Sleep for Success- Fools Study 16-18 Hours a Day!
In my eternal fight against education related misconceptions I will discuss a very popular misconception- “Toppers study 16-18 hours a day!” I am convinced that only fools study 16-18 hours a day. In this blog I have discussed the importance of getting adequate sleep for people in general and students in particular.
6-8 Hours of Daily Sleep is Essential
6-8 hours of sleep is essential for good mental and physical health of adults. Teen agers require 9 hours of sleep. Anything less than 6-7 hours of sleep per day will result in both mental as well as physical problems. Unfortunately we are not able to notice them clearly and hence people are tempted to push the waking hours in the misconception of enhancing their productivity. Let us note the benefits of getting the required sleep.
Mental Benefits of Adequate Sleep
Memory and Concentration
Too little sleep leaves us drowsy and unable to concentrate. It also leads to impaired memory and reduced ability to carry out calculations. No wonder all the sleep deprived tuition addicts are weak in Math!
Sleeping and Learning
Besides boosting alertness, sleep is a way for the brain to store new information into long-term memory. This event occurs between the 6th and 8th hour of sleep during REM sleep, when people are most likely to dream. During REM sleep, the brain busily replenishes neurotransmitters that organize neural networks essential for remembering, learning, performance and problem solving. Conversely depriving the brain of sleep makes you clumsy and stupid.Research indicates that dreams are more than just abstract thoughts. They represent the brain’s attempts to make sense of daily events.
Physical Benefits of Sleep
- Sleep deprived people have greater chances of having accidents, much more than those under the influence of alcohol.
- Adequate sleep is essential to control obesity and heart diseases.
- Adequate sleep prevents the body from developing diabetes.
- Lack of sleep lowers immunity. I note a large number of physically inactive and sleep deprived youth being highly susceptible to ailments.
- Adequate sleep improves mood and fights depression.
How Many Hours per Day to Study?
By reading the above information you would have realised that it is foolish to study 16-18 hours per day. My take is:
- Smart people need to study- 6 hours per day.
- Average students need to study-8 hours per day.
- During pressure conditions one can study up to 12 hours per day. This work load should not be continued for long as it will start giving diminishing returns after a week.