Importance of Study Breaks


By Kristen Lok, Nutrition Student, UC Davis

As college students returning to school, many of us have made goals to improve our academic performance in this new year. However, knowing how to budget our time and focus between studying and other responsibilities is not as easy as it sounds. Furthermore, it takes a toll on us physically and mentally. Taking breaks from the hustle of the college student life allows us to recharge, boost our productivity and increase our focus. But how to make breaks the most effective? How long should breaks be? Find answers with these 7 study break tips!


  • Be Active


Exercise has been proven to recharge the mind, and reduce stress and fatigue.  The break doesn’t have to be strenuous; low intensity exercises such as stretching, walking or doing jumping jacks all have the same effects.


  • Take a Nap


Naps improves memory, increase productivity and creativity, and reboot mind. Taking short 25-30 minute naps are most effective for a quick energy boost.  


  • Avoid Opening Social Media


Scrolling through social media during study breaks doesn’t allow you to maximize your rest time. Opening social media increases the chance of losing track of time and fails to boost energy.  


  • Meditate or Deep Breathing Exercises


Meditation and deep breathing de-stresses and clears your mind. These practices will allow you to return to any task relaxed and focused.


  • Stay Hydrated


Drinking water has been proven to increase academic performance. Staying hydrated increases memory, keeps one focused and reduces anxiety. So, keep a water bottle close by when studying or go get water during study breaks to combine activity with staying hydrated.


  • Make a Study Plan


Creating a schedule or plan for your day will allow you to better balance your time. Break studying and projects into smaller tasks.  Having set times for these smaller pieces allows a decrease in stress and more efficient performance.    


  • Study in 50-60 Minute Intervals


Working for long periods of time reduces focus and effectiveness. Taking 10-15 minute breaks after every hour of studying allows your mind to refocus and recharge.

Practice implementing these tips to create a pleasant environment and maintain a healthy mind this winter quarter!  

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