Should I sacrifice my sleep time to study

High school and college students know how hard it is to maintain consistency in their studying life. Not being consistent might lead them to being short of time to finish their assignment or prepare for their exam.

If you’re one of those students (everyone is at some point of their life), then you may be asking yourself, should I sacrifice my sleep to study?

No, you should not sacrifice your sleep time to study at all. Sacrificing your bed time for doing anything else, not just studying, is a bad idea. It causes you more harm than good. For your body to function properly, it needs enough sleep time and sacrificing that time will cause you trouble.

If you are between 14 and 25 years old, then here’s what the National Sleep foundation recommend that your sleep time be:

  • 14 – 17 years old (Teenager): 8 to 10 hours of sleep
  • 18 – 25 years old (Young Adults): 7 to 9 hours of sleep

You can find the data here along with sleep recommendations for all other ages. I only mentioned these 2 age ranges because these are the ages when you’re usually attending high school or college.

You have to make sure that you get enough sleep every night so that you function properly the next day.

In the next few sections, I will be discussing why you shouldn’t sacrifice your sleep time to study and what are some possible alternatives for you.

Why should I not sacrifice my sleeping time for anything else?

This Healthline article states that there are huge drawbacks for sleep deprivation. They mention that sleep deprivation may cause memory loss, trouble with thinking and concentration, high blood pressure, poor balance, weight gain and so much more.

So, you need to avoid not sleeping well at all costs.

I bet you already have faced the experience of being deprived from sleep at least once in your life. 

If you don’t have enough sleep, you notice that your next day is one of the worst days that you can possibly have. Headaches after the middle of the day, less concentration, less desire to do anything, less focus and less productivity at anything.

The worst thing is that one night with less sleeping time than usual might mess up your sleeping schedule for the next few days and maybe weeks.

The real question is:

How to survive your high school or college without having to sacrifice your sleeping time?

1 – Do not wait for the last minute.

This is a fairly obvious advice yet a lot of students still ignore it. If you had 1 week to study for an exam and you only decided to start studying only 2 days before the exam, then there’s no way you will be able to not sacrifice your sleeping time to study.

So what should you do? Start early obviously. As early as you can.

How can you train yourself to start studying early and not wait for the last minute everytime?

One technique that I used to force myself to do things is to set a list of rules. I would do my best not to break any of these rules no matter what. Because I already know that if I break a rule only Once, then I’ll do it again and again.

So, set your own unbreakable rules on yourself and try not to break them at any cost. You can even punish yourself if you decide not to follow one of the rules.

What kind of rules you may ask? For studying, you can use one of the following rules for example:

  • At least 2 hours of studying time every day.
  • No phone or any other form of distraction allowed while studying
  • Setting a studying schedule and committing to it.
  • And so on

What form of punishment can you use if you break one of these rules? Well, it’s up to you. Here is how Markiplier, a famous youtuber, punished himself for breaking the rule of ‘Posting everyday’ one time:

He made other youtubers slap him on the face in front of the camera. So be creative with the way you punish yourself if you break any of the supposedly unbreakable rules that you set.

2 – Make the most out of your studying time

This is by far one of the greatest things you can do to achieve the best results. Study smart not hard.

It doesn’t matter how much time you spend studying something, what matters is how much of that time was used effectively.

The higher the efficiency, the better. You could study the same piece of content in either 2 hours or 10 hours. It all depends on the way you handle your studying time.

In fact, I have dedicated a separate article for tips on how to study better and make the most out of your time if you’d like to check it out too.

3 – Take breaks more often

This might sound counter intuitive at first. But breaks are an essential part of your studying journey and you’ll end up sacrificing a lot of sleeping time if you have already burned yourself out with studying.

More is sometimes less. You need to constantly stay away from everything related to studying for a short period of time so that you keep your mental state stable and keep your momentum going.

If you decide to burn yourself out for the sake of studying, then you won’t last a lot (almost no body can last a lot), and you’ll eventually give up your consistency and that might lead you to lose control over your time management capabilities.

Consistency is the key to everything in this context. Studying 3 hours a day is better than studying 14 hours for 2 days.

To be able to achieve consistency, you’ll need to keep your mind fresh and ready all the time. You do that with taking breaks constantly.

So to summarize things.

You should never sacrifice your sleep time to study for the reasons mentioned in this article, however what you should do is make sure that you don’t even reach the point where you need to sacrifice your sleep time for anything.

How do you do that? By not waiting for the last minute to start studying, being efficient during your studying time and taking breaks constantly.

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