It's 2:00 a.m., and you're on your fifth cup of coffee, cramming a major presentation. You think you'll do well? Scientists say that chances are you won't.

According to a recent feature on, pulling on all-nighters may be actually working against you. Dr. Philip Alapat of the Harris Health Sleep Disorders Center in Texas says that forcing your brain to accept information while it slowly slips into sleep mode won't do you any good.

"Any prolonged sleep deprivation will affect your mood, energy level and ability to focus, concentrate and learn, which directly affects your academic performance," he notes.

Staying awake through the night by means of caffeinated and energy drinks may trigger the beginnings of insomnia. What's worse is that if you loose sleep way to often, you increase your risk of developing serious long-term conditions such as diabetes, high blood pressure, and heart diseases.

Alapat says the best way is to prepare early by studying between 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m., when you're most alert and focused. Avoid taking in too much caffeinated drinks, and clock in at least eight hours of shut-eye.

Giving your brain and your body enough time to rest will benefit not just your academics, but also your entire well-being.

(Photo by D. Sharon Pruitt via Flickr Creative Commons)

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