Sleep is key to success

Instead of putting in an all-nighter with the help of energy drinks, new research suggests that if you want to pass those exams then prioritising a good night’s sleep will get you the better grades.

Students who were given an incentive to sleep at least eight hours a night in the run-up to their final exams achieved better academic results than their peers, US scientists have discovered.

Baylor University’s (Texas) Michael Sculluon said: “Better sleep helped rather than harmed final exam performance, which is contrary to most college students’ perceptions that they have to sacrifice either studying or sleep.”

The students were offered a deal – if they averaged at least eight hours sleep for five nights before their final exams their grades would be boosted by one percentage point. Previous research indicated fewer than one in 10 students slept at least seven hours of sleep a night as exams approach.

In the experiment, those who achieved at least eight hours nightly achieved four percentage points higher than those who failed to meet that sleep target, and that’s not including the 1% incentive!

As one rested student said: “It was the first time my brain worked while taking an exam.”