Skip to main content Skip to bottom nav

At what point in studying should I give up for the night?

33 Answers
Last Updated: 12/15/2020 at 2:01pm
1 Tip to Feel Better
United States
Moderated by

Lindsay Scheinerman, MA, LPC

Licensed Professional Counselor

My work with clients is to help them recognize and build on their strengths to find solutions for the conflicts presented in their lives.

Top Rated Answers
March 6th, 2018 4:48pm
It is important to keep a glass of water beside you while studying, as this helps your brain work. Keep sipping so your brain has this fluid to function. When it comes to a stage where you're taking more bathroom breaks without making any progress, when your eyes are heavy and it seems you've exhausted every opportunity to make further headway with your work, then your brain has switched off and it's safe to say your comfy bed is calling!
November 16th, 2015 10:45pm
I would say when you reach a point that you don't feel like you're making progress and would benefit both emotionally and physically from a little sleep or rest.
May 13th, 2015 5:44am
Probably as soon as you feel too tired to focus properly. Trying to learn while that tired is almost a waste of time for many people. Rest well and continue another day when you are properly focused and able to store the information properly.
February 22nd, 2015 11:57pm
Never try to force yourself to do too much. As soon as you feel tired or are starting to overthink, that is definitely the time to get some sleep. You may feel that the next day, once you have had time to rest, studying becomes slightly easier. Set up a plan for studying which allows times for breaks and also make sure you are not overdoing it.
March 6th, 2017 5:22am
Listen to your body and mind. When you feel sleepy and unable to concentrate then it's better to get a good night sleep and then again continue the next day!
January 2nd, 2017 2:55am
When you can't concentrate anymore, when you reach that point when you aren't going to retain anything.
September 28th, 2015 12:41am
It's a tough balance, especially if you need to cram. Pace yourself throughout the term so you will not find yourself needing to cram quite so much. After you hit a point of the night where you are more tired than awake, chances are you are not cognitively benefitting much from the studying anyway so it is best to rest. For this reason, I also found it helpful as a student to do "boring" homework (like reading a textbook), at the gym on the treadmill and used post-its/flags to mark important points for review later. Exercise stimulates the brain and seemed to very much help commit information to memory. The flags allowed for a quicker review and way to take notes later on when I was able to be still enough to write. Also remember that you do not have to be perfect. It is better to show up well-rested, bright, and alert for your exam to get a good score AND be health than to worry about destroying your health for a perfect score.
July 31st, 2017 8:57pm
I have found that studying is something that needs to be balanced with rest. The most important consideration is whether continued study passed certain time cuts into the amount of respite for your mind and body to recover. This means frequent breaks and at least 8-9 hours sleep. A good rule, to begin with, is 45 min of work to 15 min breaks and ensuring that you get to bed to allow for a good rest. Personally, I find any study after 9 pm pointless as my brain and body are too fatigued and only cause severe stress for the next day.
August 22nd, 2017 4:41am
When you begin to feel tired or you cannot retain any information, you should certainly close the books for the night! Choosing to rest and not study does not mean you are giving up either :) Your health is important so you should always make sure to take breaks while studying and don't over-do it! Set goals for yourself during your week so that you can spread out your study habits and not be forced to crunch in one night!
February 23rd, 2015 7:39pm
You should give up studying when you don't understand what you are studying. It helps to meditate for ten minutes and going to bed. That way you will be able to concentrate when you start studying the next day preferably in the early morning.
May 21st, 2015 6:46pm
I just know when my brain is no longer getting new information. I'm just cycling through the same stuff and not absorbing anything. Also, when I find myself reading the same sentence over and over, I know it's time to call it a night! I usually get up early the next day to finish. A few hours of sleep is better than none!
June 7th, 2016 2:35am
It's time to take a break or stop for the night when you can barely keep your eyes open or you're struggling to focus and pay attention (like you've read the same paragraph 3 times and you still don't know what you just read).
February 6th, 2017 7:28pm
You should put off or finish studying when you don't feel like you can concentrate for awhile, not because you're hungry or bored but maybe because you can't keep your eyes open and doze off a lot. You deserve to get rest or else you won't be able to remember what you studied as well. :)
March 18th, 2015 8:45pm
When you feel you have achieved what you set out to do, if you feel you have completed your set task then you can relax :)
March 22nd, 2015 2:40am
Taking breaks every 15 minutes or so while studying helps to be able to concentrate better. It's hard to stay focused on one things for so long, so taking breaks definitely helps. When you feel those breaks are no longer helping and you still can not focus on your work, I think that's when you know it's time to stop for the night, or when you start to become too tired. Being too tired will not help to retain the information you are trying to learn.
