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The Importance of Sleep

Discussion in 'Medical Students - MD' started by J1515, Nov 22, 2005.

  1. J1515

    J1515 Member
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    After reading a bunch of posts where it seems like people "brag" about how they get 2-5 hours of sleep per night in medical school, it kind of made me wonder if that's really an effective way of learning the material. I'm just a lowly first year student and I know it'll get 100X harder as I go along, but for the people who are saying they stay up until 4AM studying and then wake up for class at 7, what exactly are you doing during that study time? Reviewing things over and over until they're drilled into your head? Making flashcards? I started out like that as well, getting no sleep. What I found happening was I was falling asleep during lecture, taking a nap when I got home, and in addition to trying to make up for lost sleep, I was remembering NOTHING that I was studying. Let's be truthful - when it's 3:00 in the morning and you've been up 15 hours straight, do you really think you are going to retain any of the info long term, or at least long enough until the exam? So that leads me to my question. Which do you think is more effective:

    A) Read the chapters/packets once or twice and make an outline, get 7-8 hours of sleep, repeat the next day for the next day's courses

    or

    B) Read the chapters/packets 4 or 5 times, get 2-4 hours of sleep.

    Now I know everyone is different, but I've found I retain a TON more info after a good night of sleep and it doesn't take as much "drilling" if you're well rested.

    In addition, so many people say lecture is worthless and for some I'm sure it is. But how many people who say that are saying it because they're so damn tired from getting only 3 hours of sleep that they can't stay awake during it? If you sit there and pay attention and understand, it's just one more time that you're seeing the material and it's running through your brain.

    Just food for thought.
     
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  3. Ypo.

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    For me its not that lecture is worthless-its just that physically attending lecture is not an efficient use of time. Some teachers only read from their notes, but even for those who don't-I need to be able to pause-to read things on my own-'actively learn' and then to skip things I already know, or play at double speed. I study better at night, it wastes time just getting to lecture, I don't absorb mass amounts of materials by listening. In undergrad it was OK because there wasn't as much material and I had more time, but now it doesn't work. I go through the lectures, make my own notes. Often I make my own notes and THEN listen to lectures to make sure I'm getting what the teacher emphasizes-but I just can't understand things by listening. My spouse likes to read science news articles to me-but I can't learn anything that way so I have to read it myself-I have to make the material my own.

    Granted, if I did not have online lectures or a computer to listen to them with in the quiet of my own home, I would still go to most of the lectures (unless we had an excellent scribe or coursepack).


    Sleep is very important-although usually before a test I don't get that much of it. Its more like when I went to class-I wasted four hours of valuable brain energy getting sucked out of me-then went to labs, then by the time I got home I had to prelab for anatomy-then when I could finally get around to studying I was burnt out-then to get up and do it all over again the next morning. My life has gotten so much better since I stopped going to class. Today I had to go b/c we had a genetics quiz, so I thought what the hey I'll go to lecture, but I ended up walking out because I reaffirmed what I already knew-waste of time for me to watch them live without having read the material first.
     
  4. Iwy Em Hotep

    Iwy Em Hotep The Welcomer
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    If you have 6 hours of classes (which is a lot), and get 8 hours of sleep (which is good), then that still leaves you with 10 hours to do whatever you want. It's all about time management.
     
  5. lil pook

    lil pook Senior Member
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    A-freakin-MEN
     
  6. dinesh

    dinesh Senior Member
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    If I get anything less than 8 hours these days I cant function .

    Have to start back my running :) Body used to work like a beast that time...5 hours and I good to go.
     
  7. You can probably look this up in a textbook, but they've shown that certain stages of sleep are necessary for the consolidation of memories -- so there is a degree to which going without sleep or with less sleep is counter-productive.
     
  8. OnMyWayThere

    OnMyWayThere OMS-III
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    I get lots of sleep. ONE IMPORTANT THING: do not pay attention to what other are doing. First off, everybody is different. And more importantly, they're probably BSing. Just say "that's nice" and move on and do what works for you.
     
  9. coharahawk

    coharahawk Member
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    I totally agree. You really have to just focus on what works for you. There have been many times when classmates have told me about the extreme studying that they do and I find that it really only stresses me out. I always have to remind myself to worry about what I need to do and not everyone else.
     
  10. unoriginal

    unoriginal Member
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    not everyone is created equal. sure the average guy may need like 7-8 hrs to function and to help retain info. i don't really think we're talking about average people here- we're talking about med students. i find it physically impossible to sleep more than 6-6.5 hrs a day, everday. most saturdays i can sleep around 8, but on sunday i will automatically wake up after 6-6.5 hrs and feel very well rested.
     
  11. Paws

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    Yep!

    Like when people say to you the night before a final exam, "hey, I haven't even read the material!" or, "I spent all weekend with my friends and people came in from out of time or at the football game or whatever, and haven't read a thing!" and you know they were at home studying all freakin' weekend. :rolleyes:

    I get my eight hours everyday and I also enjoy the home schooling thing as well. Much nicer!
     
  12. dinesh

    dinesh Senior Member
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    "Everyone Lies"-Greg House.
    I have known classmates to study till 3-4am and are up at dawn ready for school the next day...but they are certainly not at the top of the curve.

    Do what works for you, everyone is made different. Remember is quality not quantity(though really close to an exam you might switch it).
     
  13. beastmaster

    beastmaster Senior Member
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    I do my best study between midnight and 4am. But I always get plenty of sleep and usually wake up at noon. Overall it's about quality of study, not quantity.

    For those of you falling asleep in class, excuse yourself to the bathroom and do some pushups followed by some squat jumps. This will buy you an hour of alertness at the expense of fight-flight. The drawback is that, in the winter season at least, consistent sleep deprivation I find is linked with my propensity for getting colds, the flu, etc.
     
  14. dinesh

    dinesh Senior Member
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    If I am sleepy no amount of excercise is going to get me awake.
    I have to sleep.
     
  15. OSUdoc08

    OSUdoc08 Membership Revoked
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    I get 7-9 hours of sleep every night. I skip lecture to increase study time, and typically cram for exams anyway.

    As a result, I lack an addition to caffeine like the majority of my class.
     

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