Examinations can be intimidating for students. The expectations of society and their families place a great deal of strain, stress, and worry on them. No matter how smart or old you are, exams can still make you nervous.
There are so many exams to take, ranging from school tests to entrance exams such as IIT and NEET. After written tests, there are interviews, which can be much terrifying. These kinds of exams can be extremely challenging for students taking them for the first time. It may be difficult for young students to achieve their academic objectives since they may not know how to handle the pressure and expectations.
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There are lot of factors that affect the typical Indian student: pressure from their families to perform better than their peers or relatives, as well as the fear of not being able to get into a good college to study a subject of their choice.
So, exam season can be an overwhelming time, affecting students’ grades and overall health. If you’re a student preparing for exams, struggling with sleepless nights – don’t worry, you’re not alone.
When students are worried about their exams, it can make them lose their appetite, have trouble sleeping, or even affect their health. All of these things have something in common. It can be difficult to sleep, which makes it difficult to prepare and perform effectively. But don’t be afraid! This blog will tell you why it’s hard to sleep before exams and give you some tips on how to get the rest you need. We want to help you deal with your sleep problems so you can do your best on interviews and exams.
Understanding Sleeping Disorders during Exam Time
Exam season is stressful for students – you want to sleep and get the rest, so that you can study well. You may also end up drinking too much coffee to pull the all-nighters, only to feel jittery when you try to sleep.
Understandably this is a complex situation. Read on to understand why this is so.
1) Definition of Sleeping Disorders
In the simplest sense of the word, sleeping disorders are conditions that interfere with a person’s ability to sleep or maintain a healthy sleep pattern.
Some common sleeping disorders include:
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It is very possible that some of us experience these sleep problems. So, we shall discuss these in detail to understand the symptoms.
2) Types of Sleeping Disorders
There are several types of sleeping disorders that can affect students during exam time. These include:
- Insomnia: This is characteristic of having trouble falling or staying asleep. Students who wake up in the middle of the night may have trouble falling back asleep.
- Restless leg syndrome: This condition causes uncomfortable leg sensations that make it hard to fall asleep. Some people experience an overwhelming urge to keep moving, which hinders the performance of students who must sit still for extended periods of time while studying and writing exams.
- Sleep apnea: This is a serious condition where breathing is disturbed while you’re asleep. If this goes untreated for too long, some people may also stop breathing while they are asleep.
- Narcolepsy: Students in the 10th grade are more at risk of this condition because this typically occurs in the 15–25 age range. It is characterized by excessive daytime sleepiness and sudden attacks of sleep and is a chronic sleep problem.
3) Causes of Sleeping Disorders during Exam Time
Different people have various reasons that contribute to the development of a sleeping disorder. Exam-related sleeping disorders can also have varying causes, but some common factors include:
- High stress
- Consuming too much caffeine in the form of coffee or energy drinks
- Staying up too late to study
- Changes in sleeping environment or daily routine
- Poor eating habits
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Stress and anxiety often contribute to sleeping disorders. But students tend to make lifestyle changes too quickly when there is an additional burden of an upcoming test or presentation. These often culminate in frustrating cases of sleeplessness and fatigue.
The Impacts of Sleeping Disorders on Exam Performance
Developing a sleeping disorder due to exam anxiety can be particularly stressful. This is because it affects your ability to perform well in the exam. This inevitably leads to feelings of dejection and depression.
However, there are multiple negative impacts that are short-term and long-lasting, which many of us fail to notice:
1) Negative Impacts of Sleeping Disorders on Physical and Mental Health
It’s not just the student’s grades that these issues affect. Sleeping disorders can also impact a student’s physical and mental health, jeopardizing their future.
Chronic sleep deprivation can cause several health problems such as:
Additionally, it might be challenging for students to discuss these problems with their teachers and parents. Some are scared, some do not have a caring environment. This would have aa bigger negative effect on their psychological and physical health.
2) Negative Impacts of Sleeping Disorders on Memory and Concentration
By affecting memory and concentration, sleep disorders can have a negative effect on exam performance. Some people may even create false memories, which is risky for all students in the long run.
Lack of sleep can also cause:
- A difficulty retaining information.
- A decreased ability to focus on exam questions.
Tips for Overcoming Sleeping Disorders During Exam Time
You can do the following to bring back order to your sleeping routine and get the restful sleep you need during the exam season.
1) Making a Better Sleep Environment
We tend to easily overlook the fact that creating a comfortable sleep environment can greatly improve the quality of your sleep. No wonder some parents insist on giving the best room and bed to their child who is preparing for important examinations!
Along with this, it is also necessary to focus on:
- Reducing noise
- Reducing light
- Managing temperature
- Avoiding electronic devices before bed.
All of this will surely your bedroom a more peaceful and restful place. Consider investing in a comfortable mattress and pillows – this can make a huge difference.
2) Setting up a routine for bedtime
This is one of the best ways to overcome sleeping disorders during exam time. This is simple, all you need to do is train yourself to:
- Establish a consistent bedtime routine.
