The Best (Students) Never Rest?

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Sleeping with Bo

Sweet Slumber. (Image by Joi via Flickr)

This week, many students move out of a festive Thanksgiving weekend into an intense knuckle-down study season; after all, final exams loom in December.

Studying hard certainly is not unhealthy, and in fact I rather encourage it (as would your teachers and profs). Heed this advice, though: try to get proper rest into your study schedule. That’s not always easy at the college level, as anyone with a college degree can tell you. But it turns out all-nighters aided by massive doses of caffeine are not too good for you . . . so know when to say “when” and go to bed.

Before you do, check out this interesting recent commentary in The Chronicle of Higher Education about why students need more sleep. Its author, a professor at Brown University, directs studies in a sleep-research lab, and her advice bears repeating: “College students should sleep more.”

“Forget A’s, B’s, and C’s—What Students Need Is More Zzzz’s,” by Mary A. Carskadon, 11/20/11.

Also see here for a related piece on this blog: “Better Sleep, Better Student?

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Better Sleep, Better Student?

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Sleep mask

Image via Wikipedia

Get enough sleep in order to perform well: this advice is not new, but a few college health officials recently have been promoting the benefits of napping to their students. This article from Inside Higher Ed describes such a napping campaign at University of California at Davis.

The bottom line: these officials claim that naps taken as a supplement to good nightly sleep will improve academic performance. Although the article notes there’s not a proven link between sleep and better grades, there IS a link between sleep and better concentration. The importance of napping, and of sleep in general, also recalls John Medina’s Brain Rules rule # 7: “Sleep well, think well” (illustrated at this site: http://www.brainrules.net/sleep). In his book, and on the companion website, Prof. Medina explains that the brain needs sleep in order to learn effectively.

 

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