Look, no matter what you do, there's no substitute for a good night's sleep.
If there's one thing we can't live without, it's sleep.
You can last longer without water than you can without sleep.
Three hours and a cup of coffee (or even a serving of EarlyBird) aren't going to cut it.
Go to bed early, so you're well-rested in the morning.
I've always had trouble going to bed early, but I've learned a few reliable tricks that have helped me out a ton.
First, don't use your phone in bed.
Remember that association thing? When you use your phone in bed, it's no longer associated with sleeping - instead, it's replaced with a comfy pad where you endlessly scroll on Instagram and watch YouTube videos.
Before you know it, it's three in the morning. Whoops.
Binge on social media all you want before bed, but do so in another room. When it's time for bed, turn your phone off and go to bed.
Your brain will start to associate your bed with sleeping again, and you'll pass out nice and early.
Seriously, you'd be surprised how fast you pass out after hitting the pillow this way.
If you still can't seem to fall asleep before bed, pick up a book, and read.
Not only will you be smarter, but books are also super dull compared to phones, which are basically an endless supply of dopamine.
Reading a chapter of a good book before bed is a great way to unwind - and since they're free of blue light from phone screens that keep you awake, you'll be tired before you know what hit you.
In the study, Mirjam Muench and his team had two groups exposed to either artificial light or sunlight for six hours each.
"Compared to the afternoon, people who had DL (Daylight) were significantly more alert at the beginning of the evening, and subjects who were exposed to AL (Artificial light) were significantly sleepier at the end of the evening."
I'm not a scientist, but it makes sense - our bodies evolved to react to the sun, not balls of glass filled with tungsten and electricity (light bulbs).
If you have to wake up before the sun rises, try drawing a picture of the sun and taping it to the wall - it'll work the same.
Jokes aside, studying in a well-lit room is better than a poorly lit environment, even if you can't soak up the sun.
8. Try Meditation Before Studying
Meditation might seem a bit far out, but it's a great way to clear your mind and get in the zone before a study session.
I was never big on meditation myself until I tried it.
I'm not a monk who meditates 24/7, but five minutes after my morning shower clears my mind, gets me focused, and ready to start the day.
It's especially helpful before studying in the morning - after you first wake up, your mind is foggy and crowded. It's easy to succumb to a flurry of distracting thoughts when you're trying to focus.
One minute you're studying, and the next, you're daydreaming about getting your next tub of EarlyBird.
Here's an easy way to meditate:
Sit down - either on the floor, in your bed, or even a chair - and get comfortable.
You don't have to sit cross-legged as most people do in pictures.
Getting comfy is the most important thing because you'll be in that position for a while.
From there, set a timer for five minutes and close your eyes.
Breathe in and out, focusing on your breathing.
I like to think "inhale… exhale… inhale… exhale…" over and over again.
Focusing on nothing but your breath is the idea, but thoughts will pop into your mind repeatedly. You won't notice them at first, but when you do, let the thought pass and return to your breathing.
You'll probably find it hard to stay focused at first, but that's okay.
Meditation is all about being present and letting your thoughts come and go freely.
If a solo meditation is too hard for you, there are a ton of awesome (and free) guided meditation apps like Headspace that'll walk you through the process.
There are many other benefits to meditation that you can read about here, but I've found it sets me up for a productive study session.
Without a cluttered mind full of jumbled thoughts, focusing on your work is more natural.
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