Sunday, September 18, 2016

One Easy Trick to Improve Your Grades

I’m sure you’ve heard all the noise in the news about the importance of sleep. Maybe your parents have stuck some scientific study under your nose. I’m also sure you're doing your best to ignore all this. I’m going to try to change your mind.

Here’s a fact you might not have heard. Students who don't get enough sleep are often unable to remember what they learned the day before. There’s a simple reason for this. While we sleep, information we picked up that day is moved from our short term memory to our long term memory. Without enough sleep, it goes into the recycle bin. You know what that means. It’s thrown out with the trash.

One of my best students started to miss class. She wasn’t ditching. She was ill. She hadn’t been sick much the year before, so I became concerned. Her grades were suffering, but I was most alarmed because she looked terrible. I asked if she'd seen a doctor. She had not. Then she told me she was only getting about three hours of sleep each night. She stayed up to study. I explained there’s a line; studying past that line has diminishing returns. It would be far better to sleep nine hours, than to sleep less and study more. Since her grades had fallen from A’s to C’s, she agreed to try my suggestion. Two weeks later she felt fine, and her grades improved steadily.

Suggestion: Count backwards nine hours from when you need to get up. Make that your bedtime. You’ll feel better, and your grades will improve.

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Photo Credit: Pixabay

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