Sleep, Your Best Friend During Bar Prep

I know you've heard this many times before, but one of the best things you can do for yourself during your bar exam prep, other than study relentlessly, is to get lots of sleep. Study after study shows that getting enough sleep, around seven to eight hours a night, is essential for optimal brain function. Now, I know you're thinking, easy for you to say. Yes, you're right. The nerves, stress and nightmares you are all probably feeling as you prepare for the bar exam are not helping you get enough sleep. So, I've compiled a list of things you can do to try to optimize your ability to rest.

(1) Get rid of all those distractions

You know what I'm talking about. Turn off your iPods, iPads, televisions, laptops, etc. Basically things that are constantly taunting you to waste your precious sleep time. How often have you finished studying and, instead of getting to bed at a decent hour and getting enough sleep, you turn on Netflix or HBO Go and started watching an entire season of Breaking Bad, hmm Devices like Kindle aren't too bad as long as they are not backlit because they are roughly equivalent to reading a book. The backlighting on the devices is evil because it influences your brain to think it should stay awake since it is being exposed to light. If you really just can't leave these devices in your living room, then stop using them 30 minutes before your target bedtime.

(2) Be physically active during they day

Being physically active helps your body tire itself out so that when it's finally time for bed, it's easier to fall asleep. It also increases blood flow to the brain, keeping it healthy. This is important when you are preparing to take such a stressful and strenuous exam. Without adequate sleep, your brain functioning will be lessened, which will make it more difficult to make good decisions quickly, something very crucial to your success on the bar exam.

(3) Keep your mind calm and clear of stress

I know this is something you might scoff at, but there are methods that can help you keep a clear head. For instance, meditating before you start the day and before you go to bed can help you stay Zen and less stressed. By doing exercises to calm your fears and/or visualizing your ability to succeed and pass the bar exam, you will actually have more restful sleep.

Just try it out. There's no harm in being less distracted, exercising and meditating. If it doesn't help you on the bar exam, it will at least help you create a healthy and fit lifestyle.

Happy Studying!