Caffeine, Sleep and Finals
If summer is almost here, then one thing is for certain – college students are neck deep in finals and many students are depending on caffeine to stay alert in order to study and get their final papers done.
Caffeine is perhaps the most popular drug in the world. Teas, chocolate, and many 'energy drinks' contains caffeine which temporarily make us feel more alert by blocking sleep-inducing chemicals in the brain and increasing adrenaline production. Although it appears that students and just about everyone else can get a lot done while on caffeine, there are side effects which must be considered. Caffeine is known to cause anxiety, irritability and sleep disturbance – none of which is good for when you need to concentrate and focus during a final exam.
Studies show that lack of sleep leads to problems completing a task, concentrating, making decisions and unsafe actions so it might be better for students to prioritize getting enough sleep to improve their performance. Establishing a regular bed and wake schedule and achieving continuous sleep helps you sleep in accordance with your internal biological circadian clock and experience all of the sleep stages necessary to reap the restorative, energizing and revitalizing benefits of sleep. So before you reach for that cup of Joe – it might be worth it to take a nap or invest more in getting a good night's sleep to get the best results.