I’m taking a test today. It’s an endorsement test in Social Studies so that I can eventually teach this subject after finishing my Master’s. Having already taken such tests before (and passed them), I tried something different from my usual methodology this time around. Usually, I study for weeks, then I pull a borderline all-nighter the night before the test, staying up late studying and getting up extremely early. This generally results in my taking the test with a headache and feeling very groggy, as my normal state is quite sleep deprived before the all nighter. It’s a pretty dumb process. I might have already taken and passed all my basic skills exams, English Language Arts endorsement test, and a different Social Studies exam (don’t ask why I have to take a different one now…my school is weird), but this is still a pretty dumb method.
So, yesterday I tried something different. I’ve been studying for this test for weeks, so that step in my process didn’t change. However, I spent all day yesterday studying and napping. I wasn’t kidding when I said my normal state was pretty sleep deprived. I slept for an extra three hours at least yesterday, and this is not normal for me. As a result, I feel much more refreshed and a hell of a lot less groggy. When I started studying after my naps, I was able to retain a great deal more information.
This does make me wonder why I don’t do such things more often. It seems obvious, right? More sleep means you’ll be able to concentrate more and focus. Yet, I’m always trying desperately to keep up with my schoolwork and working at schools on top of reading news, playing in a band, working out most days, and writing for this blog. When you add in my helping raise my sister’s kids, it’s a wonder I have time for any sleep at all.
I guess I don’t need to wonder why I don’t nap more often. However, I think I need to make the time. This touches right on the subject of those individuals who are spending all their time working, attending school, protesting, or other high-stress and time-consuming activities. No matter how sucked into these activities you might be, you have to take care of you first.