With finals week coming up and all the stress that comes with it, students should not be pulling all-nighters. It damages our brain function, and it is not an effective way to study for finals. Although the Main Library is open 24/7 starting April 30 for finals, students should not stay all night to cram study for finals.
According to Medical News Today, 20% of college students pull an all-nighter every month and 35% stay up past 3 a.m. at least one night every week. Studies have shown that students who pull all-nighters regularly have lower GPAs, have experienced more sleep deprivation and make more mistakes than those who do not stay up all night. The lack of sleep is as damaging to one’s academic performance as extreme alcohol and drug use.
Pulling all-nighters throughout the semester also takes a toll on one’s mental health. Completing all-nighters consistently can lead to sleep deprivation. Because of sleep deprivation, one can become more stressed due to an increase in cortisol levels, which is the stress hormone. According to the National Library of Medicine, “Increased anxiety levels have been widely recognized as one of the most important consequences of sleep deprivation.” Sleep deprivation can also be a more significant mental health issue like insomnia or depression.
Consistent all-nighters can also take effect on one’s physical health. Sleep deprivation can lead to high blood pressure, type-2 diabetes, weight gain and heart disease. No sleep can also decrease energy, increase fatigue and increase pain sensitivity. Getting no sleep also messes up one’s circadian rhythm, which makes one feel horrible, like being hungry and moody throughout the day.
Although pulling all-nighters are horrible for one’s physical and mental health, sometimes all-nighters cannot be avoided. Some tips include chewing gum, printing materials instead of on a tablet/computer, drinking caffeine in moderation, keeping the lights on, staying active and staying hydrated. Studies show that being outside and exposed to sunshine can increase alertness, especially after no sleep. Studies have also shown that catching up on sleep after an all-nighter, whether a nap or sleeping later, can help restore one’s circadian rhythm.
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Kelly Marry (she/her) is a freshman majoring in journalism and public relations. She loves to read and travel in her free time.