The Best Time of Day to Study or Learn a New Skill

Stop wasting time learning at the wrong time of day. Sleep-expert Michael Breus Ph.D., tells us what the best time of the day to learn is.

Getting the most out of your learning time is important to advancing quickly. However, you should be aware that learning can be more or less effective depending on the time of day.

The Best Time of Day to Learn

Michael Breus Ph.D. in his book The Power of When, explains that like sleep, learning has a circadian rhythm. On average the best time to learn is between 8am – 2pm and 4pm – 10pm. This is when you are most awake, alert, and ready to take new information in. No matter what time of day you learn, you must learn by completing a cycle of information acquisition followed by rest and consolidation.

The Worst Time of the Day to Learn

The absolute worst time of the day to learn is between 4am, and 7am. Even if you’re a night owl, this is not the time to be learning. During this period, your brain is consolidating the information taken in during the day and processing it. If you find yourself up between 4am, and 7am, use the time to recap already learned information.

Sleep Chronotypes

To know exactly what time of the day you personally work best at, you can take the online free quiz to discover your personal sleep chronotype.

The time of day best to learn will differ slightly depending on your chronotype. Each type has an optimum uptime and downtime. During the up-time you should learn and take in new information. During your downtime you should rest and let your brain consolidate and process the new information.

The four different chronotypes categorized by Michael Breus are Bear, Wolf, Lion and Dolphin. You can find yours by taking his quiz.

The Power of When

If you want to learn more about chronotypes, then the Power of When Google Talk by Michael Breus is a great place to start! You can also check out his book by the same name.

If you want to learn more about this process, check out our article on the Ping Pong Learning Technique, which explains the brain’s learning cycles.