A new study has ensured that between 60 and 70% of adolescents carry a deficit of dream due to chronic deprivation of it. This makes it difficult to academic performance. In addition, this problem increases during the year before university, the preparation period for entrance exams or Selectivity and the years of faculty, as the specialists of AdSalutem Instituto del Sueño warn.
Scientific evidence indicates that sleep plays an essential role in all physiological and cognitive processes. A single night of sleep deprivation alters our perception, making it difficult to make decisions and modifying our memory and learning capacity. “We underestimate the effect of sleep on academic performance, when it is really comparable to the nutritional factor,” says Dr. María José Masdeu, professor and pulmonologist at AdSalutem Sleep Institute.
Sleep hygiene guidelines before the selectivity exams
Given this reality and the proximity of the selectivity exams that more than 200,000 students will face in Spain in the coming days, AdSalutem experts recommend the following sleep hygiene guidelines to optimize performance:
- Reserve 8 hours a day for sleep. A good rest helps to consolidate the information learned.
- A nap of 30 minutes maximum, before 5:00 p.m., will help us to consolidate the knowledge acquired.
- Do a quick review and skim the subject before going to sleep.
- Don’t study in bed.
- Maintain regular sleep and meal routines that do not vary too much during the week compared to the weekend.
- Exercising in the morning helps you fall asleep at night.
- Avoid taking stimulant substances in the evening for better sleep and maintenance.
- Avoid tobacco and / or alcohol and other drugs. These have harmful effects on sleep and general health.
- Avoid electronic devices an hour before going to sleep. In case of using them, use the orange light filter (night shift).
- Reserve 10-15 minutes a day to relax or express your emotions. The techniques of meditation, mindfulness, yoga, tai-chi, etc., for example, can be very useful to achieve this.
The importance of quantity and quality of sleep
The quantity and quality of sleep is decisive in academic performance. In this sense, a review published in the Journal of Neurology analyzed 30 studies that relate various indicators of sleep quality and the academic performance of university students. Thus, daytime sleepiness due to sleep deprivation decreases attention and is associated with poorer academic results.
Other research suggests that college students who were sleep deprived one or more nights during tests performed worse. Conversely, another article confirmed that those who avoided sleep deprivation the week before the test got better grades. Studies consider the period of preparation and taking of exams especially relevant, indicating that “the quality of sleep predicted better academic performance, both in terms of grades and learning objectives.” In addition, maintaining regular sleep and biorhythms over the weekend was also beneficial for student performance. Finally, an indirect association mediated by mood was also found, a factor that also improves with adequate rest.
Thus, the latest findings in Sleep Medicine show that sleep plays a centralizing and synergistic role with the rest of the lifestyle elements such as exercise, diet or the psychological and emotional state, increasing the benefits of any designed intervention. to improve the integral health of youth and adults.