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Study Tips for Night Owls

November 23, 2021

Study Tips for Night Owls
When are you most alert and attentive? When do you struggle to focus? If you are someone who enjoys staying up late and feels more productive during the evening hours, there is no shame in that. You may notice a general perception that morning people are more mature and responsible, but your sleeping hours are completely irrelevant from a moral stand point. Some people enjoy taking in a good sunrise and getting in their hours of productivity before the rest of the world wakes up, but there are just as many people who thrive in the later hours of the day. Many of us night owls crave that calm productivity and insight that only sets in after the rest of the world has shut their eyes for the night. Instead of fighting your natural tendencies, try to build your study routine around them. Here is a quick breakdown of the most useful study tips for night owls so you can feel more productive in the evenings and better prepared for that upcoming midterm or proctored exam. 

Consider Your Environment 

Make a mental list of late night coffee chops or public indoor spaces in your neighbourhood where you can study comfortably outside of your home. Maybe there is a community centre open late or a cute cafe with an easy vibe for studying. By switching up your location, you will feel more engaged in your studying and the time will pass with greater ease. If you are a homebody and plan on doing most of your studying in your door room or apartment, read up on how to create an ideal study space to help you crush your exams.  If you happen to find a cute coffee shop that is open late and perfect for studying, just be mindful of your caffeine intake later at night. You may love being a night owl, but too much caffeine can alter your sleep schedule in a radical way, which will ultimately decrease your efficiency and well being. 

Let There Be Light (But Not Blue Light) 

Your lighting matters too, particularly if you use electronic devices for studying. You could download f.lux software or another adaptive tool to change the colour display on your devices and reduce your blue light intake during the later hours of the day. Excessive blue light can lead to frustrating eyestrain and discomfort, which nobody needs. Health professionals also recommend avoiding too much blue light in the late evening and night because it affects your ability to release melatonin, a natural sleep hormone. Try to make your space comfortable and experiment with different types of lighting or ambience. Listening to music while you study also has numerous benefits and will contribute to creating a comfortable and productive study environment in your home. 

Plan Ahead 

Keep your morning routine as simple as possible so that you are not overwhelmed with challenging tasks when you first awake. You could also try getting things out of the way by packing your lunch the night before, setting out your clothing for the following day or showering at night instead of in the morning. Making these small lifestyle changes will free up more mental energy and motivation for your evening studies and will make your mornings way less stressful. You should also try to avoid choosing morning classes whenever you have the option. The same goes for whenever you use proctoring services through an organization such as ATS. You are often given a range of days or times as options to book your exam, so choose a time when you know you will feel more productive and alert.   

Written by CJ McGillivray