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Studying for Success: Re-energize Yourself!

This guide provides tips for studying effectively and managing your time wisely.

Energy!

If you find yourself burning out after three hours of studying or so, try studying for a set period of time with a set break time. Research has found that studying for fifty minutes, and then allowing your brain to rest and digest the information it has received for ten minutes, causes students to maintain focus and be more efficient for longer periods of time. You might also find that studying for forty minutes and then resting for twenty could be more effective for you. Don’t be scared to take study breaks, it might actually help you get further ahead in the material rather than making you fall behind schedule! (Read more: Ellett 2016MITScience DailyJabr 2013)

If you are feeling tired and want to wake up feeling energized, try drinking some caffeine (whether it be through a yerba maté or taking a shot of espresso) and then take a nap for twenty minutes. You will find yourself waking up and feeling rested. (Read the science: HealthlineHayashi, Masuda, & Hori 2003)

Rest is Important!

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SLEEP

Say you have an early morning exam and you want to wake up feeling alert and ready to go. Use an online sleep calculator to determine when you should be going to sleep in order to ensure that you wake up at the end of a sleep cycle rather than in the middle of one; doing so will prevent you from waking up with a foggy mind. Keep in mind that sleep calculators work with the general idea that you will fall asleep in the regular average time it takes adults to do so – fourteen minutes. If you know that you will have insomnia or trouble sleeping, input the time that you need to wake up and aim for one of the recommended sleeping times. This is something that I started doing in high school and have continued to do throughout university as I find it effective. (Read more: Sleep.orgRicky 2019)

Nap Time!

If you are feeling tired and want to wake up feeling energized, try drinking some caffeine (whether it be through a yerba maté or taking a shot of espresso) and then take a nap for twenty minutes. You will find yourself waking up and feeling rested. (Read the science: HealthlineHayashi, Masuda, & Hori 2003)

Power Naps!

Get Some Sleep! Sleep is the best way to increase your energy and maintain your mood during this stressful time. Set a reasonable bedtime and stick to it.  This will form great sleep habits for those last two weeks of the semester, and you’ll wake up feeling refreshed and ready to tackle the day! Power naps are also beneficial.  If you feel groggy while studying or you’re not retaining information, take a quick nap.  The key is to sleep for 30 minutes or less so you don’t compound your grogginess (Butler).

Butler, J. College life. https://www.educationquest.org/blog/prep-for-finals-week-increase-energy-and-reduce-stress/

 

Zzzzzzz . . .

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Time, Time, Time

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Don't Study in Bed!

Also make sure that you study outside of your bed! It is incredibly tempting to just open your laptop two minutes before class and half-watch the class while laying in bed but try moving to a different spot. If your mind starts to associate your bed with work from either studying or online lectures, you will have a harder time falling asleep as you associate it as a space to get work done instead of resting. Try moving to the couch or a desk with a chair. In the past I’ve made a make-shift desk out of cardboard boxes on my floor and found that it helped me to not only maintain focus but also to sleep better at night. (Read the science: Gifford & Sommer 1968Division of Sleep Medicine at Harvard Medical SchoolLina 2020)