I hope everyone has had a good holiday.
I hope everyone has had a good holiday. It has been a wonderful opportunity to re-charge batteries and catch up on the all-important sleep that we are so often neglected of during a hectic term, along with enjoying the outdoors a bit more, now that we have lighter evenings. This term is, as always, a busy one! On the ‘run up’ to the external examinations in May, we will discuss the importance of individual preparation and high expectations. In the main, this is something that I think we do very well at Invicta. One of our Core Values is ‘Excellence’ and another is ‘Individuality’. As such, we try very hard to ensure that every individual strives to be the ‘best they can be’. This is something that I always refer to and I know that both students and staff reflect on this often – how can we help one another to be exactly that? A few weeks ago, it was Brain Awareness Week UK and over the holidays, I read an interesting article linked to this and the importance of memory:
M K Scullin gave undergraduate students with no previous exposure to economics a lecture on supply and demand. Students were randomly assigned to one of two groups. The first group watched the lecture in the morning and came back in the evening to take a test. The second group watched the lecture in the evening and came back in the morning to take a test. In this way, the time from lecture to test was held constant, but only the second group slept in between the lecture and test. The test was divided into two parts. Half of the questions were very similar to the types of supply and demand questions that were used as examples during the lecture. The other half of the questions were called “integration” questions that required students to incorporate both supply and demand information to solve new complex problems.
The results showed that students in the sleep group performed about 8% better on the problems that were similar to those from the lecture. But on the new problems, students who had slept before taking the test performed 32% higher than those who had not slept! In other words, students retained more information after sleeping, but their ability to understand and apply that information received the biggest benefit with sleep. Apparently, the sleeping brain is very active, sometimes more so than during waking hours. The brain cycles through several different types of sleep throughout the night, sometimes with very fast activity and sometimes with what is called slow wave sleep. It is during slow wave sleep that the brain appears to replay the information that was learned while awake, which leads to consolidation of memories – moving them into long-term storage. Loss of sleep, therefore, means losing time for consolidation. So, it would appear that a good night’s sleep can help; not only with retaining information and understanding it, but also with dealing with new information. As we approach the exam season, the moral is that the best form of study and revision is a good night’s sleep! So, I will certainly be advocating this as part of our reflection and preparation for the Summer term! We will enjoy the forthcoming individual challenges - and the sleep too!