Sep
18

Become a Better Student and Sleep Well: Don’t Study In Your Room!

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Become a Better Student and Sleep Well: Don’t Study In Your Room!

You may be used to not having much work after class in high school, but college is completely different world. You have to make your own schedule, figure out when to do what and figure out where to study. On bigger campuses, sometimes it’s difficult to find to motivation to walk all the way to the library to get your work done, but sometimes that walk is all that matters in the difference between good and bad study habits. Not only is it key to find your own niche to get studying done, but it can be detrimental to your grades and your health to study in the easiest place possible: your dorm room bed.

We’ve all been there. It’s getting pretty late and you have that paper due tomorrow that you’ve barely started. You do not have time to find a nice pace to study… you need to get it done and you need to get it done quickly. Although you are focused on getting your work done, the most important decision you can make in this situation is where to study. Places of study such as open classrooms, lecture halls, and libraries are definitely your best bet—filled with students who are trying to achieve the same things as you, (or filled with no one at all) you will be able to concentrate on the task at hand and focus on what needs to be done. If you study in your room or dorm lounge, you are more likely to be interrupted by your fellow dorm mates, friends or by undone tasks around your room.

If you are studying in your room, chances are you are sitting at a desk or studying in your bed. Although it may not seem like a big deal, studying in your bed can have an incredibly detrimental affect on your grades, sleeping pattern and health. “Although your study zone should be comfortable, remember that it is a working environment. It is recommended that you not use your bed for anything but sleep. Psychologically, your bed is automatically associated with sleep, so lying down in it will make you fatigued and unable to concentrate on the material at hand. It also works the other way: if you start to associate your bed with studying, then you’ll wind up not being able to fall asleep until five in the morning when you have classes at eight-thirty.”[1] If you are not sleeping as much or as well as you should, chances are good that you are not spending as much time in your REM sleep cycle.

You REM cycle (or Rapid Eye Movement cycle) is the deepest part of sleep and definitely the most important. Although you may think that if you stay up late in your bed studying, you will do well on your assessment, by not getting enough REM “All of your biological functions will be slightly out of whack for a time, plus you won’t benefit from the brain-building activity that takes place during an extended sleep cycle.”[2] By studying somewhere productive and then getting a good nights rest, your brain settles everything you learned: “Sleep appears to help the brain commit new information to memory. […] In Stage V REM sleep- your mind is restored. It is during Stage V sleep that the neural connections are made that support the retention and organization of information and space is created to learn new information and tasks.”[3]

Although it is incredibly important to study hard in college, it is shown that sleeping is even more important. Getting a good night of sleep can help your hard studying not only because you will be well-rested, but because it can help your brain retain everything that you learned that day. A good night’s sleep depends greatly on your place of study and study habits so get up out of bed and take that walk across campus to the library—it may be the best decision you made for yourself!


[1] “How to Improve Your Study Skills | Deal.org.” Deal.org. What’s The Deal. Web. 16 Sept. 2011. <http://deal.org/the-knowzone/how-to/how-to-improve-your-study-skills/>.

[2] “How to Improve Your Study Skills | Deal.org.” Deal.org. What’s The Deal. Web. 16 Sept. 2011. <http://deal.org/the-knowzone/how-to/how-to-improve-your-study-skills/>.

[3] Copson, Mary Ann. “REM Sleep – Sleep Your Way to Better Memory | REM Sleep.” REM Sleep | Just Another Overnight Miracle Sites Site. 2008. Web. 18 Sept. 2011. <http://remsleep.overnightmiracle.com/rem-sleep-sleep-your-way-to-better-memory/>.