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Sep 30, 2013 02:09 PM EDT

Top 5 Reasons All-Night Study Sessions Are a Horrible Idea


All-nighters are a bad idea. Whether it is a ten-page paper or a midterm exam, do not put it off for a marathon session the night before.

Several previous studies have shown that the reasons often connected pulling an all-night study session are as bad as the actual sleep deprivation itself. Even if the test is the final exam of a super-important class, it is better to spend your night getting a full eight hours instead of a red-eyed study session.

So, instead of putting off writing that final paper to play some more Madden, write it ahead of time. It is far better to stay up late to finish than to try and write the whole paper when you should be in between the sheets. Once that paper is in your professor's hands, chances are you will not have another major assignment for a week or two, so reward yourself with some PlayStation if you want.

Also, instead of cramming in an extra eight hours of studying because the previous all-day library marathon is not enough, relax and get to bed, let your brain digest the critical mass of information you are trying to take in and give yourself some rest. Trusting in your ability to prepare for a test, combined with a full night of sleep will instill confidence on game-day.

Here are the five biggest reasons all-nighters are a bad idea, according to U.S. News and World Report's Steven Holbrook.

1. They will affect your grades, in a bad way.

Sleep deprivation was the main culprit in a St. Lawrence University study that found those who routinely pulled all-nighters had an average GPA of 2.9, while those who did not averaged 3.1. Lack of sleep causes drowsiness, forgetfulness, irritability and a headache usually comes with.

2. Again, forgetfulness.

Sleep repairs and heals the human mind. Not the brain, the mind. All that information you retain during the day is good as gone if you deprive yourself of sleep and deny your mind a chance to rest.

3. Cramming does not actually work.

Studies have shown time and again that the least effective study habits involve cramming. The best way to remember something is to actually learn it by studying material over time. Seriously, you know when the midterm is coming, so review your notes and re-read the chapter after each class.

4. Your "second wind" is a false feeling.

When the sun rises on the end of your marathon study session and that "second wind" of energy kicks in, it is not your body feeling motivated to take on the day. It is actually short-term euphoria, but its not to help you accomplish tasks, it is meant to get you to a bed or couch.

5. Poor sleep habits have long-term effects.

This one is for the serial all-night-studier. Even the healthiest human being can increase their chance for a future stroke if they routinely get less than six hours of sleep per night, according to the Associated Professional Sleep Societies.

CLICK HERE for more information on how much sleep is appropriate for you... and HERE for an INFOGRAPHIC on random statistics on all-nighters.

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