Many students never really think about ‘when’ we study. With our busy schedules, it’s a go with the flow situation. But did you know that daytime and nighttime have their individual advantages? Read on as we break them down, so you can know what is the best time to study.
Studying During The Day
More Energy For Absorbing New Information
Of course with the start of a new day and good night of sleep, you will awake refreshed and ready to take on the world….. or at least your textbooks. In fact, research conducted by The University of Sussex found morning the best time to soak up new information. According to the research, in the morning, we tend to be better at tasks that rely on our ability to recall exact details, like names, places, dates and facts. Conversely, in the afternoon, our brains are better at integrating connections between our knowledge. Thus, it is recommended we learn new things during the morning and revise them at a later time to form better connections.
Natural Light Makes You Alert
Sunlight is healthy for you eyes! Natural lighting has just the right spectrum for optimal eyesight. This in turn leads to greater concentration and alertness. Additionally, better exposure to sunlight has been associated with better moods and productivity. Studies found classrooms with more daylight made student’s test scores a significant 25% higher. Artificial lights on the other hand, hurts our eyes and affects our natural circadian rhythm. This may make some individuals feel more stressed out.
If you get stuck on something while you study, daytime is the best time to contact someone. Since it’s time when most people are active, you can form study groups or email your professors. In daytime, you will get quicker feedback. You can also visit the library and go outdoors for a better environment.
However it is important to note, if you don’t get enough sleep and wake up in a foggy daze. Studying in the morning might not be effective for you.
Studying During The Night
Peace and Quiet
Night time is a time of peace and tranquility. You will have fewer distractions, you can devote your time to focus purely on your studying. Hence, you will be in a relaxed and self-reflective state. This is good if you need to think more thoroughly and deeply about certain subjects.
Sleep Improves Recall
The best thing about studying at night is you usually go to bed shortly after. This works wonders on your memory. Sleeping after studying gives the information you’ve just acquired better time to sink in your brain. Experts state that sleeping helps consolidate and more recently encoded information gel information together. One study conducted found participants who were instructed to memorize a set of word pairings on 9pm performed better than participants who memorized at 9am.
Some studies have shown that nighttime is actually the best time for creative thinking. The reasons for that is complicated but basically it is down to our circadian rhythm. The fact that you have less energy during night could actually be an advantage. Your brain will become more accepting of a stranger ideas and more free to wonder. Hence, you’ll be able to overcome problems in your studies and think outside the box.
Even with these advantages, don’t neglect sleep! Burning the midnight oil has numerous negative effects and cramming before an exam is one of the worst ways to study.
So, What Is The Best Time To Study?
Well, sad to say there is no conclusive answer to that. Both of them have their own pros and cons. We’re all different in our own ways, with different internal clock and body rhythm. Some people are night people and work best at night while early birds get the most out of a morning study session. Experiment around and see which one produces the best results for you. Still, science has indicated there are two most optimal windows of studying which is 10:00 am to 2:00 p.m. and then again from 4:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. That period in between is known as the post lunch dip where brain processes slow down. So, whether you are a night or day person avoid that time!