April 5th, 2015 8:00pm
There is a point where you should give up studying for the night. Personally, I try to make my cutoff 12AM, but too many times I stay up till 2AM. That is completely unhealthy, and quite frankly dangerous for teenagers, especially. I feel like the time you go to bed is always somewhat personal because your school could let out really late or really early - no one knows your exact situation. In short, make sure that you don't just study the night before, and that you get enough sleep to fully function the next day in school. If you can't stay awake, there's no point in going to school, because you are going to miss everything, and your teachers will not be happy about it.
May 27th, 2015 3:31am
If you feel like you aren't learning anymore. There is no point in studying if you aren't learning anything.
July 6th, 2015 5:05am
It's really great to look up some learning-tricks. Did you know that there are certain times of day where our brains can remember more efficiently?
August 10th, 2015 5:09pm
When you get tired. If you are tired you wont retain anything so it's best to get a good nights sleep and continue in the morning :)
September 15th, 2015 6:49am
When you feel you are tired and exhausted and can no longer focus your thoughts on where they need to be. Everybody is different. Your body will surely tell you when you when its time to lay down.
November 2nd, 2015 11:06pm
It is hard to retain information if you are tired. It is good to try to get at least 6 hours of sleep to help rest your mind and your body. By doing so, the next day you can feel refreshed and ready to continue studying.
November 27th, 2015 1:11am
When you become too tired to focus - e.g. struggling to read, starting to fall asleep or having trouble concentrating. It's important to study while your brain is properly active otherwise you will confuse the knowledge you learn. Sleep is necessary because this is the time where your mind processes information.
May 2nd, 2016 4:30am
If you are at the point where you can barely keep your eyes open and are falling asleep. Go to bed and do your best the next day when you are refreshed.
June 27th, 2016 1:22pm
This is an interesting question. Some people study for hours, while others can only study in short periods of time with breaks. One important consideration in when to give up studying for the night, is good self-care. Are you getting enough sleep, eating regularly and getting some exercise? Are you doing well on your school work or do you feel like it's not retaining? Maybe consider changing some things up to figure out the best time of night for you to stop studying. Experiment with it and the way you study to find the right answer for you.
June 28th, 2016 2:46am
Set a goal on how much you should study, once you have hit that goal retire for the night. Split the amount to study equally for all the days you have so that you don't over do in a day.
August 16th, 2016 6:45pm
I think when you cant concentrate anymore or you notice that you will not get enough sleep. I think at least 4 hours, because after that the first shedule of sleeping is over. The most healthiest is 7 to 8 hours.
December 5th, 2016 2:51pm
When you feel like you cant absord anything more, and are dosing off while studying. It's better to sleep for some time and then wake up re energized.
July 24th, 2017 12:11am
Oh great question! I think making this decision depends on a few different things: - When are your assignments due? - How are you feeling? How is your mood, and are you getting enough sleep? - What sort of progress are you making in your study? Do you feel like you're travelling along well? I hope this helps! Maybe it could help to chat to a listener and kind of get your whole situation from there :)
December 24th, 2018 4:20pm
Good question! It depends if you're on a short term or a long term studying. You should consider criteria like your studying efficacy, your mental arousal that may result in difficulties to fall or to stay asleep, the consequences on your functioning the next day etc. We might try to reformulate your question as how to best organize my life in order to be able to keep on studying for long periods of time (usually years), and achieve the academic results you may hope for. I would suggest words like : regularity in life and studying, good task and time management, self regulation skills to take good care of your emotions and biological needs in general, regular physical exercise, good night sleep, regular meditation or mindfulness practice, strong social support, and regular active involvement in leisure activities. Once all this is checked, you might already have the answer to your initial question "at what point in studying I should give up for the night".
November 4th, 2019 10:59pm
Don't see it as giving up, you just have to find the right ratio of study-sleep. As sleep is a very important and underrated part of studying. Make sure you've at least read everything once so you feel like you've covered everything. The ratio can differ from person to person and subject to subject, as for some pulling an all-nighter and getting some strong coffee works, for others maybe going to bed early when they have read every once helps so that they have a clear mind to think in the morning. Remember, it doesn't matter what you do, there are no rules. Do what you think is best. You're only going to have this kind of stress for a little period in your life, as weird as it sounds, try to enjoy it, or at least LIVE it. It's a part of your life and you get to decide how to handle it!