www.advanceweb.com | 2018 | FOCUS ON EDUCATION 9 get ready for your Med-Surg exam. Think again, my friends. Why? Science. A sleep expert from Texas A&M College of Medicine states that the all-nighter – that we’ve all done (don’t tell me you haven’t!) – is a recipe for disaster. David Earnest, PhD studies circadian rhythms. If you’re unfamiliar with the circadian rhythm, it is our 24-hour body clock. Earnest states, “Sleep deprivation’s effect on working memory is staggering. Your brain loses efficiency with each hour of sleep deprivation.” When you feel like you’re up-all-night studying, retaining informa- tion for that big exam, you are actually losing efficiency in your brain’s ability to retain information. So, what is the better alternative? This isn’t new information, but we need seven to eight hours of sleep for our brain to function to its best ability. In addition, studying for your exam in short increments is most beneficial. Earnest states, “…prepare by studying in small chunks (20 to 30 minutes), multiple times per day, three to four days in advance of the test. By going through information numerous times, you’re allowing your brain to move those facts to long- term memory for better recall.” Also, you’re bound to retain information for that big exam if you study earlier in the day. This is because our body’s circadian rhythm tells the brain to become tired, readying for bed. If you must study before the exam, wake up early that morning rather than pulling the all-nighter. THE BOTTOM LINE… There is a delicate balance between education and work when you are in nursing school. Planning your shifts, your classes, your assignments, and everything in between is essential. You may only be in nursing school for a couple years, but don’t forget that you have needs as well! n Resources Texas A&M University. (2016, September 19). Studying: Is it bad for your health to pull an all-nighter?. ScienceDaily. Retrieved June 30, 2018, from www.science- daily.com/releases/2016/09/160919162837.htm Krystina is a 30-something RN, BSN, CDE who has worked in a vari- ety of nursing disciplines, from telemetry to allergy/immunotherapy to most recently, diabetes education. She is also a writer and has enjoyed expanding her writing career over the past several years. She balances her careers as a nurse and a writer with being a wife and a mother. She has a four year old son who is an inquisitive, energetic little guy who is up for anything. She also enjoys reading, traveling, cooking, baking, and yoga (both practicing and teaching). FOCUS ON EDUCATION  |  COVER STORY “OUM gave me the opportunity to make my dream of being a physician a reality.” Dr. Jennifer Allen • Former Nurse Practitioner • OUM Class of 2012 Founder, New Freedom Family Medicine LLC • Hermann, Missouri You know what’s best for your patients. So, what’s best for you? This is your time… If you’re finally ready to take that next step, consider this: OUM is the top choice for medical school among healthcare professionals. At OUM, you can earn your medical degree with minimal disruption to your professional and personal life. It’s time to make medical school your reality. Call toll free 877.463.6686 or visit oum.edu.ws Oceania University of Medicine