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Exam/finals season is a period in every university student's life marred by late night study sessions, intense amounts of stress, and a general lack of sleep and positive thoughts. Nothing really seems all that great when you're pulling an all-nighter and not sleeping too much. The two are linked more than you might think, as a new study has found dysfunctional sleep patterns to propogate negative thinking.
Now, in all honesty, every student (and every person) could already assume that late nights and lack of sleep will make you more depressed, but researchers at Binghamton University’s Department of Psychology decided conduct a clinical study to formally map out the association between repetitive negative thinking (RNT) and one's sleep habits.
Using a sample of 100 undergraduate students, the researchers analyzed the amount of sleep each student had per night, the exact time they would hit the hay, and asked each student if they were regular night owls or not. Students then completed a series of questions meant to showcase how much they would worry or obsess about any given topic.
As one could guess, only getting a short night's sleep and going to bed really late were shown to increase the amount of RNT and "obsessive-compulsive symptoms" experienced by students. Having one's sleep interrupted was also found to do the same, but to a lesser degree.
Increased amount of RNT was even found among students who typically went to bed late, meaning even regular night owls are negatively affected by going to bed late.
So, when you're studying for exams and getting almost no sleep, and any that you do get is from 4am to 8am, you're basically setting yourself up for a very bad mind state, one that will only make you obsess and stress over your schoolwork all the more. Sleep is obviously important, but now you know when you sleep can influence your thought patterns just as much.
Getting a proper amount of sleep at a reasonable rate may not be the easiest thing to do during exam season, but for your mental health, you should try your best. Good luck on exams folks.
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