You’re all set up for an epic study session. Everything is going really well and you’re powering through a difficult topic even better than you hoped. But then, you’re eyes start feeling heavy. You find yourself having to reread pages and you’re really slowing down. What’s going on? Does studying make you tired?
Unfortunately, the answer is yes, and we need to take this into account when planning our study sessions. When we study we use our brain, and when we use our brain we expend energy.
The more difficult the subject, the more energy we expend. However, by knowing this we can take actions that’ll help us plan our study as effectively as possible.
So, if knowledge is power, this article will help you to understand exactly why studying makes you tired and give you the tools to combat it.
Does studying make you tired? Yep! Here’s 5 useful solutions:
1) Pushing Through Fatigue
When we expend energy whether through physical activity or by doing a lot of mental tasks our body will begin to feel tired. For many, they do not realize just how much energy the brain uses when performing mental tasks and as a result are baffled by the fact that they get so whipped after studying for long periods of time.
When we first begin studying, especially after a long period away from studying we may feel the effects in a shorter period of time. Meaning that we may become more mentally fatigued and tired much sooner than expected.
However, there is good news. The more we study and actively engage in new mental tasks we overcome this fatigue and get better at studying and can eventually study for longer periods without feeling tired.
This is some ways is quite similar to exercise. When we first begin an exercise program our body gets tired quite quickly. However, the more we do it the fitter we become and therefore we can stay going for longer and progress on to harder workouts. Studying is much the same.
2) Eat Your Brain Food
Likewise, while what we eat is important for powering through an exercise program so too is it for a study session. What we eat can impact our energy levels and affect just how well and how long we study for. So when preparing for studying the foods you eat are important. Check out our posts on “what is the best food for your brain?” and “32 foods to eat while studying“
Just like exercise, healthy carbs can be important for there slow release of energy. This can help you to stay going for longer periods of time. What you want during your study session is a stable supply of energy. Rather than a rapid release of energy that doesn’t last long and is followed by a dramatic decrease in energy. This slump in energy will leave you feeling tired and exhausted.
It may also be tempting to put off eating when you’re trying to study. And I get it. You want to power through so that you can finish early and finally sit down for the night before you have to go to bed and do it all again tomorrow.
But here’s the thing, your brains uses quite a bit of energy. Research suggests that your brain uses about 20% of your body’s energy doing daily tasks and on a typical day this could mean approximately 320 calories. However, this figure fluctuates depending on the tasks. When it comes to doing more mentally demanding activities your brain is more likely to be using more energy and therefore consuming more calories.
What I am trying to get at here is that your brain requires energy to function and remain alert. If your not sufficiently fueled then you are going to find it hard to concentrate on your studies and will not be able to effectively learn.
But you don’t necessarily need to eat a big meal to continue. A small meal or snack should be sufficient to help you power through and stay alert rather than feel sleepy.
3) Exercise to keep the brain alert
One great way to get rid of the sleepy feeling while studying is to take a break and do some exercise. This could be something as simple as doing 50 jumping jacks or a short run around the block. You just need to get the blood flowing and get some oxygen to the brain.
A brief simple burst exercise can be a great way to get the energy flowing again and help you feel more mentally stimulated. Even a short walk outside in the fresh air can give us a nice refreshing break and allow us to ease back into our study session.
4) Get adequate rest
To help avoid feeling tired when you studying make sure that you are getting plenty of rest. We may think that we don’t need much sleep but we do. It’s important in order for our brains to function properly and allow us to study at our best all the time.
It’s also to take breaks. When we get tired during a study session this means our brain is fatigued. Therefore, take a break. Give it the rest it needs. When we schedule breaks rather than just trying to power through it we will actually get more done in less time.
5) Play around with the subjects
Sometimes changing up the subject we are studying can really help beat off the feeling of mental fatigue. This can be especially through if we were studying a really mentally challenging subject. If we then change to one that we find a bit easier or less demanding we can find it less mentally draining which can help us stay motivated as it’s going in easier.
So does studying make you tired? Yes, absolutely. Studying can make you tired because when you perform mental tasks you use energy and when you run out of energy you become tired. Use the above tips when you are studying the next time and see your energy levels and studying improve.