- Go to bed at a fixed time every night
- Wake up at the same time every day
- Follow this routine even on weekends
A consistent routine helps regulate your body’s natural sleep-wake cycle and can improve the quality of your sleep. You’ll soon notice that you feel better-rested and ready to take on your books and exam prep well.
3) Handling Exam Nerves
To manage this anxiety, you can take a number of steps like:
- Breathing exercises like deep breathing, belly breathing, and pursed lip breathing. You can check these out here.
- Progressive Muscle Relaxation technique is one of the best relaxation techniques to practice.
- Making yoga or meditation a part of your life.
Furthermore, it is crucial to take a breather while studying in the form of regular breaks. This provides an opportunity for both your body and mind to refresh itself.
4) Reach out to get emotional support.
Having a solid support network can make all the difference during exam season. It’s also crucial to reduce distractions like gaming too much or lengthy chats with friends that take time away from your schedule.
To maintain a healthy balance, you can do the following:
- Don’t cut yourself off from people: While it’s important to prioritize your studies, you don’t have to cut yourself off completely from your family and friends.
- Trust your parents: Do not underestimate the power of emotional support from your parents. By discussing your worries and fears with them, you can reduce some of the mental stress and improve your academic performance.
- Maintain open communication: Doing this by asking the right friends for support can be very beneficial. Finding out that you’re not the only one who experiences exam-related stress and sleeping problems can be a huge source of acceptance and relief during these stressful times. You might even be able to get assistance from your friends in solving problems.
5) Adopting Good Habits
Most students are reluctant to pay attention to this, but that’s okay! When you have had a successful study session, you are entitled to the customary sweet treat or a snack. But it’s also necessary to incorporate healthy habits in the form of:
- Balanced diet: This improves the quality of your sleep as well as improves your immunity keeping illnesses at bay during exam time.
- Regular exercise: A good 30 minutes of basic stretches and cardio boosts the blood flow to your brain and body quite well.
- Avoid caffeine and sugary foods before bed: Many students love their cups of coffee to stay awake during long nights. But these are high in energy and can interfere with the quality of your sleep.
6) Getting guidance from an expert
It’s possible that despite your best efforts, you haven’t been able to overcome sleep disorders during exam season. It might be necessary to seek professional help in this case, if you consistently have sleeping problems during exams.
This has many benefits:
- A professional will be able to understand your difficulties much better than friends and family.
- This helps you to come to terms with your disorder and work towards a strategy that will work for you.
- Sometimes, your family may not be very supportive or encouraging. In this case, talking out your difficulties with a counsellor or therapist can be cathartic.
It is necessary for someone struggling with exam-related anxiety and stress to talk to your family doctor or a counselor. They can provide additional guidance and support, helping you feel more understood.
A few easy solutions
Ayurveda has a rich history of herbs which help alleviate the symptoms of anxiety and stress that are the root causes for a wide variety of sleep disorders.
Herbs like Ashwagandha, Jatiphala and Tagara have been used in the treatment of insomnia since early times.
Gudslep is ideal in reducing symptoms of insomnia due to the synergistic effect of the following hand-picked ingredients in its formulation:
- Jatiphala: Also known as Nutmeg, it is a potent brain booster, enhances concentration, relieves stress and induces sleep.
- Tagara: Studies show that Tagara helps you fall asleep faster and reduces sleep disturbance significantly, thereby keeping you asleep longer.
- Ashwagandha: Ashwagandha has a considerable relaxing effect on symptoms of anxiety. The roots of this herb lowers levels of the stress hormone cortisol, reducing overall stress in our body. This can alleviate majority of sleep disorder symptoms like sleep apnea, insomnia etc.
- Shankhapushpi: This significantly reduces cortisol levels, helping manage stress and insomnia by relaxing the mind.
- Brahmi: Similar to Ashwagandha, Brahmi also has calming adaptogenic properties helping you deal with stress and anxiety.
- Jatamansi: Studies show that Jatamansi acts as a potent depressant on the central nervous system, relieving insomnia and other mental conditions.
This protects your body from easily contracted diseases that can prevent you from performing well, be it university tests, competitive examinations or job interviews.
Actisheeld contains herbs like Tulsi, Guduchi, Licorice, Ashwagandha, Fenugreek and Kalmegha, which are clinically proven to be effective in fighting infections due to their antiviral, antifungal and antibacterial properties.
There’s nothing unusual about feeling anxious and worried about your performance during exams and important interviews. But having sleeping difficulties can have a substantial impact on overall academic success and exam performance.
Anyone can overcome sleep disorders and improve their academic and professional performance by understanding the causes of sleep disorders and implementing healthy behaviours. You can improve sleep hygiene and manage exam stress and anxiety by following the advice given in this guide. We all know how wonderful it is to get a good night’s sleep and have a day that is even more productive!
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Last but not least, try not to worry about the result; the most important thing is to do your best. We advise all students taking any significant upcoming exams to remain focused and give it your all.