Are pulling all-nighters effective?

Are pulling all-nighters effective - Somya DuggalWritten by: Lila W.

Edited by: Amelie D.

Visual: Somya D.

As the semester comes to an end, most Bearcats can definitely recognize that the volume of workload has increased. Teachers are cramming to place grades into PowerSchool and students are working towards increasing their GPAs. It is no surprise to see students with constant yawns, hanging eyelids, and pale skin. 

Not only are more students deprived of the recommended 8 hours of sleep, but the occurrence of all-nighters has certainly increased. Therefore, there is one question we need to address: do the benefits of completing that Chinese presentation or studying for a biology major ultimately outweigh the consequences of pulling an all-nighter? 

We have heard over and over again from those around us that sleep deprivation is unhealthy and has adverse effects on both our minds and bodies. Sleep deprivation has been known to cause weakened immunity, high blood pressure, weight gain, poor balance – the list goes on. With this in mind, the only reason why one would choose to pull an all-nighter is simply to have the ability to complete their tasks at hand. Grades have always been a significant aspect of school life and achieving high grades is the goal of many students. Thus, some resort to sleep deprivation to complete what is required of you.  When interviewing fellow bearcats, one junior stated “I have too much work that I can only handle by getting less sleep. But it’s not like I do all-nighters every day, it’s only once in a while in an emergency situation.”

However, is there a point in pulling an all-nighter when one can’t study or perform to the best of their abilities? It has been scientifically proven that cramming material the day before a test is a horrible way to study. It dramatically increases student’s stress levels, while also slowing down their thought processes. As one struggles to stay awake through the night, their ability to concentrate and make logical decisions deteriorates, making it hard for them to perform the most simple of tasks. Excessive sleep deprivation also impairs one’s memory, making students susceptible to forget what they have learned in the long term.

Procrastination is obviously the major cause of sleep deprivation. Everyone procrastinates from time to time, however, one must understand when to stop when too much work starts piling up. Procrastination not only leads to irregular sleep patterns but may also spark emotional and mental breakdowns. Students also need to be aware that grades are not what define them, but merely numbers. One’s mental and physical health is arguably more important than their academics and achievements. 

As teens, we often find it difficult to effectively manage our time and activities. However, students should at least try and squeeze in a few hours of sleep during the night. Take a quick nap when you feel unfocused and tired, so you can wake up fresh and ready to study. When cramming, block unnecessary distractions, as the stress of such a situation already makes it hard enough to retain information. “Self Control” is an application which blocks out specific websites for hours at a time.  Furthermore, it is important to keep other aspects of your health well to maintain a strong immune system, so eat mindfully and exercise!