If you’re the procrastinating type or prefer to study at the last second, all-nighters may be your thing. But studying at night has some major downfalls for even the most dedicated night owls. On the other hand, cramming it all in the morning-of can be just as ineffective. Here’s how you can determine if you should study at night or wait for the morning — and how to maximize your time.
When to Study Til Dawn
Studying in the evening isn’t for the fainthearted. It can be exhausting and leave you reeling when you wake up the next morning. However, if you’ve got the temperament and schedule for it, you might actually be able to pull it off.
The best night students are the ones who have already conditioned their body to push past midnight. You know you’re one if bedtime is nonexistent or you love doing last minute Sudoku puzzles on your phone while your roommate sleeps. If you’ve been consistently doing this, then you’ve probably already trained your body and your mind to process information at a higher level late at night.
However, before you pick the evening, you’ll need to look at the clock. Your body needs at least seven hours of productive sleep to retain memory and have decent recall speeds. Any less and you’ll be dragging your feet. So, in other words, pulling an all-nighter for an 8 AM exam is not going to work in your favor. A 3 PM quiz, on the other hand, may just work with that sporadic sleep schedule.
If you’re going to go until the early morning, be sure you do it right. Avoid studying in bed or on a comfy chair you could potentially fall asleep on. Take breaks to move around or find new areas to study at. Drink your coffee, tea, or caffeinated soda early in your study session. And try smell techniques like with smelling lavender-scented essential oils to keep your mind alert all night long.
When to Leave It Til Morning Of
The morning of a test is a pretty risky choice, but sometimes it just happens. Whether you crash trying to stay up all-night or you just prefer to go from sunrise till class starts, those essential, last-minute study sessions sneak up on you.
Champion morning-study students have a few things in common. For one, they are regimented and know how to manage their time. You may be this type of person if you’re up early for a morning walk at the same time every morning. Morning studiers are also more visual learners who can process information quickly with items like flashcards or sample exams.
When deciding between night and morning, again consider your schedule. Hopefully, you’re well-rested so excessive drowsiness isn’t an issue. That’s a big win for morning studying. If you can commit to getting to bed early the night before, the morning might be the best time to study. You’ll also want to have at least one solid hour before your test and some time for fueling with a healthy breakfast.
If you want to pick the morning, it’s more about how you cram than when. Visual aids like flashcards or even simple slide shows work best while you’re still waking up. Singing songs or making up anagrams also stick in your mind for last-minute crams. Finally, don’t forget to move frequently and to break up studying into 25-30 minute sessions with 5-10 minute breaks in between so you can reset your brain before you hit the exam. Ultimately, whether you study at night or during the day, you can ace that exam if you know how your body and mind best works.
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