Studying late night causes the human brain to have no ‘downtime’ to let the information sink.
Most teenagers from this generation have the habit of staying up late, one night before the exam to overstuff their minds by memorising information.
However, research in a new study suggests that doing this has the opposite effect. It does not give the brain adequate time to store the knowledge and let it sink in.
As a result, sleep deprivation results in lower exam scores, according to researchers from Loyola Marymount University, California. New memories are only retained by the brain, if ‘consolidated’, which happens during sleep.
Scientists have suggested that napping has the power to boost memory after studying and have examined that newly learnt facts retained better after a nap. “We demonstrated the importance of obtaining sleep soon after learning for superior consolidation of emotional memories, an effect that was robustly seen across young and, for the first time, middle-aged adults.”, said Sara Alger, of Notre Dame University, Indiana.
University College London professor of neuroscience Sarah-Jayne Blakemore, studying the teenage brain suggests that schools should start at a later time so teenagers would not have to get out of bed so early in the morning. Blakemore’s new book, Inventing Ourselves : The Secret Life of the Teenage Brain says, “Forcing teenagers to go to school early in the morning ... is depriving them of sleep, which inhibits learning and lowers mood. School start times should be later for teenagers.”