This is the question you’ll constantly ask yourself, because sometimes you just don’t feel like you’ve had enough. You’re up early, you have class all day, you study (and study, and study). If you’re a first year you live in the lab… and guess what? Through all this, life doesn’t stop.
So what can you do about the sleep-deprived nights?? When you figure it out, let me know.
Just kidding! So here’s a couple of things to keep in mind that have helped me along the way to the DVM.
First, please, please, PLEASE, get some sleep before a test. I know you’re in the last minute phase of studying where you’re thinking about just pulling out an all nighter or staying up to an obscene hour to finish up. Remember, thinking is very difficult when you haven’t really slept. I’ve done this before and I completely crashed in the middle of a couple of tests last fall, and missed a bunch of questions that I actually knew. Admittedly as I type this post, I know I’ll try this at least once this semester knowing how important sleep is to the testing process (crazy right? 🙂 ), but try to designate a time to shut it down the night before a test.
Second, everyone has their study style/habit of what works for them. When you get to that place where it’s just words on a page, take a break! When you come back, if you can’t get refocused, it may be time for bed. You’ll know when it’s time…. with all the twists and turns of vet school try to get as much sleep as possible (even if it’s more of a nap than actual sleep). I study better at night, so my year was a pretty strict schedule involving study time and nap times.
Which leads me to the 3rd tip: put yourself on a schedule. You’ll get to a point where you pretty much need to schedule everything, and it becomes really important in your time management. Having the mid-day nap worked for me and the way I study. Definitely find what works for you!
Probably the best advice I can give when it comes to sleep? Know when you’re burnt out. Sometimes you just need a day to take care of you. And by the way, coffee is your best friend.