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What is the best time to study for exams

Are you studying for a competition, but do not know the best time to study? Are you in doubt about studying in the morning or at night? In this article, I will teach you how you will do to find out the best time to study and in the end I will pass several tips to study at different times.

But before finding your best study time, I want to present an important factor in the quality of your learning, so important that it can make learning easier or make it harder, do you know what a circadian cycle is ?

Read below…

What are circadian cycles and how do they influence their learning?

biological clock
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According to the Wikipedia circadian cycle or circadian rhythm is:

“Circadian rhythm or circadian cycle (from the Latin circa about + diem day) designates the period of about 24 hours on which the biological cycle of almost all living beings is based, being influenced mainly by the variation of light, temperature, tides and Winds between day and night. 

Do you understand? To simplify the circadian rhythm or cycle it is like an internal, biological clock that regulates our organism. This “clock” is influenced by sunlight, and by the waking phase, or sleep. He is also responsible for determining the body’s energy levels during the 24 Hours period.

In a recent research Thomas Burris, Ph.D., chair of pharmacological and physiological science at Saint Louis University reported that:

“Dysregulation of the circadian rhythm is associated with many diseases, including metabolic disease and neuropsychiatric disorders including bipolar disorder, anxiety, depression, schizophrenia, and sleep disorders.”

That’s right, we are dealing here with a biological factor of extreme importance for every human being. And that makes it clear that we can not disregard how circadian cycles can influence the quality of our day.

Dr. Takahashi, a researcher at Howard Hughes Medical Institute , has discovered that the regulation of circadian cycles is closely linked to body temperature, according to Dr:

“Small changes in body temperature can send a powerful signal to the clocks in our body … It takes only a small change in internal body temperature to synchronize the clocks present in all our body cells”

Okay, so far you’ve understood how it works and what these cycles are all about, but now you must be wondering, ” What do circadian cycles have to do with studying? 

Read with attention…

In a recent research researchers have found that circadian cycles can influence memory formation . That is, if you have a properly organized rhythm, your memory works with more quality due to a number of neurotransmitters responsible for this.

Circadian cycles are also coordinated almost exclusively by the hypothalamus, that region of the brain that is also responsible for the emotions. So you’re also tied to your mood during the day, you know when you’re angry and you do not know why? The answer may be in the circadian cycle.

Some scholars argue that circadian cycles vary from person to person, that is, each has its own internal “clock” and its energy levels vary. That is, each individual has their hour and the peak moment of energy and consequently of productivity, whether in physical or mental activities.

Each person has their best time to study


Two researchers from the State University of Campinas followed up with several undergraduate students to verify the quality of the study in relation to their biological rhythms of each student, or chronotype.

According to the researchers Milva Maria Figueiredo de Martino and Su Yan Ling:

“Since biological rhythms are endogenous, they can not be manipulated according to the will of the subject. A student who studies at times conflicting with their biological rhythms will have a price to pay in terms of health, quality of life and quality of student performance. “

This research traced the circadian profiles, or chronotype, of each student and also established his relation with the quality of learning and performance in the studies. In the end the researchers agree that the chronobiological differences can contribute to the quality of learning of each one.


There is no set time for all to study. Each person has their schedule and respecting this schedule will help you to be more motivated to study, and to facilitate your learning and memorization.

Now that you know this, you must be asking yourself, ” Okay teacher, but how do I find out what MY study time is? “That is precisely what you will discover below.

The circadian profile or chronotype of each one at the time of study

There is currently a pattern that helps identify each type of individual by its chronotype, or biological “clock” that is divided basically into moderate and extreme morning, moderate and extreme evening, and indifferent.

Let’s understand each one:

  • Morning people prefer to sleep early (around 9 or 10 p.m.) and also wake up early, around 6 o’clock, without difficulty, having a good mental and physical performance in the morning.
  • Evening Individuals: They prefer to sleep and wake up late (around 1am in the morning and after 10am, respectively), showing better disposition in the afternoon and early evening.
  • Indifferent : They have greater flexibility, choosing intermediate schedules according to the needs of their routine.

These profiles are the most used when classifying an individual when it comes to their chronotype. A quick read on the topics above already helps you understand more or less what your profile, but there are also more practical and reliable ways to determine your chronotype.

How to find the best time to study?

There are two practical ways you can identify your most productive hours and therefore use that schedule to focus more on your studies.

1 – Respond to the morning-evening questionnaire

This is a questionnaire proposed by some researchers that sought to identify the chronotype of individuals. It is a simple questionnaire that when answering some questions you can already identify your profile.

Link to the morning-evening questionnaire

By answering this questionnaire you will be able to know the best time for you to study, that is, when your energy and disposition will be greater so that you can learn effectively.


2 – Write down your energy levels when studying

A second way for you to find out the best time to study is by noting your energy levels during various times of the day. After 15 days observing these energies you will be able to establish the best study time.

Write down in a little journal how your energy level was in each period. After making these notes, check the times you had more disposition and consequently take advantage of these times to devote more time to studies.

