by Sana Azam
As finals approach, the above image comes to mind. And many pre-health students find themselves, to no surprise, choosing good grades over all else. Though sleep is the most important of the three options, it is, more often than not, last on the hypothetical “To Do List”. Whether they are trying to fight off senioritis or the freshman fifteen, sleep is something that many pre-health students lack in their lives. Conducive to a healthy lifestyle? Negative.
Sleep is an extremely important part of a healthy lifestyle. In fact, studies show that while lack of sleep may not interfere with motor skills, cognitive capacity exponentially diminishes along with the number of hours of sleep one is missing. That said, sleep is not always the easiest thing to do.
Yet, there are many ways that you can get more sleep and maintain, even improve, your grades. (Who needs a social life anyway?) Here are some tips on getting more sleep as a pre-med:
- Plan your day, or even week, ahead of time, allowing for 7 to 8 hours of sleep. Make sure to allot time for some fun and relaxing things, and of course some Facebook.
- Prioritize your activities. Make a list of things you need to do or places you need to go and number them from most important to the least important.
- Know when you need the sleep, especially before exams and when you start feeling droopy.
- Instead of an exact bedtime, try for a range of time. For example, plan to get to sleep between 9 p.m. to 10 p.m., instead of at exactly 9:30 p.m.
- Eliminate disrupting sounds and lights from the area you sleep in.
Many students have already tried and succeeded at getting more sleep using techniques similar to the ones stated above.
“There is always going to be an endless amount of work,” said Evan McGahey, a biology major and pre-med student. “You have to stop yourself and realize that it’s better to take a break now, and resume it when you’re rested, rather than try to power through it and do a bad job.”
Kausar Ali, a neuroscience major and also a pre-med student, agreed.
“Sleep plays an essential role in academic success because without rest, you won’t have the energy to perform at your full potential,” she said. “Time management and prioritizing are crucial when balancing school with sleeping, eating, socializing, and extracurricular activities.”
Getting enough sleep with a busy schedule can be difficult at times, especially during finals season, but it is one of the most important parts of a healthy and fulfilling life.