Around exam time, a balanced diet is essential to ensure that the brain is fuelled. Aim for a combination of carbohydrates, protein and ‘good’ fats to keep your brain energised.
Avoid skipping meals and relying on not-so-healthy quick snacks. Try to eat at regular times and stick to a healthy sleep routine.
Eat a Healthy Diet
The exam period is a good time to stock up on whole grains, cereals and brown rice. They provide slow-release carbohydrates to keep energy levels stable, without causing sugar highs and lows.
Leafy green vegetables are a great source of vitamins before and during exams, particularly swiss chard, spinach and kale. They also contain iron, which helps fight tiredness and a lack of focus. Try adding them to a stir fry, or eat them as a snack with a bowl of porridge.
Avoid high-sugar foods, such as potato chips, namkeen and sweets. Instead choose healthy snacks, like makhanas and granola bars, or make your own healthy granola bar at home.
Drink plenty of water, preferably infused with fruits, herbs and vegetables, to avoid dehydration. Avoid caffeine, which is known to affect concentration and can increase tiredness. If you are used to consuming coffee or tea, gradually decrease the amount and replace it with herbal teas and decaffeinated coffee.
Get Enough Sleep
Getting adequate amounts of sleep is essential for good mental functioning, which is particularly important around exam time. However, it can be easy to fall into bad habits during this stressful time, such as skipping meals or turning to unhealthy food and drinks in order to stay energised.
All too often, students try to compensate for lack of sleep with caffeine or energy drinks. But, if consumed in excess, these can actually inhibit memory and performance.
Avoid these stimulants and instead opt for a healthy option such as chamomile tea or something light like a piece of fruit. Also, be sure to drink plenty of water, as dehydration can lead to a sluggish mind and body that is not ready for an exam. Lastly, exercise, as it promotes blood flow and can help boost your alertness. Just don’t exercise within two hours of your bedtime as this can disrupt sleep patterns. The key to success is consistency, so start these healthy habits well in advance of exam day.
During exam periods, many students tend to neglect healthy lifestyle habits. They may skip meals, eat not-so-healthy quick snacks and go to bed late. These bad habits can really affect their health and cause them to fall behind in their studies.
When students exercise regularly, it helps to reduce stress levels, enhance cognitive function and improve sleep patterns. It also ensures that you have enough energy to remain focused during exams and avoids unnecessary fatigue.
To get the best results from exercising, you should try to exercise during times of the day when you would normally study, rather than avoiding it completely during exam week. However, exercising too close to your bedtime can keep you awake, so make sure you exercise earlier in the day. This will also help to enhance the quality of your sleep and ensure that you are well-rested for the day ahead. You can even incorporate a relaxing stretching routine into your workout to alleviate tension.
Take Regular Breaks
While it may seem counterintuitive, it is actually important to take breaks regularly during study sessions. This will allow your mind to refresh and come back to the material more refreshed and able to retain information. It will also help prevent you from getting too stressed and overworking your brain.
Studies have shown that studying with frequent breaks is better for your test scores than cramming all day and night. In fact, those who studied for a full day then took a break and returned to studying found their score improved significantly.
During these breaks, avoid junk food and instead opt for healthy snacks such as fruit or nuts. Try to get some exercise, such as a short workout or a game of basketball with friends, which can help boost energy and clear the mind. And finally, avoid negative self-talk. Instead, congratulate yourself on past successes and plan something fun for after the exams to keep you motivated.