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Midterm management strategies can fall into two categories. The first consists of general information that’s been repeated at students since their undergraduate career: eat well, sleep well and exercise. The rest seems to be a combination of silly and complex test taking strategies, more complicated than the actual exam.
There’s more than enough research to suggest that sleep and exercise are an integral part of balancing what seems like five group projects and two papers a week along with a personal life. These tips and pieces of tech can help all types of busy graduate students get the most out of their already packed day without sacrificing helpful health-related behaviors.
The app Sleep Cycle functions like the website sleepyti.me, allowing you to set an alarm time that won’t wake you up in the middle of a REM cycle. In theory this should leave you less groggy during the day.
Professionals sometimes advocate for a device-free window of time before sleep, suggesting that the type of light you are exposed to can affect your ability to get some shut-eye. An app called Fl.ux is available for your computer or jail-broken iOS capable device. The software gets rid of the blue glow that can interrupt your body’s natural sleep rhythms.
If you’ve pulled an all-nighter and need to reset your sleep schedule, take note: a recent study suggests that you can reset your sleep schedule by fasting for 12-16 hours before you’d like to fall asleep. It may not be the easiest thing to do, but it can help you get back on track.
According to the Harvard Business Review, regular exercise can actually help you excel in daily tasks via stress reduction. Short bursts of daily exercise allowed people to manage work and their personal life, a necessity for the grad student who juggles work, school AND a personal life.
An app called swork.it creates random workouts you can do at home, without any equipment, for any amount of time.
This LifeHacker article introduces the reader to interval training as well as research supporting the claim that 20 minutes of it a day is enough to keep or get you in shape. Another describes a 7-minute full body workout that you can do in between study breaks.
The most important thing to remember in between exercise and sleep intervals is that the Dewey Graduate Library is a great place to manage anything midterm or schoolwork related. Whether you’re looking for a collaborative space to work on group assignments, a computer-equipped nook to write an essay, or personalized research assistance provided by a knowledgeable librarian, the Dewey Library has everything you need to make it through midterms.
Blog post by Mark Seabury
Image credit: http://www.nuvigil.com/Assets/img/Graphics/SWD_SleepWakeCycle.png