Should I study in the daytime or at night?
Hullo, co-traveller on the path to success.
I trust you’ve been implementing the lessons on this platform to align your current position with your desired destination. If you haven’t been doing so, I implore you to do a quick recap.
Go over the write-ups if you have to and supercharge your progress battery for a boost towards hitting your mark, our mark – Success!
I do believe that what is up for discussion today must have puzzled so many minds erstwhile.
I’ll just present my thoughts and leave you to evaluate and make the best decision that suits your condition.
Remember, the best way to learn is to first learn the way, then find your own way.
To paraphrase, the most important skill you’ll ever acquire is how to customize knowledge to meet your personal needs.
I want to give you a few advantages and tips that might just give you an extra hour of precious sleep because you would not have to spend it reading.
Happy? Let’s go!
1. Learn what works for you before you seriously need it.
It is the simple yet critical matter of whether or not to study overnight. I’m going to assume that you are not under exam conditions so as to reduce the risk factor associated with trying to suddenly change your schedules. Yes, I know you are so eager to have your eyes fixed on that pertinent piece of paper in preparation for what might be a career-defining moment of evaluation. However, you should practice this long before you begin to move your study drive to gear 5. This will help you to know what exactly works perfectly for you.
2. The human senses love the light and the day has plenty of it!
Ever tried reading in the dark? I guess not. By the way, do you see how your body seem to automatically ‘shut down’ as the darkness of the night wears on? It is due to what physiologists call a ‘biological clock’. It is calibrated to make the brain switch off so that it may rest after several hours of data crunching. The ambient illumination tunes this so-called biological clock. So, congratulations, the biological clock favours you if you are not a fan of night reading.
Dear reader, nature and generations of inherited practice predispose the typical man to be diurnal rather than nocturnal. The next time you wake up and savour the great sleep you just had, let that motivate you to do more activities during the day. It is indeed true what’s written in the good book – the sleep of a labouring man is sweet, and rightfully so because he has earned it!
3. Early engagement is vital
It is no secret that the quicker you return to what you have just learnt, the firmer it’ll stick. It will also stick with little or no loss of information associated with the fading of memory. Studying during the day as opposed to waiting till night time ensures that what’s grabbed is given almost no idling time before it’s ‘hammered’ securely to the neural pathways. Therefore, information decay over a prolonged time of non-engagement is kept at bay.
4. Consistency is key
On the matter of boosting the memory, I will give you an illustration as to how impulses directed at the retention of facts are reinforced in the brain. Let’s say today you learnt something about a bicycle, of course, you’ve seen and perhaps even ridden one before, hence, it would be almost impossible to forget what you learnt.
The more sense organs you associate with a particular stimulus, the stronger the impulse it evokes when requested from your memory bank. To put it pictorially, the more the ropes you use to secure a goat to a pole (a very dramatic illustration 😆 ), the harder it is for the goat to free itself. Now compare the relationship between the goat and the ropes & you and your sense organs. Get the picture?!
Read also: Are you extra-ordinarily intelligent?
How do all these add up with studying during the day?
You should see by now that the natural level of activity during the day is generally higher than at night. This is attributed to the level of ambient illumination available during the day compared to the night. A lot of people would gripe and whine that it’s all distraction. My apologies in case you’re one of those, but I enjoin you today to have another look through the lenses of a new perspective.
What if I tell you, my friend, that the so-called distractions (sights, sounds, feel and smell) can serve as tags and tips that facilitate much faster recall of such information whenever the need comes up.
Enough said about these obviously unusual advantages of diligence during day study.
Tips that can help you absorb things faster and seize the day
- Refresh your page – Take the immediate step of going through your notes to refresh your memory at the very moment you discover what you just learnt is beginning to fade from memory. This should have nothing to do with whether it’s your ‘study time’ or not.
- Study groups – Leverage on the power of study groups. How about gisting about the last hour’s class rather than last night game for a change. That way, you increase your perspective on the subject of scholarly discussion and reduce the workload of personal study, especially if you do so at night.
- Look out for the practical – Look for a practical application of what you’ve learnt in class, even in mundane things around you. Study time is simply formal learning time. If you can’t find the learning opportunity in informal things, you are severely limiting the breadth of your learning experience.
- Absorb passively – Learning becomes spontaneous and far more effective when you not only absorb useful information actively but also passively. Take a fine sieve through your day to absorb every useful bit of information. Even if you’ll have to read at night afterwards, it will just be an icing on the cake!
- Make learning habitual – As a sequel to the previous point, I’d admonish you to start seeing learning as a habit rather than an activity. Activities are deliberately engaged while habits are spontaneously indulged in. It takes more energy to initiate an activity than it does to simply switch into the disposition of a particular habit.
So, if you can get learning into the low-energy barrier regions of your psyche, you’ll be supercharged to break whatever time barrier you have placed on learning. For some people, until they are reading they are not learning – how limiting! The classroom of the 21st century, in fact, every century, is the entire world at each passing day and not a few hours of the day. Imagine you only have to breathe at night. I’d rather not imagine. Now just see how productive you could be when learning transcends activity to the process of daily living.
As a matter of fact, I am not a night reader. Despite this, I have had quite a pleasant string of results throughout my academic journey. While reading at night sure has its advantages, following it religiously and ritualistically could be quite detrimental in certain circumstances.
However, the high point of my discourse is to emphasize the critical role played by the fundamental formation of basic cognition while growing. This is my yardstick for advising you on the volume of night reading you might need.
In conclusion, decoupling learning from any particular time of the day predisposes you to a deeper and more adventurous life of knowledge acquisition and wisdom administration.
Am I saying that you should throw your structured study out of the window? Maybe not.
What is certain is this – the entire world is your classroom and every second of the day is a potential learning time. Reading and study should always have learning as the end goal.
Imbibe, absorb, evolve and become.
Learn the way and then find your own way…
‘Carpe Diem!’ – seize the day!