A lot of students find that adapting to the increased pace of A levels is tough after GCSE, but could a good night’s rest help?
While you are studying fewer subjects for A level than at GCSE, the step up in difficulty and what is expected of you catches many students off guard. This is something that most schools and colleges understand so teachers will tend to do what they can to make the transition easier for their students. However, with the additional workload and the added social freedoms that many teens start to enjoy when they get older it can be all too easy to end up cutting back on sleep.
Sleep & Memory
However, failing to get enough rest can have a negative impact on your studies, since your ability to concentrate and remember things is impaired by a lack of sleep. Prolonged periods of not getting enough sleep will affect your mood, as well as your ability to focus, concentrate and learn. So clearly, not getting enough sleep could make your studies harder to manage.
Quite simply, your brain is like any other part of your body – it needs rest in order to work properly – you wouldn’t expect to be able to keep running for several days without proper rest – so why would you expect your brain to be able to keep working efficiently without sleep?
During the day your brain takes in a lot of information – whether it is your studies, watching TV, chatting with friends, or what your lunch was like. Not all of this information is important, and sleep helps serve the function of letting your brain sift through the information to work out what is worth remembering. Sleep also allows your brain a chance to clean itself – literally flushing toxins out of the brain itself!
How Much Is Enough Sleep?
When it comes to how much sleep you need per night, there are a few hard-and-fast rules which recommend college students try to get 8-9 hours per night. While such recommendations are handy, they don’t work for everyone and some people need more while others may be able to cope with a bit less. To put it simply, if you find yourself feeling tired during the day then you are not getting enough sleep – your body will let you know when you need more!
The Best Time To Study?
Everyone has their own ideas as to when they prefer to study, and of course, other activities may make a difference too. Evening clubs, socialising, or just relaxing to watch your favourite programme on TV will all have a bearing on how you manage your study time, but ideally you will want to study during times when your brain is functioning at a high rate (some experts recommend between 6 and 8pm). Others may feel bright first thing in the morning and like to get some study done then.
While sleep is certainly important in helping you to operate at your best, you should also try to maintain a healthy diet to keep you stocked up with the right fuels to keep you going. Exercise is also important as it can help reduce stress and even focus your mind.
Getting enough sleep means that you will be at your best each day and better able to cope with the pressures of your A levels, but sleep deprivation can also lead to the development of long-term diseases like diabetes, high blood pressure and heart disease!
Time for an early night?