A student can only fall into one of either category: early birds or night owls. There’s really no right or wrong when it comes to anyone’s studying preference. However, as a night owl myself, I would like to highlight the pros and cons that studying during the night imposes.
Studying overnight can either be the cause of sheer morning procrastination or the fact that you personally connect more to yourself from dusk to dawn. Whatever your reason for studying at night, you are bound to experience its advantages and challenges.
PROS of Studying at Night
Better Information Retention
According to a study conducted at the University of Notre Dame, studying right before you sleep tends to make you remember information better. The retention of information during the night is superior. This is due to what they call Retroactive Interference.
What this means is basically studying during the morning poses a risk of constant distraction and new information is incessantly being produced. Thus, previous information that was memorized is at the risk of being forgotten. It is advisable to memorize during the night for better retention.
The night is when people usually rest. External interferences such as cars passing by, loud conversations, infants wailing, and so forth are almost non-existent. For that reason, an ambiance of peace and serenity envelops the darkest hours. Thus, making it ideal to study especially if you’re someone who dislikes distractions more than anything. By having less distraction, studying at night make it easier to focus on information better.
Increase in Creative Efficiency
In connection to the two pros I mentioned, an increase in creative efficiency is also a factor why studying at night has its advantages. A surge of creative epiphanies always keeps me up at night. For night owls, the time from dusk to dawn is when we are free to run with crazy ideas and generally cause metaphorical havoc.
CONS of Studying at Night
The main reason why not everyone can be a night owl is because of sleep deprivation. A major con for those studying at night. An average of 6-8 hours of sleep is required for adults. However, because we choose to study at night, we voluntarily give up hours of sleep. This result in sleep deprivation that is inevitably linked to losing focus during the day.
Linked to sleep deprivation is having less energy. Sleep is important, therefore every hour that we give up, adds to our weariness. Since we’re not giving our brains enough time to reboot, we are more likely to be less alert and exert reduced focus.
Risking Better Social Interaction
Being awake at night means you are most likely to feel sleepy during the day. And a sleep-deprived individual would be more likely to choose sleep rather than meeting up with friends. Whether directly or indirectly, studying at night can lead to less social interaction.
While studying at night can be beneficial, there are also challenges that night owls face with every passing hour. It doesn’t matter if you’re an early bird or a night owl, what’s important is that you take care of your sleeping schedule and make sure you get enough rest.
Cristine Joy is a broadcasting major with a deep passion and obsession for reading and writing. She's the type of person that would lie to herself saying "one last chapter is all I need for a good night's sleep" then proceeds to finish the whole story until dawn. Her tenacity is what makes her believe that writing is not simply just a talent, rather it's a skill that one can continuously improve upon practice.