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A Poor Nights Sleep Before Test Day

GreatDay8GreatDay8 Alum Member
in General 130 karma

The night before this Jan 26 LSAT, I got 2.75 hours of sleep.
I tried to close my eyes at 10pm only to fall asleep at 4am. My heart was racing the whole time; it felt like adrenaline was coursing through my veins. The thought that months of prep could be singlehandedly ruined from the effect of one awful sleep made me feel so helpless. It got to the point where I woke my mom up at 3am to ask her what I should do. I fell asleep crying.
But, to my surprise, I woke up at 6:45am feeling ready to fricken rock. Any thought that ventured into the dark territory of "what if your lack of sleep slows down your thought processing?"...I ninja kicked it out of my head. I got to the test centre at 8am (forcing myself to think positive thoughts) and wrote the test feeling as sharp as I would have writing any other PT on a good nights sleep.
If anyone reads this and then come test night experiences this same involuntary alertness, at the very least you can recall my experience to feel a bit more at ease: it is possible to write the LSAT on minimal sleep and still feel confident performance-wise. Be sure to stay positive.

Comments

  • ChardiggityChardiggity Alum Member
    336 karma

    I second this. I had this happen in November, although mine was the result of a thoughtful neighbor's thundering bass until 3 a.m. I felt surprisingly calm and alert the next day, and had no issues taking the test (other than my need to shore up my LG section ;-) So yes, all is not necessarily lost because of a short night. Thanks for posting your experience!

  • BamboosproutBamboosprout Alum Member
    1694 karma

    I think it really helps to have slept well the few nights before the test. But yeah, some night time cold medicine does wonders.

  • LSAT Warrior PrincessLSAT Warrior Princess Legacy Member
    702 karma

    Does anyone suggest any over the counter sleeping aids that do not make you drowsy the next day? I'm not talking about holistic de-stress tablets or tea. My husband snores and some times wakes me up in the middle of the night. Thanks for any input :smiley:. Obviously I know not to take it the first time the night before the test. Thanks!

  • lsatletsdothislsatletsdothis Alum Member
    edited January 2019 56 karma

    @LSAT_Warrior_Princess try melatonin. The higher dosage ones can make you a bit groggy though so in that case I adjust it to half a tablet, but ymmv.

  • Leah M BLeah M B Alum Member
    8392 karma

    @"LSAT Warrior Princess" said:
    Does anyone suggest any over the counter sleeping aids that do not make you drowsy the next day? I'm not talking about holistic de-stress tablets or tea. My husband snores and some times wakes me up in the middle of the night. Thanks for any input :smiley:. Obviously I know not to take it the first time the night before the test. Thanks!

    Highly recommend 3mg of melatonin! I also started taking a magnesium supplement called Natural Calm. I started taking it to try to help the back spasms I was having, but also found that I had much higher quality of sleep when I took it, with no grogginess.

  • nrbowennrbowen Legacy Member
    33 karma

    Sleep is a practice just like anything else. I highly recommend "Sleep Smarter: 21 Essential Strategies to Sleep Your Way to a Better Body, Better Health, and Bigger Success" by Shawn Stevenson. This is available in print and audio form (great for those of us commuting back and forth from school and work) and is only 6.5 hours long in that format. It covers everything from how a lack of sunlight affects our sleep, avoiding screens before bedtime, and has a whole chapter on smart supplementation. What an incredible difference this has made in my life and in giving my body what it needs to heal and learn. Even if you have an off night of sleep on the night before the test, you can have banked enough restorative sleep to not let this wreck your performance. Great news for those of us who tend to obsess the night before!

  • _oshun1__oshun1_ Alum Member
    edited January 2019 3652 karma

    Before the lsat I took like 1/3 of a sleeping pill that I take when I travel or when I have to go to bed early/wake up early. Usually I take half but I didn’t want to risk possibly being drowsy so I took even less than I would take normally. It’s not a prescription medication and can be bought at any pharmacy...just not in the US.

    The melatonin vitamins that melt under your tongue have worked best for me of the natural supplements but they only work sporadically and they have made me drowsy before.

  • GreatDay8GreatDay8 Alum Member
    130 karma

    @nrbowen said:
    Sleep is a practice just like anything else. I highly recommend "Sleep Smarter: 21 Essential Strategies to Sleep Your Way to a Better Body, Better Health, and Bigger Success" by Shawn Stevenson. This is available in print and audio form (great for those of us commuting back and forth from school and work) and is only 6.5 hours long in that format. It covers everything from how a lack of sunlight affects our sleep, avoiding screens before bedtime, and has a whole chapter on smart supplementation. What an incredible difference this has made in my life and in giving my body what it needs to heal and learn. Even if you have an off night of sleep on the night before the test, you can have banked enough restorative sleep to not let this wreck your performance. Great news for those of us who tend to obsess the night before!

    I totally tend to obsess the night before so this is awesome and I'll look into it. Thanks.

  • hawaiihihawaiihi Member
    973 karma

    I've taken it twice and gotten TERRIBLE sleep the night before, I was so nervous each time. Although I wish I'd gotten better sleep, I will say that the adrenaline carried me through. Also, if this happens to you, don't dwell on "how tired I feel" or "I got so little sleep, only X hours." I think psychologically, forcing myself to act like I was well-rested really helped.

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