This information will help you create a syllabus that truly conforms to your chronotype, or biological clock, increasing the quality and effectiveness of your learning.

And who works? How to study at different times?

It may be that you identify your highest productivity schedules right during the time you are working and therefore it is impossible for you to devote to studying.

When this happens the best thing to do is to readapt your internal “clock”, ie organize your routine so that you have enough energy to study in the available time.

Let’s say you work from 8 am to 5 pm and you find that your peak energy schedule is in the morning when you wake up. In this case you can do the following, sleep early the previous day to study in the morning.

I, for example, have a sleeping routine around 10:30 p.m. to 10:30 p.m. and wake up between 4:30 and 5 o’clock. That’s because the morning hours are very important to me and to the quality of my day.

Ideally, you should have an organized study routine and keep this routine in order to study with quality.

Tips for studying at different times


Now that you’ve identified your best study time, it’s time to study. So I’ve separated some important tips that will help you get better performance at different times of the day.

Tips for studying in the morning

For me, studying in the morning is one of the best times for various reasons. The first is that you already study in the first hour and then you are free to solve the problems and routines of the day.

The morning part is also one of the times when you will be less disturbed by distractions, after all it is a time where most people either are sleeping or are still going to their jobs.

Below are some tips to take advantage of this study schedule and learn effectively.

# 01 – Do not study without breakfast

For some people to eat in the morning is a bad thing, because many claim that they feel bad while eating, but the worst thing is you study on an empty stomach. Whenever we wake up we need to start the day with energy, and healthy eating ensures that.

By eating in the morning you also guarantee an extra supply of energy to your brain which will be extremely important, since studying consumes a lot of brain energy.

# 02 – Have coffee, tea or something energizing

Some people may feel a bit slow in the morning. So always recommend the intake of coffee or tea. In my case coffee or tea do not do me very well, so I drink a green juice that gives me the energy to start my day on alert.

# 03 – Leave your study materials organized the day before

To avoid wasting time in the morning let everything ready one day before so you will begin to study quickly and practically. If you leave everything unorganized your brain can sabotage you and you give up studying, so avoid this problem by leaving everything ready for you to just wake up, have breakfast and study.

Tips for studying in the afternoon

Afternoon can be one of the most complicated to study because the afternoon is the time when you are more easily distracted, most people come in contact and the time to perform various tasks in a routine .

# 01 – Avoid a very heavy or greasy lunch.

Those who are doing a study routine and only have the afternoon to study should avoid very heavy lunches, these require a very large digestion process, causing drowsiness and hindering studies.

Try to have a light lunch routine if you can, seek out a nutritionist who will help you organize your breakfast and lunch routine.

# 02 – Take a quick nap.

Several surveys report how quickly a quick nap can help you stay focused and memorable. Taking a 30-minute nap can be invigorating and will help you keep your concentration on studying improving the quality of your learning.

# 03 – Take a cold shower.

Ice bath is a great source of energy, because it awakens you and makes you more alert. As we live in a tropical country the high temperatures can give you drowsiness and disrupt your income in the afternoon studies, an ice bath can help you improve this.

Tips for studying at night

Studying at night is one of the favorite times of many. First because it is the time where most of the people who work have available, and it is also a schedule that is favored by silence and by being cooler.

The problem with studying at night is that depending on your routine you may be too tired and stop studying, so it is important to follow the tips that I will go through.

# 01 – Avoid eating something heavy at dinner

Just like at lunch if you eat something too heavy at dinner you may feel drowsy and end up getting tired to study. The ideal at night is to eat a light snack to get the energy to study.

I want to point out once again that if you are able to find a nutritionist, explain her study objectives to her, she will prepare a balanced diet routine that is right for you.

# 02 – Tell everyone who lives with you about your study routine

The evening part is usually when most people in a home meet, it is important for you to communicate to everyone about your study routine and that you will be out for a while and that you will not be bothered during that time.

# 03 – If you are stressed take a warm bath

Some people come home with an extra dose of stress due to traffic or a full day at work, so when you arrive take a hot shower, the warm bath helps you relax and calms you down, making you more likely to Quiet study.

And study at dawn? It’s possible?

I always get questions from students asking me if studying at dawn is good, look, it’s okay to study at dawn, as long as you do not study sleepy and your biological clock is more focused on that schedule.

The only thing to study at dawn is that you have enough time to replenish your sleeping energy long enough. If you have that time then fine, now if you have to wake up early the other day, then it will not do much good, you will only be damaging your learning.

To finish…

Well, I believe that this article made it clear to you that there is no certain period of study for everyone. Each person has their schedule, or the time of day where they are most productive and have more energy.

If you keep your biological “clock” correctly adjusting, maintaining a healthy sleep, food and work routine, I am absolutely certain that you will perform much better in your learning.

Now without wasting time put into practice what you have learned …

Put into practice what you have learned!

1 – Find out your ideal study time, either through the matutinal-evening questionnaire or through the weekly annotation.

2 – Once you have discovered your study schedule, establish a study routine that encourages your learning during these hours.