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The Importance of Sleeping Before an Exam

Studying nothing all semester and staying up the night before an exam? We’ve all been there. Innumerable articles suggest how sleeping 7-8 hours before an exam helps you remember better- what if we told you even an hour would suffice? 


When our parents emphasize the importance of a full night’s sleep before an exam- they’re not wrong. However, a full night’s sleep is something students don’t achieve even on a normal day- revenge bedtime procrastination, scrolling on reels- whatever your reason may be. Psychology and WhatsApp forwards alike harp on and on about how important sleep is, and how sleeping for 7-8 hours a day can even help you fight the risk of developing cancer– but making sleep your priority especially during exams is a task unachievable at best for most students. In a competitive job market filled with unemployment, and toxic work culture ‘grind’ sets- how can one sleep peacefully? Even our Prime Minister brags about getting 3 hours of sleep in a day. 

Luckily, studies have shown that even naps of just an hour before your exams can increase your brain’s performance and help retain information more! 

Duke-NUS Medical School in Singapore recently conducted a study where they invited 72 volunteers to sit through 80 minutes of presentations (just another day of online classes for us :’D) . They were required to memorize details about the topic of these presentations, i.e., the dietary habits and habitats of 12 different species of ants and crabs. After that, they were given the option to either revise what they had learned, watch a film, or take a nap. 

After this hour, they were required to go through another 80 minutes’ worth of presentations and finally, sit for an exam. In the end, the nappers performed the best, outperforming both the crammers and the movie-watchers. The study helps prove that napping might just be as efficient as an hour of cramming, if not more, in helping you retain your coursework before an exam. 

(To know more about the study, click here.)

I recall staying up all night before my 12th board exams to study chapters, but I always made sure to sleep even if it was for just an hour. It helped me be less drowsy before the exam and helped quell my anxiety a lot. I had coffee before the exam, of course, but I think sleeping even for a bit helped me a lot.

A IInd year student from Hindu College who wishes to stay anonymous

Since the pandemic and the onslaught of never-ending classes (without semester breaks), students have been feeling incredibly overburdened. During exam season, these emotions are magnified even more. This is a reminder to take it easy on yourself, and try to prioritize resting and sleeping, one small step at a time. 


Featured Image Credits- Osmosis

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Chiransha Prasad

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Chiransha thinks writing in capitals is a personality trait. She lives off the enemies to lovers trope, and is a certified shopaholic.