We aren’t all morning people. The cheery mood straight out of bed is not a lifestyle for all of us. But staying up late into the evening doing anything imaginable is how certain students thrive. For those that need to study at night as opposed to studying during the day, you’re not alone. Studying at night is the best way to learn for many students and here are a few tips from Collegeboxes to get even better at it.
Late Night Study Tips
How do you study at night? There are plenty of similarities between studying during the day and during the night. However, at night your day should be close to ending, and you’re likely not as refreshed as you would be in the morning or during the day. It’s probable you won’t be outside or with a group of friends during the night. Other people might be sleeping, such as your roommate and you need to be courteous to them. Although, using these tips lets you be nice to your roommate and be a good student.
Fuel Your Body Right in Order to Study
Energy drinks, coffee, candy, and chips are great late-night snacks, right? Absolutely not. Downing energy drinks or multiple cups of coffee isn’t ideal to help you study at night. Those fluids are filled with sugar, which can lead to a crash. One sugary drink won’t hurt you but drink a lot of water. Staying extra hydrated will keep your energy up and help you concentrate.
As for foods, don’t go carbohydrate-heavy. The high amount of carbs will have a crash effect as sugar does. Instead aim for fruits, veggies, proteins, and maybe a little treat. Eat a light dinner or make a few of these snacks:
- Almonds, other nuts, or trail mix
- An apple with peanut butter
- A mini charcuterie board with cheese and meats
- Fruit salad with your favorites in one bowl
- Dark chocolate, tastes good and helps blood flow
Stay Moving and Write Notes
A lot of people use books to fall asleep. We know the contents of your textbook might not be the most interesting information to read about. That’s why taking notes and highlighting is necessary. It keeps your brain engaged and your blood flowing. It’s also shown that writing the material also helps you retain the information as well. Take breaks to walk around because staying in one place can make the mind stagnate and start to make you sleepy, which is common while studying at night.
Study in a Well-Lit Room
A well-lit room can be a game-changer when it comes to studying. If your room doesn’t have adequate lighting, your eyes will get tired faster, your concentration will decrease, and you’ll read slower. Warm halogen lights are great for students that enjoy studying at night. Using proper lighting also improves posture as you won’t start to slouch because you’re tired, and your mood is better because it creates a calm and productive area to study in.
Avoid the Bed, the Couch, and the Floor
Studying at night while on the bed, couch, or the floor is a dangerous game. As sleep is already calling your name around the corner due to your internal clock, being in a position that will make you sleepy is the worst thing you can do. A bed and couch are associated with comfort in your mind, your focus will start to drift. Sitting in bed to study means you’ll likely have poor posture and blood will not flow properly to your brain in a way that makes it function for learning.
Take a Nap
Some days feel longer than others, and you just need a nap. If you’re planning on studying late into the night, find time for a nap before. Taking a quick nap in the afternoon will serve as a better refresher than trying to drink too many coffees or sugary drinks. Getting into a routine of studying is great and will help the process. Studying at night every day might mean that you should take a power nap every afternoon. Scientists at the Saarland University in Germany have found that taking a 45 – 60 minute power nap can boost your memory in a study published in Neurobiology of Learning and Memory. Classes, naps, and a study session sounds like a schedule for an A-plus student.
How to Pull an All-Nighter
Don’t do it. Staying up to try and consume every ounce of information from the textbook the night before your test simply won’t help. Multiple studies have found that not getting enough sleep has a negative impact on your grades. Good luck trying to remember that whole book without sleep. The human brain can’t take in all that content and store in it the memory bank for your final exam without rest. When sleep deprived, your body tends to use your short-term memory, thus nullifying all that time you spent cramming instead of sleeping.
Even if you put off studying until the last minute, trading sleep for studying won’t help you. It’s better to skim or at least find a chunk of the important information the night before. Make a quick study guide for the morning. A few hours of studying and a few hours of sleep are a lot better than reading cover to cover without giving your body and brain a rest.
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