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I dislike/cringe at the thought of having to sleep late in order to study. This is for the reason that I make it a point to go to the gym everyday, and to get the most out of it I need to get the most (around 8) hours of sleep I can every night. The thing is, I have a lot of school stuff I need to do at night. I just hate the thought of having to sacrifice sleep (rationalization: health, gains in the gym) just for studying/cramming. I'm not putting these tasks late either, it's just that we go to school at day, and I try to go to the gym after that, eat, do some chores I have to do and after that, study time (supposedly) and bam, I'm already tired and feel that sleep > study.

I don't really know what to prioritize right now, but for sure, my mind is shouting "Sleep!" as I'm typing this.

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Can you study at the gym? – Jeanne Boyarsky May 9 '13 at 23:53
up vote 1 down vote accepted

Although studies have shown that we need around 8 hours of sleep everyday, in real life, we are left with only a fraction of that to compensate for work, school, and family demands.

As a sleep-deprived animal myself, what has been effective for me through experience are:

1) Waking up earlier to study/work instead of sleeping later

Our minds are clearer and better equipped to do mental work at the start of the day instead of late at night when our mind and bodies are already tired and stressed

2) Sleep and wake up same time everyday

Whether we choose to study/work at night or in the morning, keep the same schedule everyday. Our bodies copes with less sleep better when it follows the same sleep cycle everyday and will eventually adjust under these conditions.

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Sleep is important too, and your studying will go better with adequate sleep. However, if you don't have time for classes, gym, eat, chores, study, and sleep, then something has to give. Maybe no or shorter gym time on nights where there is a lot of study needed, maybe some chores put off until the next day, maybe some sleep is sacrificed some nights. You'll have to figure out what is most important, set priorities, and live with the consequences.

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Sleep is a requirement to long term memory optimization, just the way that it's used for physical gains. If you're cramming, then you can get away without sleeping. But if you intend to study once for now and the end of the semester, you should definitely prioritize sleep.

You'll get more out of an intense hour-long study session + sleeping until you wake up than you would with 8 hours of study and 5 hours of sleep. How you balance this and what you cut out is up to you.

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