Stress could affect final exam performance

Drew Parker

As final exams approach, all-nighters, last-minute cram sessions and caffeine overloads are common practices on college campuses, but these typical academic procedures may be hurting students’ health as well as their grades.

Ways to avoid sleep deprivation:

Avoid stimulants like caffeine and nicotine. The stimulating effects of caffeine in coffee, colas, teas and chocolate can take as long as eight hours to wear off fully.

Have a good sleeping environment. Get rid of anything that might distract you from sleep, such as noises or bright lights.

Stick to a sleep schedule. Go to bed and wake up at the same time each day, even on the weekends.

See your health provider if you continue to have trouble sleeping.

Avoid pulling an all-nighter to study.

Info from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website projects sleep deprivation and stress as major health risks for college students.

According to the “Health and Safety for College Students” section of, teens and young adults who do not get enough sleep are at risk for problems such as car crashes, poor school performance, depression and problems with relationships. A lack of sleep is also associated with several chronic diseases such as diabetes, cardiovascular disease, obesity and depression.

The agency’s website also said stressful situations in college can cause emotional problems, sleeping trouble, feelings of powerlessness, increased use of alcohol and drugs and headaches and stomach problems.

Adrian Jones, a Kent State graduate student and sociology instructor said as a teacher, he sees the effects of sleep deprivation and stress every semester he teaches.

“There is a definite connection between these problems and poor academic performance,” Jones said. “The best way for students to deal with them is to delegate their responsibilities correctly. (Instructors) should structure classes that reduce work loads at the end of the semester, but that isn’t always possible.”

Ways to cope with stress:

Eat a healthy, well-balanced diet.

Exercise on a regular basis.

Get plenty of sleep.

Give yourself a break if you feel stressed out.

Jones said adequate sleep and breaks from studying are important for student success.

“Flexibility is important,” Jones said. “Students need to plan out assignments ahead of time and make sure they get enough sleep, which will then reduce stress.”


Drew Parker at [email protected].