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The Terrors of All-Nighters
Trust me, I get it. You have a 12pm deadline on Tabula for the next day and somehow it is now 20:59pm and you only have the title written down (at best). It now seems as if an all-nighter is your only solution so as to avoid a late submission and late penalties. You grab a cup of coffee and brace yourself for a sleepless night. We have all been there, no judgement!
However, all-nighters can greatly harm our bodies. Simply put, they are not worth the detrimental effects. As difficult as it may be at times, it is crucial to sufficiently time-manage your workload so you don’t find yourself in this position.
Here are the terrors of all-nighters:
- It can worsen your memory
Lack of sleep has a significant negative impact on your brain’s memory capability. While many students may use all-nighters to cram last-minute revision for an early morning exam, studies have proved that your brain is less likely to remember information. While we are sleeping, our brain moves information from the hippocampus (the memory-creating portion of the brain) to the prefrontal cortex where long-term memories are stored. Instead, a good, restful sleep is needed for our brains to properly retain those facts and figures. Students who continually pull all-nighters can find that their memory has been negatively impacted long-term.
- Your daytime alertness is at an all-time low
Have you found yourself nearly dozing off to sleep during the day after having done an all-nighter? Well, it comes to no surprise to know that our daytime concentration and alertness hits rock bottom if we go without much-needed shut-eye. This can be incredibly dangerous if performing activities that require high levels of concentration like driving, for example. If you have lectures or seminars, it means that you will not be able to retain the learning thrown at you which can then harm you in the future for exams and assignments. A study has shown that missing out on a mere 1.5hours of sleep in one night can make you up to 32% less alert.
- It affects your immune system
Some people feel as if they have a cold after pulling an all-nighter. The reason as to why we may experience cold-like symptoms is because sleep is vital to fortify our immune system. In this way, a lack of rest can deteriorate our immune system which, of course, can bring other health issues. Next time you may consider pulling an all-nighter, ask yourself if it is worth making yourself susceptible to potentially serious health conditions. Illnesses associated with continuous sleep deprivation includes kidney disease, high blood pressure, heart disease, diabetes, stroke, and problems fighting infections.
- It can cost you your physical appearance
Ever heard of the term ‘beauty sleep’? Well, there is a reason that term exists. Sleep is needed for our bodies to feel rejuvenated which, in turn, displays itself through our physical appearance. A restless night typically results in dull skin, dark circles and a hyperactive appetite. If all-nighters become habitual, these can be worsened. So if the above reasons do not convince you enough then think of how your Instagram selfies would be impacted!
Clearly, all-nighters are not the way to go. Although I would strongly encourage all students to stay away from sleepless nights, I, of course, understand that exam season and all can all be a bit too much and it is sometimes students’ only option! If, after considering all other options and weighing the consequences, you do go ahead with an all-nighter then please ensure to properly stay hydrated with plenty of water, eat healthy and have a short nap while returning to your regular sleep schedule. It is reported that it can take weeks for the body to properly recover from sleep deprivation but if you stay well-nourished and hydrated, it can speed up the process. If you don’t feel in top shape for a period of time, then don’t fret as it is your body adjusting back to normal!