Not a night owl? Can’t seem to study when it’s close to bedtime? You’re not the only one. Learning comes differently for each person, as does the time to learn. For some college students, studying during the day is the most efficient for them. If that’s you, here are a few reasons why and tips to help you along the way.
When is the Best Time to Study?
There is not a universal best time to study. The best time to study is dependent on you. Everyone learns differently. Whether you’re a visual learner, hands-on, or need to take it in by ear, we begin to understand what is best for ourselves. The same is true about the time we learn best as well.
We all run on a Circadian rhythm, the 24-hour cycle that includes our physical, mental, and behavioral changes, better known as our internal clock. This is what divides people into being a “morning person” and “night owl.” If you’re into staying up all night, studying during the day probably isn’t for you.
There are health benefits for those who prefer studying during the day. Whether it’s in the morning or early afternoon, your brain and body should be refreshed after waking up. When you’re more alert, you can retain the information better. It’s also proven that natural light is good for your eyes and won’t affect your sleep cycle as artificial light does.
How to Study Effectively During the Day
In college, there is time to study during the day because you control your schedule. At the beginning of each semester, you get to pick when and where your classes are during the day. If you want to study during the day, plan for it. Do you know your favorite study spot on campus? Find a class in the morning near your favorite spot and allow a study gap after it. Studying between classes in college is a great way to pass the time and stay ahead in your courses. You can also schedule all your classes on a Monday, Wednesday, and Friday to free up your Tuesdays and Thursdays for studying.
You can always use these six study tips but here are other ideas to study effectively during the day:
- Don’t stay inside
- Listen to music
- Get your exercise
- Learn to relax
- Don’t go at it alone
If you’re going to study during the day, might as well spend it outside if you can. Of course, the weather might prohibit you from staying out too long. But if you decided to go to a school with a warm climate, take advantage of it. As mentioned before, natural sunlight is good for your eyes and your natural clock. It’s also good for your brain to enjoy a change of scenery. You see the inside of your dorm room or apartment every day, so it’s a good idea to find different study spots.
Music is a great tool to use for studying during the day. As opposed to if you were studying late in your room, during the day there’s more action, more noise, and more distractions. It’s been proven that listening to music while studying can ease stress, reduce anxiety, and help you focus more. The tunes can also be motivating because of the effect they have on your brain chemistry. Don’t forget those headphones when you go study.
Similar to music, exercise before studying helps your body as well. Not only does it help you concentrate better, but it also helps strengthen your memory, improve your mood, and increase your energy levels. There is a connection between one’s physical health and academic performance. Exercise helps the brain continue to grow and improve like the rest of your body by growing new blood vessels and strengthening blood cells. Getting into a consistent routine at the gym and your textbook will lead to better study habits.
Learn to relax. Studying might stress you out, but the more you learn to relax, the less tense you’ll be trying to cram before the test. You don’t have to shove your nose into your textbook for six straight hours, study breaks are great for your mind. This also ties into our previous tips such as being outside, music, and exercise also helping you to relax. During your study breaks, go for a walk, listen to a podcast, focus on your breathing, or lay down. Being able to relax and prevent stress allows your brain to retain the information you’re studying better.
Study groups are also great during the day. You can plan out days with a friend or two surrounded by a study period. Go to class with a friend, hit the gym afterward, grab a coffee, and find a seat in your favorite study spot. Studying with friends is effective because you can bounce ideas and solutions off one another. It’s even better during the day because there’s already more noise going on. You can talk more and even have more fun without disrupting others as well. It also can be rewarding knowing you got your studying done and can go hang out as a group that night as well.
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