Think back to your school days. It’s a weeknight, you have an exam early in the morning. The information inside your head isn’t sticking, so you decide to pull an all-nighter to give you a better chance at doing well on the exam.

While it seems like all this preparation would enhance your performance, staying up all night does no favors for your body. In fact, getting in the habit of pulling all-nighters or staying up way past your regular bedtime has an extremely negative effect. For those in the working world, staying up till the wee hours of the morning preparing for a work project is just as detrimental.

Our body and mind need sleep in order to function properly. Without sleep, we can’t do the things we  normally do when getting a proper amount of shuteye. If we want a good grade on an exam or we are trying to ace that report, we need a good night’s sleep. Sleep helps us retain information and lack of sleep does the exact opposite. One study  found that subjects who got no sleep were on the same level of cognitive impairment as a drunk driver. Lack of sleep can also mess with our circadian rhythm which  acts as our body clock. When our circadian rhythm, our body can’t function properly. 

Next time you have an exam or big project due in the morning, think about what will really help you do well on that exam. Sleeping for as close to eight hours every night will do your body wonders. So in the future, study and prepare earlier so you can get the rest you need later.