A good laugh and a long sleep are the best cures in the doctor’s book.’
Irish Proverb

Sleeping is healing. You know that feeling when you wake up and things just seem a little bit better? Sleep really does work miracles!