The benefits of reviewing material just before you go to sleep
Studying. With the amount of hours logged by college students doing just that, studying, you'd think it was a favorite pastime. In reality, if there is any way to decrease the time we spend hovering over textbooks and in front of computer screens, we’ll do it.
In fact, it's my belief that this dilemma is the true origin of cheating. Think about it: how many times have you laughed (on the inside, of course) at the kid who is trying to scope out his neighbor's answers on a 5-point quiz that feels as if it was pulled from an episode of, "Are You Smarter Than A Fifth Grader?"
So why do they even bother? They loathe studying, that's why. And while the large majority of us don't go to the extremes that Johnny Scam does, we'd still like to shave a few hours off of our test prep if possible.
The best way to do this (and do it honestly) is to study for fifteen to thirty minutes right before bed. It has been documented in many studies that the brain consolidates what you learn just before sleep overnight, so when you wake up the next morning, the info is solidly encoded in your mind.
Two consecutive nights of half-hour study sessions before bed should beat the socks off of a three-hour session right before the big test.
In high school I recall scrambling to memorize my freshly re-written Oratory for my speech competition the following morning. Feeling relatively hopeless about my prospects for success, I’d read it over a few times and say as much of it by memory as I could before drifting off to sleep.
One day, four rounds and four speeches later I’d wonder how in the world I made it through with no memorization lapses.
The mind is a powerful thing…
Are you an advocate of this method? Have you tried it before with impressive results? Share your thoughts!