Kids should be encouraged to get proper sleep instead of cramming the whole night for an exam, as reports that sleep helps them internalize what they’ve learned throughout the day, making it easier for them to access stored information when the need arises.

Researcher Dr. Ines Wilhelm of the University of Tübingen's Institute for Medical Psychology and Behavioral Neurobiology and her colleagues delved into how implicit knowledge becomes explicit during sleep.

According to, implicit knowledge is “knowing how,” or being aware the reasons behind being able to do something, while explicit knowledge is “knowing that,”or simply acknowledging that you can do something. For example, you may not have the explicit knowledge of how your body launches to do cartwheels, but may you have the implicit knowledge that you can do cartwheels.

Dr. Wilhelm had a group of volunteer children and young adults learn to guess a predetermined series of actions (implicit knowledge) without them knowing that there is actually a series (explicit knowledge). The results showed that those who had a good night’s sleep remembered more of the series upon testing, as compared to those who stayed awake, proving that the brain functions better in making explicit knowledge out of implicit knowledge after resting. Interestingly, the children performed better than the adults.

So instead of burning the midnight oil to review, it’s best for kids to get in some good quality shut-eye. If they indeed studied well, they won’t have to worry about failing their exams, as their brains will do the rest of the work as they sleep.

(Photo by Chris March via Flickr Creative Commons)

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