Sleep. Don't Cram.
Sleep, don't cram. Sounds counter-intuitive? Consider this:
Recent studies show that driving whilst being sleep deprived is as good as being alcohol intoxicated1.
Would you want your child sitting his PSLE in an alcoholic intoxicated state? No, of course not.
Without good sleep, the body cannot function at its optimum. Thinking pathways become obscure and recall-memory gets affected. Decision making becomes impaired2. The body’s immune system becomes weakened and is more prone to falling sick3.
So How do we ensure our children are getting good sleep? The answer is good sleep hygiene.
- Keep a regular bedtime schedule. (Lights off by a certain time)
- No screen time 1 hour before bedtime.
- Don’t allow caffeinated drinks (coffee/tea) in the evening.
- No strenuous exercises in the evenings.
- Ensure a minimum of 7-8 hours sleep per day4.
- Create a comfortable sleep environment which has minimal noise and light.
A well-rested child is more likely to score well for his examinations then a sleep deprived one.
Therefore when it comes to revising for the PSLE, encourage your child to start preparing early to avoid last minute late night cramming sessions. Train one's child to adopt good sleeping habits and most certainly, good results should follow.
1. Williamson A, Feyer A. Moderate sleep deprivation produces impairments in cognitive and motor performance equivalent to legally prescribed levels of alcohol intoxication. Occupational and Environmental Medicine. 2000;57(10):649-655. doi:10.1136/oem.57.10.649.
2. Goel N, Basner M, Rao H, Dinges DF. Circadian rhythms, sleep deprivation, and human performance. Prog Mol Biol Transl Sci 2013; 119:155.
3. Spiegel K, Sheridan JF, Van Cauter E. Effect of sleep deprivation on response to immunization. JAMA 2002; 288:1471.
4. Watson NF, Badr MS, Belenky G, et al. Recommended Amount of Sleep for a Healthy Adult: A Joint Consensus Statement of the American Academy of Sleep Medicine and Sleep Research Society. Sleep 2015; 38:843.
About the Author
Dr Mark Liew is a Certified Family Physician practising in Singapore. He juggles between being a businessman, a doctor and a family man with 2 active young boys. In his very modest spare time, he plays chess and hopes to become a decent player one day.