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The Relationship Between IB and Sleep- Exposed


Dark circles; a cup of coffee in one hand and a laptop in the other; an expression of extreme stress.

IB Student

These seem to be the qualities of an IB student archetype. It’s funny…but is it true?

Does the IB diploma come free with sleep deprivation and a caffeine addiction?

As an IB student in my first year, there’s a lot I have to say about this.

First of all, this stereotype has a lot of truth to it. IB is a great course. It pushes you to think critically, gives you a vast array of knowledge and prepares you for the real world. That being said, it’s not easy. It is no secret that IB is an extremely rigorous course with new assignments coming your way every day. When you agree to do the IB, you’re entering a long-term relationship with deadlines, word limits, MLA citations and much more.

As a proclaimed expert at procrastination myself, I have seen many sleepless nights of staring at a screen and typing for hours and hours until my eyelids slowly win and I fall asleep. But is this always the case? No, not at all. Even though the work load is high, there is nothing that you cannot overcome with good time management skills. So then, the real question becomes- How Does One Manage Their Time Well While Juggling Between Cas, Ia’s, Ee’s And Much More?

It definitely isn’t easy, but there are simple ways to start.

For me, it was understanding that I too, am human, and have a limit. How many times have you had a test the next day and said to yourself, “I am going to study from 4 to 10 today”? Well, truth is, in most cases, that doesn’t end up happening. You feel tired and worn out by the third (or even second) hour and end up becoming saturated.

Why does this happen? Because we have a tendency to overestimate our own capacity. A big step to planning effectively is acknowledging your own limit. If you can study for only half an hour at a stretch, there is no point making a timetable with a four hour study period with no breaks because you will never end up following it. Instead, set breaks of about 10-30 minutes between each study session.

If you feel like you are unable to focus on one thing for more than an hour or so, don’t be scared, it is normal to have a short attention span. I’d suggest using IB’s most hated trait, of having too much to do, to your advantage. If you want to work for 2 hours, divide into 4 half hour periods and alternate between doing work for your subjects and CAS work. This way you get a lot more done and don’t have to focus on one thing for too long. That being said, hard work does not have to correlate with time. If you are trying to study, quality matters the most. Make sure you are using effective study methods and optimising the time spent.

More than anything, try your best to have a good sleeping pattern. I know this is hard, trust me, but by managing your time and getting things done, it is possible.

About the Author

Shania Sharma, is a vivacious 17 year old at Oberoi International School, Mumbai. Her interests range from Drama to MUN’s.  She is an Ivy Aspire student.