Early birds and night owls



Are you an early bird or a night owl?


I’m more of a chirpy early bird myself. As a student, I would set the alarm for 5 or 6 am and gladly get up without snoozing, to read a chapter or draft a paragraph. I could focus easily in the early hours, and while everyone else was sleeping, I’d feel ahead of the game - winning at life, you might say.


On the other hand, with the best intentions, I could seldom study into the night and I’d envy those who could, because at times dusk to dawn would have come in handy, just to ‘get that thing done’.


So, while working with students, I used to encourage them to try the early routine - but most often, I’d hear that they find this very difficult. It seems more common for students to be able to study at night, many saying it brings out the creativity. Moonlight motivation?


Now, I simply ask students what works best for them. If they haven’t tried it before, then I suggest they give the early rise a try, but if it’s not for them, then it’s all good.


Here, one student shares her experience:


“Right, so a couple of months ago, when writing my dissertation, my dad told me getting up at 5am in the morning was best to get coursework done and your brain is more productive between certain times. So this blog post is about being a night owl: the people who study in the evenings because everytime I go on pinterest it's all about getting up early!
Go with the night owl
For the past couple of years I have been told numerous tips on how, when to study and when is the best time to study. Here are some examples:
“The best time to study is in the morning at 5am where your brain is fresh and prepared “
“The most productive day for your brain works is between 10am -2pm “
Well I say ‘NO THANKS!’
I have tried both of these methods, and to be honest, it does not work for me at all, I am still half asleep at 5am in the morning trying to open my eyes to start typing. In addition trying to study from 10am to 2pm for some of us may not be possible as you may work full time.
I have found over the past five years that I am a night owl. My brain works best from 8pm till 11pm at night. So when someone gives you a study tip of getting up first thing in the morning and it just doesn’t work for you just kindly tell them you're more of a night owl.”

At the end of the day (or the start for early birds), whatever you do, just do your best to get enough sleep, because your studies are sure to suffer without sufficient rest breaks and quality sleep.


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