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Which is The Best Time to Study? Pros and Cons of Day & Night Studying

Which is The Best Time to Study? [Pros and Cons of Day & Night Studying]

Our parents keep forcing us to sleep early and telling us not to study late as it is not the right time. 

Is this a misconception or a fact?

For some of the students who like studying late, it is a nightmare to convince their parents and peers. 

Other than parents, some people think that waking up early to study is the only way to get a good score. There is a strong belief that studying late at night is not good for the student’s brain, and it leads to no memory retention. 

So, when’s the right time to study to get the maximum result possible?

We have laid out proper guidelines, including science-based facts and some tips for finding the best time to study.

What Does Science Say?

We cannot just decide based on opinions regarding the best time to study. For that reason, Science is there to help us. 

While there's some debate about whether we perform better in the morning or afternoon, some studies suggest that studying later in the night might help us remember information better later on.


Research conducted by Jessica D. Payne indicates that studying before bed is often the ideal time to store knowledge in our memory. This is because information is fresher in our short-term memory right before sleeping so it is easier for our brains to store it in the long-term memory box. 

If you're someone who tends to study at the last minute and sends in your assignment a minute before the deadline, this could be good news for you! [But do not waste too much time procrastinating]

The main idea behind this study was that when we sleep, the things we recently learned are converted into long-term memories through declarative memory consolidation

On the other hand, the things we learn earlier in the day might sweep out of our short-term memory due to the daily distractions before they even have a chance to consolidate into our long-term memory.

However, it's important to note that the time of day isn't the only factor affecting our ability to learn. 

Factors like the amount and quality of sleep also play a significant role. Without enough sleep, our cognitive abilities suffer, and we take more time than normal to focus and retain information.

Additionally, humans need Deep Sleep in order to rest properly. So, while some people claim they can function on minimal sleep, it's not enough for optimal learning and memory retention.

—The Body’s Natural Cycle

Do you know that apart from having an external timezone and a clock hanging on your wall, there is a clock inside your body as well? 

It’s called the circadian rhythm

Circadian rhythym

To decide the best time to study, it’s important to consider your circadian rhythm. These rhythms are closely tied to the cycle of sunrise and sunset, so it's ideal to align our study sessions with these natural patterns. 

For most people with undisrupted circadian rhythms, working during the early hours of the day is the best. Those kinds of students are the most productive during the morning after having the perfect 8-hour sleep session.

Disrupting our circadian rhythms can affect the functioning of our body as a whole, which can then impact our ability to learn properly.

Interesting Information

Your circadian rhythm is like your body's internal clock that follows a 24-hour cycle, regulating your sleep and wakefulness patterns. 

Your brain receives signals from your environment, triggering the release of certain hormones, adjusting your body temperature, and managing your metabolism to keep you awake or help you sleep.

External factors or sleep disorders can sometimes disrupt this rhythm for some people. However, adopting healthy habits can help you better align with your body's natural rhythm.

The bottom line is: It’s not important when you learn; it’s important how you do it.

Also, learning at a particular time depends on your personal preferences and productivity levels. Some people are the most productive during the day and tend to wake up early to study. It is advised to study from 4 a.m. to 7 p.m. in the morning as it is when the brain is most active. 

On the other hand, some people prefer the quietness of a night to study. They usually pull an all-nighter before exams to study till late at night and prefer to sleep in the daytime. It is completely fine to choose the time you are the most comfortable with to study because, at the end of the day, it's the way you do is that matters.

The Day Learners

Do you like waking up early to meditate or workout?

Then, the daytime is the best time for you to take your books out.

For students who feel more energetic earlier in the day, studying in the morning might be the most effective. This is because the brain is typically more focused and alert during this time, making it easier to concentrate on learning tasks.

Studying in the morning also benefits from having a refreshed and energized mind after a good night's sleep. This energy can help students absorb information more effectively and stay focused on their studies throughout the day.

Benefits of Studying During the Day

Let’s look at some of the benefits of studying during the day:

1. Fresh Mind: If you're someone who feels most alert and motivated in the morning, studying right after a good night's sleep might be ideal. This way, you can tackle your studies before daily tasks start piling up and clouding your focus.

2. Sleep Schedule: Studying late into the evening can disrupt your sleep routine, increase your fatigue, and decrease your performance. It's important to prioritize sleep for academic success, so consider studying earlier in the day to avoid staying up too late.

3. Natural Light Benefits: Natural light has been shown to positively impact our hormones, circadian rhythm, and brain function. If possible, study in an area with natural light in the morning to enhance your learning, mood, and sleep quality.

4. Positive Start: Starting your day with productive study sessions can set a positive tone for the rest of your day. You'll likely feel more accomplished and less stressed, knowing you've tackled a challenging task early on. This positive energy can carry you through the day with confidence.

