Emma: Why you shouldn’t study in bed
Emma completed her Master of Arts degree in editing and publishing in 2014. She is passionate about social justice, animal rights and feminist causes, raising awareness about mental health issues and is a USQ ALLY.
OK, I’ve just heard the collective intake of breath as each and every one of you realise that at one time or another you’ve settled into your nice warm bed in your PJs with your hair unbrushed to hit the books. While it’s OK occasionally to study in bed (read: when it’s cold in winter), it’s not the ideal space to get the most out of your study time. Before you bed-studiers are completely scandalised, check out the dangers of studying in bed and discover our tips for setting up a comfortable space to get those study juices flowing.
It looks comfy doesn’t it? But this ‘ultimate’ study space isn’t actually ideal for productivity.
- Let’s be honest, studying in bed leaves you open to becoming distracted. If your laptop has internet access, you are likely to be trapped by Facebook, Pinterest or YouTube rather than focus on your uni work. And let’s not even go there with Netflix!
- Having to wash your sheets again because they are covered in pen, highlighter marks or crumbs (too many late night study snacks!) is not an effective use of your time.
- One minute you’re reading your textbook and feel like you’re in the zone and the next you’re catching z’s. Those pillows are just too comfy!It can be awkward having to explain to your family, partner or roommate why you’re still in the same clothes they saw you crawl out of bed in. Save them the worried phone call to a counsellor and at least make the effort to get dressed before hitting the books.
- I’m no chiropractor, but I know that a long study sesh in bed can lead to a sore back, and that can never be a good thing.
- Your bed should a place to switch off, relax and recharge. If it’s doubling as your study zone you might find it hard to settle in for a good night’s sleep because your body won’t know if it should be winding down for rest or gearing up to hit the books!
Now that I’ve scared you with the dangers of studying in bed, it’s time to look at some tips for setting up an awesome study space (sans doona and pillows):
- Only have the benefit of one room to study in? That’s ok. Find a comfortable, supportive chair that will make you sit up straight. Sitting up will help you concentrate and you’ll feel busy and important.
- Find a suitable desk (or kitchen table) that is a comfy height you can sit at for long periods of time. Make sure to de-clutter your study space (now’s the time to throw out the four inches of junk mail you’ve been saving for when you ‘have time’ to read it).
- Set up your stationery and laptop (or computer) so that everything is in easy reach and you have no reason to procrasti-wander away from your study space. That means being prepared with chargers, extra pens, notebooks and water, just in case.
- While it’s important to have a designated study space, you can be completely portable. If you have to pack up your study materials before the rest of the family or your housemate arrives home, have a box handy to put all of your study stuff in so you won’t lose anything important.
- If you are finding it difficult to get motivated to study, why not dress how you would if you were going to uni to put you in the right frame of mind. Save your PJ’s for your post-study down time.
There are alternatives to studying in bed and while sometimes it’s important to have a ‘pyjama day’, getting out of your comfy bed has its perks and will maximise your concentration. A designated study space will give you the best chance of study success and hopefully save you from any of the above dangers.
If you’ve been studying online from bed but are now thinking you’re going to need to find a new study spot, check out Pinterest account for more tips to make your study space both comfortable and stylish. For more information about what it's really like to study online, check out the expectations and realities of studying online.