We’ve all been there and accidentally on purpose procrastinated our university work until the last minute. However, students staying up all night the day are affecting their brains. If you’re tempted to look at some last-minute cramming tips or are increasing your caffeine to stay up tonight, you might want to read this first.

When all your assignments and reading get on top of you, it’s easy to think that leaving it to the night before is better. Sure, it may give you more time for socialising or maybe even other work, but it isn’t actually better for your health. If you have an essay due date looming and you haven’t started it yet, we might have some information to get you kick-started.

The Effects Of Students Staying Up All Night

A study has found that students pulling all-nighters to cram in revision ages their brains by up to two years.

This is what happens when students chose not to sleep whatsoever. The data significantly improved even if only 3 hours of sleep is had.

Using 134 participants, AI looked at scans of the volunteers to guess the ages of their brains. The imaging was then repeated after various levels of sleep deprivation, all the way up to 24 hours. When an individual did so, the brain appeared visibly aged compared to earlier scans. Not. only this, but it also performed as if it were two years older

Luckily, there doesn’t have to be permanent implications on the brain. Those who slept normally the next day reversed any ageing damage. This was even the case for those who chose to sleep 3 hours over nothing. Even participants who slept for 5 hours for 5 days had much better scans.

This is the first time that scientists have assessed the impact of sleep deprivation on the brain’s physical appearance.

Previously, pulling all-nighters had been proven to affect mood. Those who are sleep deprived have been found to be more irritable, as well as have poor decision-making capabilities and effects memory. These are all things you would rather not have going into an exam the next day.

black and white picture of a man studying under a lamp at a desk at night
Photo by C D-X on Are Pulling All-Nighters Worth It For Students?

Luckily, having a good night’s sleep reverses the effects of students staying up all night the day before. So, if you really have run out of time to write that essay, then you won’t do yourself any permanent damage.

That being said, it’s not a recommended study tip. if you’re last-minute cramming for an exam, then prioritising sleep is actually better for you. There’s no point staying up all night just for your memory to be negatively impacted. You’ll just forget everything you revised and more. Even if you think it’s absolutely necessary to study the night before, make sure you get a few hours of sleep. You don’t want your brain ageing overnight; that won’t help anyone.

One thing students are known for is staying up later than they should. Be that for studying or turning up to a class hungover. Not to sound like your mum, but you don’t want to pay actual thousands of pounds just to flunk an exam you could have aced. The university experience is all about balance; enjoying life, education and freedom. However, it’s also about helping to progress your life, not age yourself quicker.

If you have an assignment that’s still a blank page or an exam coming up that’s a pretty big deal, show it that it means more than one night to you. Seriously, you won’t be doing yourself any favours by leaving it all to the night before, staying up all night and then not doing as well as you could have.

Related Topics