With back-to-school season approaching, it’s important to know how sleep can affect your performance in class and/or work. Not getting enough sleep at night can hinder your ability to learn and consume new information. Instead of skipping sleep to cram for an exam, prioritizing your upcoming schedule ahead of time will help you to do better.
Loss of Memory Skills
While we’ve all been faced with the sacrifice of pulling an all-nighter to finish work or study for an exam, the lack of sleep can negatively decrease your memory consolidation: an important cognitive function that helps store information. Memory consolidation relies heavily on our bodies getting adequate amounts of sleep. Many studies show that the best way to process new information and store it in your brain is to sleep on it. During our different sleep cycles, our brain can then go through new memories of information and strengthen your ability to remember them.
While lack of sleep affects our memory, it’s no surprise that it affects our mood as well. Sleep deprivation leaves us feeling more irritable and stressed, while getting more sleep can improve our mental health. Not getting enough sleep can also hamper our creativity and organization skills, making it harder for us to stay on top of daily tasks and assignments and stay concentrated throughout the day.
Sleep deprivation can also lead us to having poor judgement skills, which may begin to show up in our work. This will further increase your stress levels and create a cycle of trying to catch up on your assignments as well as your sleep.
Improving your Sleep
Creating better sleep habits can be beneficial in improving your learning. When having a consistent sleep schedule, our chances of getting uninterrupted and proper sleep is easier to accomplish. It’s also important to know when it’s best to put your work down for the night and create a calm space to relax and unwind. Limiting your caffeine intake as well as the amount of blue light you consume in the evening and nighttime hours can help you to fall asleep faster.
Balancing between work or school and keeping up with your health can be difficult. Finding an appropriate rthymn in your day to day life is key to a successful night. If you find yourself staying awake at night stressing about your upcoming tasks for the next day, writing them down before bed is an easy way to get them off your mind and on paper.
It’s easy to not prioritize proper sleep when we have a million things going on around us. But lack of sleep will create bigger problems for our health and wellbeing, making us fall behind in our work and school. Finding a sleep routine that works best for your schedule will help you be productive and accomplish more in your day.