ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

High School Exams: Get Some Sleep!

Updated on January 25, 2019
Christina St-Jean profile image

I am a mom of two awesome children who teach me more daily than I ever thought possible. I love writing, exercise, movies, & LGBT advocacy.

Exam Preparation

Source

Study And Sleep - Yes, It's Possible!

The other night while training at karate, a high school student I know asked me for some tips on how to stay up late at night. I'm the last person anyone should ask about that, and I told the young man that. I was completely incapable of pulling an all-nighter when I was in university without being overcome by nausea from lack of sleep, and since having children, I have found it nearly impossible to stay up past 10 pm without yawning my face off.

However, it's exam time for high school students, as many who are on a semestered timetable know. Finals are one of the roughest times of the year for both students and teachers as there are back to back exams and a whole ton of information to review. However, there are many people who think that staying up all night is going to help them get through the week.

I understood, to a certain extent, my friends in university who would be up all night prepping for exams like their med school or law school entrance exams. These are exams that might be spread out over a couple of days, or they might be hours long at the very least, so there's a lot of pressure happening because if they don't do exceptionally well, they don't get into the school of their choice. However, when I see kids in Grade 9, 10, 11 or even Grade 12 trying to function on three hours of sleep, I become very concerned.

These are kids who are still undergoing development, and as most adults know, your brain does not work at its best if you do not have enough sleep. As evidence of that, look at the signs that pop up from time to time along the side of the highway - at least, I've seen them while driving through various places in Canada. In essence, these signs caution drivers that if they are fatigued, they should really get off the road as they are becoming a danger to other drivers as well as themselves. Certainly, you aren't operating heavy machinery while taking a high school exam - at least, you shouldn't be - but my point is, your brain is not functioning at the capacity it should when you've only had 3 hours or so of sleep.

Also, what's to be gained from staying up all night? While I understand that a student's mental health might pose particular challenges in getting enough sleep prior to an exam, at the very least, we all need proper rest. When you don't get enough sleep, your brain won't function to the best of its ability, and what good is that when you're writing an exam that could be worth anywhere from 10 to 30 percent or more of your final grade?

Not only that, there are health repercussions of not getting enough rest. According to the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, "Research shows that not getting enough sleep, or getting poor-quality sleep, increases the risk of high blood pressure, heart disease, obesity, and diabetes." Granted, the focus here is likely on routine sleep deprivation or sleep loss, but one would assume that it's probably not that great for you to try and study all night and go to school the next day.

It's also dangerous to be sleep deprived. One of the biggest rites of passage for teens is getting a drivers' license. Imagine, if you will, a teenager staying up all night studying - or, at the very least, trying to study til 2 o'clock in the morning and then only getting about 4 hours or less of sleep (considerably less than the ideal 9 and a quarter hours that Nationwide Children's Hospital says is necessary) - and then driving to school to write a final exam. The kid is beyond tired, trying to be mindful of the rules of the road and watchful of people who aren't so wary of those around them, and suddenly, due to their extreme fatigue, misses the light changing from green, to amber, to red. They blow a stop light, and worse still, get into a car accident because their reflexes were sufficiently slowed by fatigue to make their response time far greater than it should have been.

Listen, I understand that teenagers will generally go to bed later and try and sleep as late as possible, but more often than not, they're attending high school when they're already sleep deprived. Part of this is because of the increased workload that high school brings, but part of this is the underlying thought that they should be up til all hours studying for exams when in reality, that helps no one.

Some potentially helpful sleep aids include taking melatonin, a hormone that our body naturally produces to help with sleep. A machine that produces white noise might also be helpful for those who need a little background noise to sleep effectively. Putting phones away two hours or more before your intended bedtime has also been shown to be helpful - read for a little bit instead. There are countless other sleep remedies, and there is, no doubt, an ideal one for each of us.

So kids, if you want to really be successful during exams, try to avoid all-nighters. Instead, realize that your body needs rest in order to do well, and try and at the very least relax prior to bed - a tall order, I know, during exams, but you'll be grateful that you at least tried.

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment
    • bourchet profile image

      Iram Gaxiola 

      16 months ago from Sin. Mx.

      thanks for sharing! this is very informative. I hadn't taken in consideration some of the risks that you mention.

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://maven.io/company/pages/privacy

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
    ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)