Midterm Mythbusters

Author name
Elizabeth Hoyler, '16

Midterms are alive and well. As students, we’ve all realized that the hard way, unfortunately. In an act of solidarity, I’m gonna share some wisdom from Jean Hanson and Jo Supernaw at the Wellness center. With these myths busted you’ll, in my opinion, be able to kick midterm’s a** better. (Hint: It involves more sleep.)

Myth #1: The effects of my all-nighter only impacts me.

You may be the only one who gets to sport the Dukie-meets-phantom-menace look, but your worsened mood? Lack of focus? Degree of inefficiency?  You can’t be as productive a teammate, as present a friend, nor as pleasant an acquaintance.

All-nighters don’t make you cool or more impressive. They make you tired. 

Myth #2: Staying up those extra few hours to cram will help my GPA.

Hmm, not quite. Maybe you’ll luck out and get a few more points on the next test, but that crammed information is not going to stick around for long. It won’t even last until the next test without review. If you want more bang for your studying buck, you should sleep. During sleep, information we retain throughout the day goes into our long-term memory. (But more on the next blog.) 

Benefits? Grade boost, and more time for pillow talk.

Myth #3: If I can’t sleep now, I’ll nap tomorrow and make it up.

It’s not just about getting that 8-9 hours, but getting them together. Naps might help a bit, but you’re actually unable to hit all the stages of sleep that way. Some stages of deep sleep are only unlocked after you’ve already been a sleep awhile. A 1-2 hour siesta isn’t enough to get the full benefits of deep slow-wave sleep. And that’s where all the juicy stuff happens so why would you want anything otherwise?

Myth #4: When I leave Duke, I’ll get more sleep.

Ha. Ha. Ha. (Or at least that’s what I’ve been told.)

I’m still a senior; I’m no authority on post-duke life. But what I do know is that people are creatures of habit. Our sleep habits now are perfect practice for our sleep habits later. 

Bottom line: You won’t sleep more then, if you don’t sleep more now.