During the course of 2017-18, there were more than 2.3 million students studying at tertiary educational institutions across the UK. As rewarding as getting a qualification may be, it is definitely no easy feat.
Studying is hard work and can easily end up consuming most of your time and your physical and mental verve if you are not careful. Thankfully, there are a number of simple lifestyle changes you can make that will not only boost your studying abilities, but make you an overall happier and healthier student.
Get enough sleep
As many as 93% of London students claim to struggle with poor sleep quality according to a recent survey. While not getting 9 hours of sleep on the odd occasion is unlikely to wreak havoc with your health and education, long-term sleep deprivation can hinder your study efforts drastically by disrupting your concentration and memory. Sufficient sleep is critical in order to get the most from your study sessions with 7 hours of sound sleep a night being considered the bare minimum.
If you find yourself battling to either fall asleep (or stay asleep) try addressing the problem naturally before reaching for any sort of medication. Limiting your screen time before bed and keeping your room at a comfortable temperature are just two of many ways that can improve the quality of your sleep significantly. Also try going to bed at the same time every night as a good sleep routine is often all that is needed to see you get enough sleep to fly through your study sessions.
Engage in regular exercise
Exercise is as important to the minds of students as it is to their bodies. A study conducted in 2018 found that engaging in daily physical activity for just 4 weeks can improve attention and concentration considerably, making gruelling study sessions a lot more manageable. Aim to engage in at least 30 minutes of moderate exercise every day and try to keep it varied to ensure that all your muscle groups get a workout.
Although aerobic exercise such as running, cycling, swimming, or dancing are best, any form of physical activity is better than none. Keep in mind that trying to understand and retain information while your muscles are sore and stiff will not be easy. Having a warm bath and making use of a vibrating foam roller can go a long way in easing pain and discomfort so that you can focus your attention on your studies instead.
Eat a healthy diet
What we eat has a direct impact on our cognitive functioning and can either boost or damage our study efforts. As students trying to balance our academic priorities with a demanding social life, it may be very tempting to eat nothing but fast-food and microwave meals. Unfortunately, you won’t be doing yourself any favours and you will soon find yourself battling to study.
Instead, aim to follow a varied, healthy diet filled with fruit, vegetables, lean protein, dairy, carbohydrates, nuts, seeds, and healthy fats and oils. It is imperative to start your day with a good breakfast to fuel your body and mind for the day ahead and then just replenish your energy throughout the day with healthy meals and plenty of water. By ensuring that your body has all the nutrients it needs you will find it a lot easier to focus on your study material while also feeling more alert during the day and enjoying better sleep at night.
Although studying may come easier to some students than others, it remains very hard work. By making a few simple changes to your lifestyle, you will soon find yourself understanding and retaining information with increased ease.