Exam stress affects health of one in five students

A fifth of uni students suffer from anxiety attacks come exam time...

Exam stress affects health of one in five students

Not so long ago, we questioned almost 1,000 uni students about their study habits and stress levels when it comes to exams. And it turns out that while stress is one of the more unavoidable factors during those months of revision, it affects a large proportion of students significantly enough for it to have an impact on their health.

While a massive - if perhaps unsurprising - 92% of students said that they got worried during exam time, one fifth of students surveyed revealed that they had suffered anxiety attacks as a result of pre-exam stress.

Furthermore, 61% of those questioned cited lack of sleep/insomnia as a result of stress, 51% said that they suffer from headaches or migraines and 47% admitted turning to the one of the world’s best comforts: food.

Rebecca Hunt, Public Relations Officer at Nightline Association says, ‘A certain amount of stress before exams can be beneficial, but these findings show how exams take their toll on students' mental and physical well-being.

‘It's important to remember to look after yourself during exams - sleep was the top answer given by students as to how to combat exam stress, yet the majority sleep less during the exam period. Keeping to your usual sleeping and eating routines means your body is alert and ready for revision. It's also important to take advantage of support services offered by Universities if you feel that your stress levels are affecting your health.’

If you do find yourself in a situation where you think you may be suffering from an anxiety attack, try to stay calm (easier said than done, perhaps). The truth is, the more you try to fight a panic attack, the more intense it may get. So close your eyes and take a few light breaths, breathing in through your nose and out through your mouth. Relax, take control and wait for the symptoms to pass.

The best thing you can do to avoid anything like this from happening is to schedule some time in to just chill out and de-stress from everything exam-orientated. Whether it’s sitting down with a quick brew, watching neighbours or taking a nap, relaxation is key.