When your child is studying for exams – do you keep rewarding him with chocolates? You may be making it more difficult for him to study if you are doing that. Too many chocolates during exams – make it difficult for your child to study.
During exams when children study for long hours – they start craving chocolates and other sweet things.
Why does this happen?
This happens because the brain functions only on glucose.
When a child studies for long hours it runs out of glucose and starts craving sweets and chocolates. Craving is the brain’s way of saying – “Give me more glucose. I need food – because I am tired.
Children also crave sweets – because sweets and chocolates have the ability to make children feel better. Eating a sweet or chocolate when a child is stressed makes him feel much better.
While there is no problem with eating a little bit of sweet or sugar or chocolate – eating too much sugar can actually hamper the process of learning and cause more stress.
Excess sugar affects the brain in the following way.
To study – the nerves in the eyes need to pick up the information from the book – and then keep passing it on from one nerve to the next nerve. The nerves have to keep moving the information until it reaches the storage area of the brain.
Too much sugar slows the passage of this information from nerve to nerve. The information thus takes longer to reach the storage area of the brain.
Also – while sugar does have the ability to make us feel good – when we use sugar to feel good and overcome stress – we gradually run out of our happy hormone serotonin.
When we run out of serotonin we feel anxious and depressed.
So when a child uses sugar to feel good while studying – this is what happens
Because there is too much to study there is a lot of stress. Your child reaches for something sugary to feel better. But sugary food just causes a rapid spike of blood sugar. Very soon the blood sugar falls again and as soon this drop happens it slows down the passage of information. Your child is no longer able to concentrate and study well. This causes more stress and your child eats a little more sugar.
Eating more and more sugar in this way to feel better – eventually results in your child’s brain running out of serotonin. Your child starts feeling anxious and depressed and finds it even more difficult to study. This then becomes a vicious cycle.
So sugar while studying is bad. Keep your child as far away from excess sugar as possible if you want him to study well.