Why All Nighters are the Worst Way to Study For Your Firefighter Promotional Exam

When your life gets busy and you fall behind on your firefighter promotional exam prep, you may be tempted to pull an all nighter to catch back up, do not. All nighters are not a beneficial study method so avoid them when you can, here’s why.

  1. Messes with Cognitive Functioning

If you stay up all night studying, especially if you do it regularly, it can greatly inhibit your brain's cognitive functioning. When you study while tired you are hindering the creative and problem solving parts of the brain as well as your working memory. This is going to make studying much more challenging. You may remember some things in the short term but will have a hard time recalling the information long term when you study late at night. 

  1. Attention Loss

Staying up all night studying for your firefighter promotional exam is going to end up taking much more of your time. This is because when you study while you are sleepy you are going to have a hard time focusing, and will have to repeat your work multiple times resulting in more time spent studying and less time sleeping. It is best to study when you are alert and focused so you can spend less time studying and more time doing things that are enjoyable. 

  1. Increase Anxiety

Deep sleep reduces anxiety naturally, while sleep loss increases anxiety. Pulling an all nighter is just going to fuel any stress you are already feeling in regards to your firefighter promotional exam. This is true even after just one night of sleep deprivation. Anxiety also has a huge effect on your overall mood. When you are anxious most people become moodier than normal and can even lead to depression. Think about your mental health before deciding to stay up all night studying. 

  1. Hinders Your Immune System

Sleep is crucial to your health. Your immune system will decline if you are not giving your body the sleep it needs. Then you will end up having even less time to study if you are sick. Listen to your body and allow yourself to sleep. 

What to do Instead?

If you feel like you are behind on your studies and need to make more time try this:

  1. Wake up earlier.

Instead of staying up all night to study, wake up an hour or two earlier in the morning.  Your brain will be functioning much better in the morning and you will have much less cognitive deficits to deal with. 

  1. Don’t stay up ALL night.

If you truly only can study in the wee hours of the night, only do it for an hour or so. Do not try to study for hours on end in the middle of the night. 

  1. Work on your Schedule.

Plan your time better so all nighters are not common. Create a routine and include your study sessions in that routine so you aren’t scrambling to find time to study at the last minute. You do not need the added pressure. 

  1. Don’t make it a habit.

One all nighter is not going to kill you, but it will have a negative effect. Don’t make all nighters a habit or you will be too exhausted to even make it to your firefighter promotional exam in the first place. 

The Takeaway

It is better for your overall health and well-being to skip the all-nighter and just go to bed. You won't remember much of the work you did anyways and will likely end the session more stressed out than when you began. Focus on planning your study sessions so you don’t end up in a pinch pulling an all-nighter.