Contrary to the belief that the sleeping is a waste of time and that staying up late at night or not sleeping at all the night before the exam will lead to better results, scientific research suggests that the need for a good night’s rest is much more important than finishing homework or studying for a test or an exam.
With the intention to take advantage of every moment, it often happens that before an important exam or test, rather than sleeping, we spend the night drinking coffee and energy drinks and studying, guided by the belief that this is a safe way to learn and strengthen your knowledge.
The remainder of this post will try to answer the following questions:
- What happens while we sleep?
- And how does sleep contribute to more effective learning?
What Happens in Our Brains While We Sleep?
Thanks to a large number of sleep process studies, we know that the different parts of the brain are actually very active while we sleep and that time spent sleeping is important to successfully function during the day.
A good night’s sleep is crucial for the ability to learn and remember, because of the formation of additional connections between neurons, because the brain repeats the activities it has dealt with during the day while we sleep.
Lack of Sleep Reduces the Ability to Focus and Study Efficiently
If you have not slept well, your ability to learn new things can be reduced up to 40%. Lack of sleep affects the hippocampus, which is key to remembering the new content.
Sleep is Required in Order to Strengthen Memory
The REM sleep phase is associated with procedural memory. According to the results of different studies, going to bed three hours after learning and one hour after exercise would be ideal.
And finally, It is worth noting that the quality, rather than quantity, is what is important when it comes to how to sleep strengthens our memory.
Make sure you are well rested before studying new material, then go to bed after you have finished reading and your brain will help you remember it while you sleep.
About the Author
Milica Madic is an English Language and Literature Student. Before returning for her Master’s degree, she was an English language educator and freelance writer.
Some are born with the ability to learn things fast, while some need more time and have to work harder. “No pain, no gain,” says the old proverb, but some of the best students have habits that help them achieve their success. Developing healthy studying habits is not easy, but if put a little effort into it, it is not so chaotic.
What kind of habits and skills we have to possess to succeed in school is no longer a mystery. Students should strive for success at school, and being a poor student because of their own laziness is not cool at all.
These are the habits of excellent students that everyone needs to acquire:
1. They Always Do Their Homework
Homework is not a conspiracy created by all of the teachers in the world to tortured poor students but is actually the best way for to repeat what you have already learned.
2. They are Never Late
Appearing at the appointed time is the basis for creating a respectful attitude towards school, so make sure that you know how to plan and organize your time.
3. They Get Enough Sleep
Rest is important for all of us, but it is even more important for young minds who attend school because their brains need enough sleep to properly form neural connections and process acquired information.
4. They are Responsible
Students who get good grades are rarely irresponsible. They are usually a bit more mature than their peers, which enables them to have the right attitude towards school work.
5. They Have Neat Notebooks
A neat notebook contains all the essential information the teacher gives in class and is visually appealing as well which invites its owner to review the material.
6. They Actively Participate in Class
Paying attention and participating in activities in class is very important because by doing that, you will remember a significant amount of new material, which also means you will have less work to do at home.
7. They Have a Schedule
The best students usually have a schedule of daily tasks that they follow. For example, after school, they can take a few hours for leisure activities, but then take care of housework and spend an hour or two doing school assignments.
8. They Talk About School With Their Parents
Kids really love when parents show interest in their activities, including school. Excellent students have nothing to hide from their parents and enjoy sharing things they have learned or even asking for help if they happen to stumble across a task too difficult to handle on their own.
9. They Respect Their Teachers
Students who are successful in school always have respect for their teachers, regardless of everything. The teachers are there to guide and the students to follow them.
10. They Know When to Have Fun
Have fun also important! After a hard day at school, there should always be a reward in the form of something fun. It’s up to you to decide what that is.
Acquiring some of these habits may not be an easy task, but once you start implementing them, we are certain your grades will improve, as well as your overall attitude towards school and learning.
About the Author
When not writing blog posts, Milica Madic is English Language and Literature Student. Before returning to school for her Master’s degree, she was an English-language teacher.
It is great if you are studying English, but without effective ESL studying techniques, learning and improving your English language skills might not mean much. Read on to find out how you can use effective study techniques to help you improve your English faster.
1. Study Daily
You probably already know that you need to study English every day. Even studying ESL for as little as 30 minutes a day, every day, is better only 2 hours a week. Need help making a learning schedule?
2. Study a Little of Everything
Unless you really need to focus on grammar or listening skills for the day, incorporate a little listening, grammar, vocabulary, writing, and reading into your daily ESL study plan.
Focus on one grammar goal, for example, as you read an article or listen to a TV show in English. You can write down each example you hear where the present continuous tense is used and review these examples as you continue with your studies.
4. Take Advantage of Different Learning Methods
It isn’t wise to stick to just one way of studying English; rather take advantage of multiple intelligences studying methods that will reinforce what you are learning. For example, if you are learning new vocab, make a list, draw and describe a picture, and create a word map.
5. Choose Interesting Topics
Studying topics that you like and are passionate about can only help your overall progress. This is great for motivation.
6. Look For Some Friends
If you have some friends that are also studying English, then great. If you don’t, it is definitely time that you find some because you can do exercises together, practice your English conversational skills, and so forth. If there aren’t any people studying English near where you live, you can easily find an ESL study buddy online.
7. Do Warm-Up Activities
Before you start your exercise routine or play a game of soccer, you do some warm-up activities. Similarly, before you start your daily lesson of English, you can do some exercises to warm-up and get your brain thinking in English. For example, if you are studying vocab, use 2-3 minutes to think about the topic. If the topic is sports, think about what sport you like, what sports are popular in your country, and what you need to play some sports (i.e., a ball, gloves, helmet, etc.).
What other effective ESL studying methods help you in learning, improving, and practising English?
About the Author
Denine Walters is currently a freelance writer, editor/proofreader and ESL teacher. Previously, she taught online English lessons to students from all around the world and, before that, she lived and taught English to young lear ners in Taiwan. In her free time, she likes to read, do scrapbooking and grammar quizzes, and travel.