The Dangers of Sleep Deprivation


Kayleigh Barnes, Staff Writer

Testing season is right around the corner, as well as those last-minute all-nighters students seem to pull right before a big test. While studying is good, especially when it comes to finals, is it worth it to put your health at risk with a late-night cram session? Apparently not.

“Most people need at least seven to eight hours of sleep at night for the body and brain to function normally,” says ScienceDaily article on Studying: Is it bad for your health to pull an all-nighter? “So, if you stay up all night, missing out on the recommended amount of sleep, your brain will be equally as weary — rendering a sharp decrease in performance for specific learning and memory tasks.”

Staying up late to study for an upcoming test does more harm than good. Now I know you’ve probably heard this a lot, but it’s true. I’ve seen a difference myself. I would study for about half an hour before going to sleep at around 9:00 or 10:00 p.m, then wake up the next day remembering the information easier than I would if I had crammed. 

Sleep helps your body and brain catch up with itself, so removing that important time period for your body to rejuvenate is incredibly taxing. It’s better to study in small increments throughout the week or month, studying for a little while before heading to bed. Then, you’ll find you can recall needed information much easier.

“… trying to cram this information into our brains only uses short-term memory — and long- term memory is what we need to recall and retain most facts,” the article states.

Getting proper sleep is essential for students, especially during testing season. I feel like most kids think it’s cool to not get any sleep these days; like if you only get three hours a night you’re suddenly super cool because all you’re functioning on is caffeine and adrenaline. I disagree with this. I think students should be getting the proper amount of sleep when they’ve got tests coming up. Manage your time responsibly. Don’t waste time in class checking Snap chat or Instagram when you could be studying, especially if you have a job. Students with job schedules might have a more difficult time finding time to study, since changing time slots can be difficult, so whenever you have free time in class or before work, study. Then, get to sleep at a decent time so you’ll feel refreshed and ready to tackle the day. You don’t have to stay up all night to get something done, just be responsible humans and manage your time appropriately. Write up a schedule or use a planner if you need to, just make sure you’re taking care of yourself.