All-nighters are more harmful than beneficial

Illustration by Veronica Sung.

Noura Bayoumi
Guest Contributor

It’s 3 a.m. You’re surrounded by empty cans of double-shot coffee and your eyelids are beginning to droop. The level of confidence you have for your exam tomorrow is a little less than halfway. Do you pull an all-nighter?

If you said yes, you might want to rethink your answer. At the time of your decision, you may think that pulling an all-nighter is the best option for you and your grade, but it turns out, it actually will do more harm to your grade and your body.

Students who never pulled all-nighters had an average GPA of 3.1, while those who regularly relied on the strategy only averaged a 2.9 GPA, according to a research study from St. Lawrence University. These results can best be explained by the effects you get when you’re sleep deprived. Lack of sleep will most likely cause you to have a headache the next morning, forget important things and be an overall-irritable person. Is that the right mindset to have when taking a test or attending classes the next day?

In addition, pulling an all-nighter makes your study methods less effective. If you resort to pulling an all-nighter, it means cramming vast amounts of new information into your brain in a short period of time. Studies by Health & Wellness News have shown that we tend to remember the first and last things we hear in a given time period, while the information in the middle gets hazy, if it’s remembered at all. Now, consider that within the context of an eight-hour session of non-stop information going into a sleep-deprived mind. That’s not a lot of information entering the brain.

If you are guilty of constantly pulling all-nighters, it’s important to think about the reason why you are pulling them. Most of the time, it’s because you procrastinated, waited until the very last minute to study or write a paper. You’re not alone. It’s estimated that more than 70 percent of students engage in procrastination while at a college or university.

The fact that there are so many college students pulling all-nighters means two things: We’re obviously dedicated to get good grades and we would go through extremes to get them. But this isn’t the only way to succeed in college.

Instead of waiting until the last minute and then inevitably pulling an all-nighter, students should plan out studying times, organize their schedule and space out their work. These kinds of habits can easily be done just by simply getting a planner or having a tool with which you can plan out homework and upcoming tests.

If you know you have a test in two weeks, don’t wait until two nights before to start preparing a study guide. If a 10-page paper is assigned to you a month in advance, don’t start two days before the due date. Those are a couple of dangerous paths that can lead to the unhealthy habit of pulling all-nighters.


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