It’s finals time again and you’re hitting the books one last time before summer vacation. Juggling extra study time can be stressful and can also really bankrupt your sleep account.
Here’s how it works: teens need about nine hours a sleep a day, but most only get about seven. That leaves your sleep account negative two hours every school night, so by Friday morning, you’re TEN hours in the hole. That’s a whole night sleep you’re missing out on!
Most teens make up for lost sleep on the weekends, which is great, but that doesn’t help much on the weekdays when you’re taking final exams. It’s a tough cycle to break, so here are some tips to get you rested during the week – when you need it most.
- Schedule your study time and take breaks often – you’ll cover and retain more information
- If you’re stressed about a big test or didn’t get enough sleep due to cramming, ask for a ride and use that time to relax before your big test
- Don’t take caffeine (including chocolate) in the afternoon. It can stay in your system for at least 6 hours, preventing you from sleeping
- Darkness promotes sleep, so turn off electronics and lights
- Take a warm shower before going to bed to help relax
- Try to go to bed at the same time every night
- Don’t study on your bed. This will train your body to know the bed is for sleeping
- Short naps can help. A 20 to 30 minute nap in the early afternoon is best for energy and concentration later in the evening
Also, remember drowsy driving is dangerous. Make sure you are well rested and not sleep deprived before getting behind the wheel. And, good luck on those exams!