Can you please explain to me how more sleep improves grades? I know a lot of people who seem to pull all-nighters before an exam and they’re fine. Yet, you guys keep telling me that that’s not the case.
- All-Nighter Activist
Dear All-Nighter Activist,
It is true that getting seven to nine hours of sleep can result in higher grades. An all-nighter is academically detrimental. According to a 2005 National College Health Assessment survey, almost a quarter of William & Mary students reported receiving a lower grade as a result of sleep difficulties. Much evidence exists that sleep dramatically impacts cognitive abilities. It is during sleep that memories are consolidated and that the brain’s capabilities are renewed. Without adequate sleep we experience decreased attention span, reduced ability to concentrate or make decisions, and increased probability of committing errors.
When learning new information, especially in large amounts, the brain desperately needs rest time. When cramming for an exam a person would be better served to sleep for two or three hours instead of trying to pull an all-nighter.
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