Cramming everything related to Thermodynamics the night before the test; spending the wee hours memorizing the properties and reactions of Inorganic Chemistry; finishing the last pages of that lab manual at 4:00 a.m.
Maybe, you’ve been in one or all of these situations. Pulling all-nighters often seems like a great solution to that pesky procrastination problem. But contrary to what most people believe about it being a productive studying technique, it can actually be harmful to your health.
Why Ignoring Health is a Mistake: An Anecdote
When I was in my tenth grade, I was very irregular in my studies. Long nights before the exams were very common. They helped me complete my portion right before the examinations. Towards the end of our pre-boards, I again did the same during the two-weeks gap that our school had provided for preparations. Although I achieved my goal, I was left with a really bad health.
Apparently, the lack of sleep contributed to multiple headaches. The often untimely meals caused bowel problems. I also exposed myself to the severe winter season during the nights by being careless about my clothing.
The doctor advised me complete bed rest for a week after the exams, allowing only selective and often tasteless food, in addition to the usual prescription of medicines and nebulization. I had already studied most of my syllabus. But the lack of revision, given the consecutive dates of the papers, caused fear and ultimately doubled down my sour health.
I got a little better before my examinations, but I had little memory of what I’d learned. Though I was tempted to revert to my old ways of studies, my parents were there to warn me against repeating my ways. I revised my subjects during the exams, but my grades fell miserably. Once the pre-board exams were over, I learned a lot about my health through this experience. I stopped my late-night misadventures and consequently my board exams went terrific.
The Problem with All-Nighters
The memory part of the brain experiences more activity when we are sleeping than when we are awake, and it needs those sleeping hours to get recharged. When we deprive it of that crucial rest, it doesn’t retain the information properly. After a sleepless night, our attention span shortens, and we may have some difficulty remaining focused during the exam.
When we sleep, our body uses that time to repair itself. But those late night snacks tend to fill our body with excess sugar. When we stay awake all night, our body doesn’t have the chance to filter out all that extra glucose, which could potentially cause digestive problems.
It’s almost impossible to pull an all-nighter without a little caffeine boost, but that’s probably the last thing an already sleep-deprived body needs. When the eyes can barely remain open for that last-minute cramming, it is only natural to depend on energy drinks or coffee. Not only do these sources of caffeine have an excessive amount of sugar, but they also cause the body to shut down a few hours later. And hence, when the real exam time arrives, it makes it real difficult to stay awake. An overload of caffeine can also cause anxiety and even panic attacks in the long run.
Stay Healthy and Study Healthy.
If you pull a few all-nighters in your lifetime, you don’t need to be worried – just don’t make it a habit. The long-term effects of the same are severe for those with chronic sleep deprivation. Try to get as much sleep as you can whenever possible, and your body will thank you later.
Good health is an extremely potent factor in your exam preparations. You can go through this article of ours to know how to keep yourself fit and healthy to achieve maximum productivity.
You could also read about super foods that boost brainpower here.
Best of luck!