Night Cramming: Balancing Studies and Sleep

The workload from school can ramp up fast as a kid gets older, and especially in our increasingly connected and over-competitive world, the difficulty of schoolwork can easily start to impinge on a child's sleep. When faced with a big test, your child may feel the need to "cram" by studying late into the night on the day before the test – but this may be more harmful than hurtful. While cramming can be tempting, studies show that the loss of sleep from studying late may be worse for test scores in the end. At 5 Little Monkeys, our mission is to help kids everywhere get healthier, more restful sleep by offering a world-class kids mattress, so we wanted to offer a little guidance on balancing studies and sleep.

Should I Let My Child Cram for a Test?

As the stresses of increased schoolwork and growing up in general start to build, kids are often faced with a workload that they don't quite have the time management skills to effectively manage – or, in some cases, a school workload that's simply not realistic for a child's well-being. In either case, kids feel the pressure, and if they have a test coming up, they may want to cram by studying for hours on end the night before the test.

As a parent, it may feel wrong to impede this. After all, don't we want our kids to study and do well in school? That may be true, but contrary to most people's intuition, cramming may actually have a negative effect on a child's academic performance.

A recent study from UCLA finds that teens who stay up late into the night cramming for a test are more likely to have academic problems the next day, especially when it comes to tests and exams. Sacrificing sleep ends up being counterproductive because sleep is critical to how our brains store information and form memories. Staying up late studying may feel like a useful way to review, but because it causes teens to lose sleep, their brains simply don't retain the information they studied the night before – so it both damages sleep and lowers test scores.

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While it's important to support kids in making their own decisions on how to manage school work, when it comes to the trade-off between cramming for a test and getting a full night of sleep, the science is clear. Even outside of test day, restful sleep is vital to strong academic performance and cognitive development. Want to see what happens when you give your child the gift of better sleep? Take our 100 Night Rest Test and try one of the world's best mattresses for kids, completely risk-free. We can't wait to help your child get a better night's sleep!

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