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It is no secret that sleep impacts performance in almost every aspect of life, including test taking. But just in case you doubted it, researchers from two Belgium universities (Ghent and KU Leuven) surveyed 600 first-year students. When the researchers compared the students’ sleep habits with exam results, they found that students who slept better performed better on tests (Baert, Omey, Verhaest & Vermei, 2014). The results are not surprising. Therefore, to perform well, you need to sleep well. The following are helpful suggestions to improve your bedtime routine before the exam.
✓ Turn off your electronics: A study conducted at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston, Massachusetts showed that not only does the blue light of an electronic screen prevent you from getting a good night’s rest, but it also causes changes in your biology by reducing your levels of melatonin (Chang, Aeschbach, Duffy & Czeisler, 2014). Therefore, turn off the electronics a few hours before bed, or use a blue-light filter such as Apple’s Night Shift.
✓ Pick a schedule and stick with it: It is tempting to sleep in. Don’t. Sticking to a sleep schedule regulates your body’s internal clock. This kind of regulation can help you fall asleep and stay asleep. Part of your schedule should include a relaxing bedtime ritual, such as reading or meditating.
✓ Exercise: Exercise is not just a means of managing stress, it also helps to increase the quantity and quality of sleep.
✓ Prep your environment: People sleep better under certain circumstances. For example, if a room is too hot, it is difficult to get to sleep. If you have distractions, such as light or noise, it will most likely impact your ability to sleep. The National Sleep Foundation suggests using blackout curtains, ear plugs, and/or white noise machines (such as fans or humidifiers) to limit distractions (sleepfoundation.org).
What Dr. Arshadi’s students say about his Transformation Program
It is such a gift and a blessing that Divine Herbalism recognizes and integrates stress management into their course. I have begun incorporating several of the mindfulness tips into my day and as a result my practice test scores have been increasing substantially. I am leaving the program with more confidence in myself.
I took a practice exam yesterday and I did very, very well! It’s the first time I have ever taken a test like that. I felt so centered and aware of myself during the test. I was also able to remain focused on the task at hand, which has always been such a struggle for me. I know that all of your amazing guidance has begun to help me release the knowledge I have stored in my brain. I can never ever thank you enough for helping me through this and being so encouraging
The Stress Management Transformation Class prepares me for the week. I start my week more focused, relaxed and my mind is clear allowing me to reach my maximum potential!
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Success is no accident. It’s hard work, perseverance, learning, sacrifice, and most of all, love of what you are aiming to accomplish.
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