Cons of Studying During the Day

Apart from having some obvious benefits, there are some cons you can face while studying during the day: 

1. Busy Environment: If you are a student with other responsibilities like family, friends and work, then it will get very hectic for you. Daytime hours are often filled with activities, chores, and responsibilities, contributing to interruptions and limited time for focused study sessions.

2. Work and Other Commitments: Many students have part-time jobs or other commitments during the day. If you are one of them, try studying at night because it will leave limited time for dedicated study sessions.

3. Increased Stress: With everything happening around us, daytime can be extremely stressful. Due to deadlines and responsibilities looming, studying during the day can lead to increased stress and pressure to perform well. It eventually affects the overall productivity and mental well-being.

More Information: How Can Students Deal with Exam Stress?

4. Interruptions: You will relate to it if you have a lot of friends. No doubt friends are a blessing, but they can be quite annoying when you are studying. Their phone calls, messages, and other notifications can interrupt daytime study sessions. 

You will also have to cut down your time from using social media and scrolling your phone from time to time. 

The Night Learners

Are you a night owl?

If you are, then it might take an hour or two to barely get up from your bed during the day. You should try studying at night. 

For students who find that they have more energy later in the day, studying in the evening or at night might be more effective. During these times, there tend to be fewer distractions and a quieter environment, which can enhance a student's concentration and focus.

However, the most important thing, even if you’re working late at night, is your sleep.  Humans typically need around 8-9 hours of sleep per night for optimal functioning. 

If studying or homework is pushing bedtime later, it's a good idea to start earlier and stick to a consistent nightly schedule to prioritize sleep.

Benefits of Studying During the Night

There are a lot of pros of studying at night, some of them are given below:

1. Nighttime Focus: Many students find it easier to focus during the quiet nighttime hours when there are fewer distractions and noise. Just remember to get enough sleep by going to bed at a reasonable time.

2. Fits Busy Schedules: As a busy student juggling school, hobbies, chores, and exercise, studying in the evening might be your only option. It's okay as long as you stay organized and prioritize your homework accordingly.

3. Better Information Retention: Some studies suggest that learning new information before bedtime can improve retention. While you sleep, your brain processes and consolidates this information, making it easier to recall later. Give it a try and see if it works for you.

Cons of Studying During the Night

Let’s have a look at some of the downsides of studying at night:

1. Fatigue: After a long and exhausting day, it can be tiring to study at night. Due to decreased alertness, it can be hard to concentrate and work efficiently. 

2. Disrupted Sleep Patterns: Late-night studying can disrupt your sleep patterns. With the passage of time, you can have difficulty falling asleep or face poor-quality sleep because of hyperactivity. This can result in you feeling groggy and less focused the next day.

3. Increased Risk of Procrastination: Studying all night may tempt you to procrastinate the other day because you will feel that you worked really hard the day before. So, it leads to rushed and less effective study sessions later on.

4. Potential Health Issues: Irregular sleep schedules due to late-night studying can lead to potential health issues such as increased stress, anxiety, and even depression over time.

Bonus Tips [Boost Productivity When You’re Studying]

Whenever you are studying, concentration and focus are the most important. Here are some tips by which you can accelerate your study period and learning abilities.

Consistency is Key!

Being consistent with your schedule should be the foremost priority of every student.

Whether you study in the morning or evening, sticking to a consistent routine is very important for setting your body's internal clock and maximizing productivity.

Breaks are Essential

Regardless of the time of day, taking regular breaks during study sessions is important for maintaining focus and preventing burnout. 

Short breaks can rejuvenate your mind and improve overall concentration. Otherwise, you will feel burnt out after some time, and even 5 minutes of study session will tire you. 

Pro Tip: Hire an online tutor to help you with an organized study plan. You will have a proper schedule to follow and a mentor to guide you through the process. 

Prioritize Sleep

A timely and proper sleep schedule can solve every problem in your life. So, irrespective of your study schedule, prioritize getting 7-9 hours of sleep each night.

If you sacrifice your sleep, it can negatively impact your ability to concentrate and retain information, ultimately hindering your study efforts.

Manage Your Time Wisely

There is no point in following a proper regime if you do not know how to manage your time properly. Efficient time management is the base for effective studying. 

Make a plan and stick to your study timetable, avoid procrastination, and allocate sufficient time for both studying and breaks to make the most of your study sessions.

Final Words

The best time to study depends on your personal preferences, lifestyle commitments and productivity levels. However, a detailed guide with the pros and cons of studying during the day and night is provided so you can make an informed decision.

We have also shared some bonus tips to maximize your learning while studying. So study well, but do not forget to have a proper sleep schedule while focusing on your mental and physical health!

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With over 3 years of experience in teaching, Chloe is very deeply connected with the topics that talk about the educational and general aspects of a student's life. Her writing has been very helpful for students to gain a better understanding of their academics and personal well-being. I’m also open to any suggestions that you might have! Please reach out to me at chloedaniel402 [at]