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Getting enough sleep everyday or practicing every day?

  1. Oct 3, 2011 #1
    Just assume, for the sake of argument that staying on top of your ordinary responsibilities consumes most of your entire day, e.g. you rarely have breaks or time to yourself. I think many of us have been there before.

    You notice your grades are slipping and you want to improve them.

    You know that not getting enough sleep can have serious effects on your levels of focus throughout the day. You make more mistakes this way. Caffeine can only get you so far.

    However, not doing enough problems every day can cause you to be behind on your coursework. Or maybe not retain as much as you'd like. You don't fully understand new concepts unless you practice them repeatedly.

    Both are well known and generally believed to be true. Which would you choose, and why?

    (And none of those tricky "both" type of answers. These two agendas are mutually exclusive, for the most part.)
  2. jcsd
  3. Oct 3, 2011 #2


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    It's called "the real world."

    You make time for the things that are important to you. Seems like you should learn to prioritize.
  4. Oct 3, 2011 #3
    I'm the kind of person where if I don't sleep NOTHING will get done. I always need 8 hours of sleep hehe. Luckily though at the moment I don't have a job, so I can dedicate all my time to study. :)

    Personally, I don't know how some people can work 25-30+hours a week and still manage to get A's.
  5. Oct 3, 2011 #4
    Take fewer hours. I work 45 hours a week and am struggling through 10 hours of night and on line classes. Some nights I even get up to 7 hours of sleep.
  6. Oct 3, 2011 #5
    Sleep is more important. If you study when you are tired you will retain less therefore wasting your time. Make sure you get good sleep, it can make the difference between getting a B or getting a A.
  7. Oct 3, 2011 #6
    sleep sleep sleep. you can get away without it in the short term but in the long term it's gonna make you depressed and ineffective.
  8. Oct 3, 2011 #7
    Spend the time to get some proper regular sleep and exercise.

    Whenever I get little sleep, or do nothing for a few days I just don't "feel" like working on anything. When I am well rested and so on it feels like I am in the math zone if you know what I mean. I can easily do 2x as much work and retain the information under those conditions.
  9. Oct 3, 2011 #8
    I don't completely understand. How do you cope with the school work and work hours?
  10. Oct 3, 2011 #9
    I have asked myself that question a lot this semester, and have come to the conclusion that I need to take fewer hours or work less. It seems as if all I have done for the last year and half is work and school, it helps that my wife is doing the same thing (she is in law school and working 40 hours.)

    I agree, I need more sleep...now I need to finish my math and get to bed.
  11. Oct 3, 2011 #10
    God bless people who work full-time while studying mathematics and physics. It must be very challenging. Although I've noticed that it always comes at a price for your grade and understanding of the material. This doesn't particularly matter that much for most majors. Personally for me I wouldn't be able to do it. I'm planning to pursue theoretical physics so I need to understand everything as deeply as possible from now. Just working 20 hours for me is starting to push it hehe.
  12. Oct 4, 2011 #11
    I personally prioritize studying over sleep, because unfortunately I'm an extreme procrastinator. (I slept for two hours before my Biology final last year and managed to go get an 93 :D)
  13. Oct 4, 2011 #12
    I prioritize sleep over studying. I would never, ever ever ever spend even half a day studying, except MAYBE during high-stakes finals/projects. Anyone who doesn't have time to sleep is doing college wrong.
  14. Oct 6, 2011 #13
    I've found that an extra hour of sleep can be just as effective as an extra hour of studying. Get your mind refreshed every night, your brain takes that time to store everything that happened during your day. If you find you are working hard all dayand you still can't find time for 7-8 hrs of sleep, you have to much going on. Prioritize.
  15. Oct 6, 2011 #14
    Here's one way you may be able to pull off studying without having had a good amount of sleep: Get up at 4 am and study til classes start. That way you would have a solid 4-5 hours of study time. I find this time to be really productive rather than staying up late because if I'm up late my mind is tired and not working at maximum efficiency. However even if I get 4-5 hours of sleep, I may feel it later in the day but around those early hours of the morning I'm usually feeling good enough. Then get back home, take an hour or 45 minute nap, and continue doing what you have to do. Of course cutting off on procrastination (what I'm doing right now) is the best option, but that isn't really an option for most :P

    Of course, catch up on sleep as much as you can on weekends.
    Last edited: Oct 6, 2011
  16. Oct 6, 2011 #15

    I was going to recommend something similar to this, although not quite as early as 4 am. I don't think most people' brains function too well at 4 am, regardless of sleep (not saying it doesn't work for you :P). I think 6-7 is the perfect time to get some work done before classes start, as it's early enough to really sink your teeth into some work, and you avoid the end of the day urge to procrastinate.
  17. Oct 6, 2011 #16
    Yeah I have to say getting up around that time is not exactly easy but once I'm up and have splashed my face with some water I'm ready to work.

    YES. I think this part is the factor which separates the early morning from the rest of the day and makes it so much more efficient. You have just woken up, for one purpose, to study and since your brain feels fresh enough from being rested for a few hours, there isn't much of an urge to do random stuff which wastes time like reading ragecomics or browsing forums such as this one, right after you have woken up.
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