Tag Archives: academics

All-Nighters: Not worth it

Pulling An All-Nighter
Source: Pink and Black Magazine

I can recall the countless times I have found myself on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or other social media sites when I should be studying. In wasting all that valuable time procrastinating, I end up pulling an all-nighter in order to complete my assignment. Or that time when I realize that I spent the majority of the term slacking off, so I resort to pulling all-nighters during final exams in attempt to learn all the material. 4 months’ worth of course load in 24 hours…that’s possible, is it not?

Many people believe that all-nighters are necessary to achieve better grades. Is it worth sacrificing a few hours of sleep to attain a higher GPA?

The answer, unfortunately, is no!

The Anatomy of an All-Nighter
Source: Staff Writers, OnlineColleges

Christian Benedict, a professor of Sweden’s Uppsala University in Sweden, and other researchers, performed a study to determine the repercussions of pulling an all-nighter. These sleep researchers analyzed the blood content in fifteen men: after they had a full 8 hours of sleep and after they pulled an all-nighter. After the participants pulled an all-nighter, researchers discovered an increase in the concentration of NSE and S-100B in the participants’ blood. The Swedish researchers compared the effects of sleep deprivation to that of head injuries’ (similar to a blow to the head or from a car accident), since it is known that the molecules NSE and S-100B increase in blood during head injuries.

According to study funded by NINDS (National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke), the brain’s role during sleep is to rid itself of toxins. Lack of sleep may be connected to neurodegenerative disorders, which are result from toxin build-up between brain cells. Examples of neurodegenerative diseases include multiple sclerosis, Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s.

Not only are all-nighters harmful to brain health, sleep deprivation leads to poor grades! Pamela Thacher, a professor at St. Lawrence University, discovered that students who frequently pulled all-nighters had worse GPAs than students who didn’t. Dr. Philip Alapat, a medical director and professor of Baylor College of Medicine, agrees with Thacher in that a lot of rest helps with memory retention and increases both academic performance and concentration. Alapat recommends that students get 8 hours of sleep, study during the evening (6-8pm), and not abuse caffeinated beverages to increase both health and GPA!

For the students who might disagree and exclaim that they have received a better score when they replaced an hour of sleep with an hour of studying: it is not worth it if it is at the expense of your well-being!

The video below outlines why sleep is necessary for maintaining brain health.

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Happy studying!

-(Vy) Brenda Nguyen