Better grades a product of sleep or study

by Kaitlyn Tang

photo courtesy of

Many students go through the same ritual to prepare for a big exam the next day– staying up an extra hour or maybe four because there are concepts that are still cloudy, however sleep is a key component in one’s health; so students should look to find a good balance between sleep and studies.  

A student’s performance weakens as they lose more sleep. A study done in Korea also showed that, “Behaviorally-Induced Insufficient Sleep Syndrome (BISS) is a sleep disorder characterized by increased sleepiness and sleep debt and decreased sleep time due to chronic partial sleep deprivation. Individuals with BISS fail to obtain the sleep required for normal alertness because they curtail sleep voluntarily, albeit unintentionally.” In extreme conditions, the lack of sleep can influence the student’s health, voluntarily damaging their own performance in school.

A study was shown by Cari Gillen-O’Neel, Virginia Huynh, and Andrew Fuligni to see if the loss of those few hours was effective, however it had only created more problems for the next day. The bulk of negative effects were focused on the seniors of high school, who average 6.9 hours of sleep per night, whom were the least out of the tested grade levels.

Some might argue that students need to review the material as a refresher on the topics that were previously covered, however, there is a point where enough is enough, especially when the lack of sleep ends up harming the student’s mental and physical health.

According to, “Researchers found that as patients got tired, it became more challenging for them to categorize the images, and their brain cells began to slow down.”  To cram before an exam the next day while losing two or more hours of sleep would have more of a negative impact, and students would become more and more drained, preventing them from successes in their other courses before and after the exam.

According to, “shallow processed information can be encoded by the brain based on the simple characteristics of the words, rather than the meaning. So the knowledge is only able to be stored in short-term memory stores, where it is only retained for a short period.” It is encouraged not to stay up those extra hours just to study over the same topic over and over again.

Cramming results in the material that was just covered to be stored in short term memory, which would end up causing students to forget whatever that was crammed possibly right before, or even during the exam is taken.

The human brain absorbs tons of data and information everyday, and, “Short term memory is active during a five-hour study stint,” says Lisa League. “Study plans corral all the material needed to cover and break it into smaller chunks within a defined time frame,” so students should take breaks in between study sessions, to allow the information that was reviewed to soak in and relay in the brain before moving onto the next subject.

Sleep is a necessity in people’s lives and high schoolers should find a balance between maintaining a good sleep schedule and acceptable grades.





Leave a Reply