The dilemma whether to sleep or study is a common one. Should you stay up late to study, sacrificing sleep? Or should you study less and prioritize sleep? Friends will recommend both strategies but it is best for you to decide which is more effective for your situation. It’s all about trying different strategies to find out which one works for you.  But here are a few things to take into consideration when you find yourself in this predicament.

1. The Power / Caffeine Nap

One of my tricks is a power nap or caffeine nap. Try a 20-30 min nap followed by some coffee or a power drink. A caffeine nap involves drinking a cup of coffee then quickly trying to get to sleep for 20-30 minutes. The caffeine takes an hour or less to kick in and your sleep hangover will be shortened dramatically after you wake up.

2. Avoid sugary foods when staying up late

Sugary foods make people lethargic and more likely to get drowsy and remember less.

3. Be aware of your environment

Study in a well-lit environment and in a chair that is not too comfortable, as it will remind your body of your bed and sleep.

4. Hide your clocks

Hiding clocks is another trick as your body is triggered mentally to respond certain ways after looking at the clock (ever remember being late to something and the rush of adrenaline it took to get you there on time? This can happen in reverse when looking at the clock and seeing the time is 3:15 am).

5. Be mindful

To sleep or study. Why not have both? Throughout the night, be mindful of the moment and listen to the signals that tell you what your brain and body needs. If you need to take a nap, take a nap. If you need to push through the chapter, you can do it! The most effective strategy is balancing the two as much as you possibly can.

Follow these tips when you’re staying up late for a test, and good luck studying!

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