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Students battle with finding the balance between sleep and school

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The most common phrase I hear when walking through the halls of our seemingly sleep-deprived school is “I’m so tired” or “I was up so late last night studying.” Believe me, I’m not placing any blame here: I’m as guilty of saying these things as the next person.

Most high schoolers are under the impression that the cramming the night before a test and staying up late is going to earn them a better score than if they review some things they don’t understand and then get a reasonable amount of sleep.There’s a certain balance that needs to be achieved here. While it’s important to learn the content that will be on the test, research has shown that cramming doesn’t necessarily mean students will retain much of the information they try to quickly imprint into their memories.According to, students are more likely to recall information and perform well on tests if they get a good night of sleep, which means 8-9 hours.Of course, this study is based on the assumption that it’s always more beneficial for students to study in advance so they don’t have to cram the night before the test, but in the event that students have procrastinated (as so many of us consistently do) studying less material but sleeping more will improve the overall test scores.

Instead of skimming through textbooks, pages of notes, and meaningless vocabulary words, students should focus on certain areas of the material to completely master before moving on. Then, when their eyes become droopy and their bodies are demanding sleep, they should ditch the books and go to bed.

This way, the information that was studied, while it may be less than the variety of information covered through cramming, will be better understood and correctly processed before the test. Instead, with cramming, students can skim the surface on a wide variety of material, but they don’t truly absorb much of it because they’re going so fast.

If, on top of that, they lose potential sleeping time, their brain has less time to process the information. So, while staying up late to study seems like a valid option, oftentimes students would find it more beneficial to close their books, close their eyes, and catch some much-need Z’s.

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The student news site of John Hersey High School
Students battle with finding the balance between sleep and school