You’re probably familiar with the picture of an exhausted high school student who drags himself or herself out of bed every morning and acts like a zombie through the first few classes of the day.
However, you probably aren’t familiar with how this lack of sleep affects your life.
Sleep debt has a negative effect on how well you study in school and how focused you can be during ACT or SAT preparation. If you can figure out what your sleep debt is and work to fix the problem, you’re likely going to find yourself having not only more energy and focus, but also better scores in school and on your upcoming ACT/SAT.
What Is Sleep Debt?
Sleep debt is the difference between the amount of sleep you need and the amount of sleep you actually get.
Some people consider sleep debt to be the same thing as sleep deprivation. Either way, the concept is the same, that you’re losing valuable hours of downtime that help revive your mind and body.
Most sleep debt occurs not from medical conditions (though that can be true), but from a student trying to do it all -- stay up late with friends or madly finishing homework, and then not being able to get enough sleep the next day because he or she has to go to school.
How Does It Affect Studying?
Scientific studies have found that sleep is vital for helping you recall not only what you know, but how to do something, particularly motor-based functions and coordination (yep, that means you could beaten by new players in Call of Duty because you’re not sleeping enough).
Sleep debt/deprivation also increases the chances of weight gain, high blood pressure, and loss of the functionality of your immune system. Not getting those four extra hours you might need could wreak havoc on your health, which will distract you from proper studying.
Basically, the more sleep debt you have, the more likely you are to not remember what you’re studying for ACT or SAT prep. Because coupled with the fact that you’re more likely to get sick and deal with other health issues, your body will become even more tired, making you less likely to care about what’s going on in terms of school and studying for your tests.
If you’re confused about why your grades aren’t as good as they should be, or why your brain always seems foggy all day at school, think about how you sleep. Did you get enough to make you feel good when you woke up?
The next time you feel like staying up late and playing some Call of Duty or chatting online with your friends, just remember that every hour you lose only contributes to your overall sleep debt and your inability to study well and perform normally in school. Adjust your habits, and you’ll notice a world of difference!