They're hair-raising, stress-inducing and can send cold shivers down your spine.

Midterms are an opportunity to review all that you've learned over the past several weeks and test your ability to apply the most important facts, figures and concepts that are important for you to know.

Studying is typically the best way to prepare for exams, but all too often, students fall into bad habits that can lead to poor performance when they need to be at their very best.

To guard against these unhealthy habits, here are a few suggestions that can help you gear up for midterms so you're primed and ready to ace whatever your teachers throw your way.

1. Don’t underestimate sleep
You know you need it, yet Canadians routinely don't get enough of it. Health experts recommend seven to eight hours of shuteye each night, but 33% get less than that, according to government statistics. Sleep is essential to performance, readiness and the ability to tap into your memory bank so you can make the most of the time spent studying in class and on your own. Instead of pulling an all-nighter or cramming a day or two before, be sure to get a minimum of seven hours of sleep regularly. You'll feel better and be better for exams.

2. Eat a nutritious breakfast
There's a reason why health experts say it's the most important meal of the day. Breakfast provides the nutrients you need to run on, both physically and mentally. Numerous studies support that a healthy breakfast contributes to learning and strong academic performance. However, instead of sugary cereals, doughnuts or pastries, aim for foods that are more wholesome and nutrient-dense. This may include 100% fruit juices like orange and cranberry along with eggs and whole-wheat toast. Just one egg has over seven grams of protein and five grams of healthy fats that serve as fuel for your brain.

3. Break for exercise
You know you’re going to take breaks – at least you should be. Why not do something that’s beneficial for both your physical and mental health? Fatigue is a struggle many students face, that’s why point one is so important. But did you know that exercise increases your body’s energy levels and is proven to reduce stress – this might help for tip four! Not to mention, during low-intensity exercise, your body generates protein that activates the memory retention area of the brain. Seems like exercising is a no brainer.

4. Try to relax
Everyone can get stressed out from time to time, especially as a student with high personal expectations. Go into your test confident in your abilities. As long as you’ve been carving out time for quality studying, there's really nothing to worry about. Just take a few deep breaths and do your best. That's all anyone can ask.

By incorporating these healthy habits and consistency in your studies, you can make midterms far less stressful and much more manageable.