Prioritizing EPPP studying over vital health habits such as sleep can be too easy. How many nights have you stayed awake studying and, furthermore, went to bed immediately after an EPPP study session?
You might relate to the following scenario.
Joe is preparing for the EPPP. He works long hours at his internship and is often exhausted by the time he gets home. He is committed to passing the EPPP and studies when he can. Joe sometimes attempts to wake up a few hours early to sneak in a study session before going to his internship. Last night Joe studied in bed late into the night and went to sleep right after putting his study materials on the floor next to him. He snoozed his alarm and woke up just in time to be on schedule for his internship.
In this scenario, Joe’s retention of the EPPP material he studied, as well as his quality of sleep, will be negatively affected. He made three common mistakes.
Mistake 1: Lack of Routine
Why it’s a bad idea: Constantly facing the decision of when to squeeze in a study session is a waste of brain power. Inconsistency in routine results in a habit of skipped study sessions and poor nights of sleep.
Instead: Establishing a study schedule and a daily routine would minimize skipped study sessions and result in better sleep. When you stick to a routine, your brain will get into the habit of following it and you’ll better utilize your brain power for studying as opposed to constantly considering what to do with your time.
Mistake 2: Studying immediately before bed
Why it’s a bad idea: First, studying immediately before bed negatively effects sleep, especially if studying involves electronics. Electronic blue light has a similar affect as daylight and therefore can keep you awake. It’s a good idea to stop using all electronic devices about thirty minutes before bed. Secondly, your brain needs time to store the information you learned. Going to sleep immediately after studying will not only effect how fast you can fall asleep but it could affect retention.
Instead: Give yourself about an hour before bedtime to wind down and store the information you put in it.
Mistake 3: Studying where you sleep
Why it’s a bad idea: Because your brain likely associates your bed with sleep, you may grow tired and not have a successful study session if you study in bed. On the other hand, studying in bed allows your brain to associate your bed with studying which results in difficulty falling asleep. Neither option is ideal for EPPP success.
Instead: Study at a desk consistently. Choose a place where, when you sit down, your brain will know what it’s doing.