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Is Studying At Night Good Or Bad?

Instead of asking a yes or no question, you’re better off asking what are the benefits of studying late at night.

There aren’t many.

Actually, leaving your studying for night time can backfire on you in many ways. You can feel sleepy which will decrease your focus. You can get distracted by other things like TV, social media, or chatting with friends and family members. At some point your brain will start shutting down. Your willpower to keep going will diminish. You’ll want to sleep, and if you don’t get any sleep you will feel groggy the next day. Your cognitive capacity to recall what you’ve learned will also be lower due to lack of sleep.

These are all important factors to consider. I’m saying this to give you a reality check because lately there has been a whole movement of “studying like hell” with YouTubers streaming all-night study sessions and promoting a student lifestyle that is not realistic. They’re not telling you how they’re feeling the next day, and often times you’ll notice them snacking throughout the night on junk food and candy bars, as well as drinking caffeinated beverages to stay awake. Nobody is talking about it, but their bleary-eyed look makes them look like robots, or maybe zombies, as they rock back and forth at their desk trying to memorize the course material.

Is that really how you want to spend your high school or college years?

I would advise you to use your critical thinking skills and not follow what others are doing. If you want to optimize the way your brain works so you can achieve the results you want , you’ll have to take better care of your brain. Train it. Give it what it needs, at the time when it needs it the most. Let it rest. And when you do all these things, your brain will perform and even outperform better than you thought. Trust me on this. You need to be in sync with your supercomputer.

So, forget about late night study sessions and create a better strategy for studying. Here are 5 tips that will help you.

1. Build a mental map for your day.

This technique is called building a mental model. It's a combination of creative storytelling, critical thinking, and visualizing. Here's how it works: you imagine in detail how you expect your day to go, and in doing so you train your brain to anticipate next steps and expect a positive outcome. For example:

. Visualize making progress with your work. 

. Think in detail about all the steps you will take. 

. Anticipate and identify challenges. This helps you prepare for problems so you're not surprised when they happen.

. Imagine a successful end to your day. Maybe you’re completing a big task or you're just starting a new project. Either way, celebrating small wins every day will boost your motivation and help you feel more positive about moving ahead.

2. Tackle the most difficult mental tasks early.

Doing your hard work early in the day allows your brain to focus fully on the problem at hand, with fewer distractions. Also, you tap into your willpower reserves early — super important because you have more willpower earlier than later in the day.

3. Divide up your study sessions with a timer.

While you want to remain focused for long stretches of time, you won’t be able to keep your brain fully engaged non-stop. That’s why a timer can help you divide up your day into manageable increments, so that your brain can focus in a more targeted and effective manner.

4. Step away from your work to boost memory.

Have you ever heard of the Zeigarnik effect? It’s a concept in psychology that argues that we remember uncompleted or interrupted tasks better than the ones we already completed.

What’s in it for the brain? When we start a task and then interrupt it with a break, this creates a task-specific tension that can improve cognitive function. The tension we feel of still having to continue working keeps the task top of mind; the brain is still focused on it and can easily access the information and also remember it better.

How can you use this to your advantage? Take frequent breaks during your deep work. When you take breaks during which you perform unrelated activities (reading a book, working out, running errands, or performing other physical activities), you’re more likely to remember things than people who are sitting in a room for hours trying to focus on one single task.

5. Give your brain time to make the connections.

There’s a time for absorbing and analyzing new material throughout the day, just like there’s a time to let the brain sort all that new material out. The key is in understanding the importance of downtime to help the brain retain what it needs.You need some downtime in order to process all the inputs you’re exposed to throughout the day. Give yourself plenty of time to pause, reflect, and let your brain classify the information, make connections, and store the new inputs so it’s easier to memorize and recall at a later time.

A solid studying strategy can help you identify where to focus your energy and where to stop wasting it. I put together many tips I learned over the years, most of them through trial and error. This means I tried them all on my own, discarded what wasn’t helpful, and kept what gave me the results I needed.

Content created and supplied by: JobW (via Opera News )

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