The Student Room Group

Lost ability to study for long period of time

At school I could concentrate for 8 hours straight and not get tired, I even studied in lunch time and breaks and I maintained concentration and all was well. I am now at uni and I feel like I need a break after 40 min max of studying for at least a few hours. My brain just stops working and I just can’t understand what I am reading after 40 min. In my first year we didn’t have much work to do and it was kind of chill, so I hadn’t studied much, and there were weeks when I haven’t opened a textbook. I probably spend like 2-3 hours a weeks studying, which is nothing compared to school, but I still got on just fine. I struggled with motivation as well, as everything was still online and I struggled with mental health. now as I am entering my second year and revising things I just feel like my brain is slow and gets tired easily. Is the agility and stamina I had previously going to come back? Cause I need it for med school, and what exercises can I do, like reading or logic exercises to accelerate my brain speed and reduce such soon brain fatigue ? Are there any apps?
(edited 1 year ago)
Reply 1
I don't have the recommendations for an app but sometimes the antidote is just to having to have an absolute break and recharge - its your brain cells calling out to you.

If you find the length of focussed concentration difficult just do the work in smaller chunks, say in 10 minutes bursts and then do something practical (cooking, making a drink, juggling) so you are using a different part of your brain and resting the memory section.

Have you ever been so loaded with work, stress, home, thousands of things to do that when you go on holiday you can't enjoy it. You are still twitching after four or five days away because you have forgotten just how to relax and your head is in permanent overdrive? By the end of the holiday you have unwound but then its time to come back home again (& you need a holiday?) Sometimes your brain can just feel fatigued and it needs a break and a rest. Try and schedule in a day or even 2 days together where you do absolutely no reading or revision work at all and undertake an activity that is physical, and where you can have a laugh (a lot) (if you can)

I guess what you are concerned about is the reduction in concentration and why that might be? It sounds like you might have been on such a strict work and study regime it has just reached a point where your brain has actually put a white flag out and said 'Oi you - take your foot off the loud pedal?' When you have stopped, the feeling is probably so good (and its what you have missed too if you have been working so hard) (physiology?) its hard to get going again. It isn't so much all or nothing, but having a complete break for one or two days from all things mentally taxing which can help to recharge your head. Go shopping, walk, meet family, eat, see a show, let your head fester and do nothing taxing. Make a work plan before you have the break then you can step right in when you are ready to become prisoner to the laptop again.

There are so many reasons why your concentration could be a bit awol:

Quality of Environment (too hot, too cold, lighting, too much noise, too quiet, conversations, phones)
Poor Diet (too much processed foods, biscuits, chips, kfc, energy drinks)
Lack of Exercise (all brain work and no cardio work = poor state with too much sitting)
Mental work overload
Information (too complex, disjointed info, too difficult)
Physical Activity (not enough moving - get good deep breathing and good O2)
Medical (Drugs/tablets/medicines /Psychological /Emotional)
Stress (kills concentration)
Emotional Hits (bereavement, relationship break ups, arguments with anyone etc)
Lack of Sleep (horrendous on function)
Hormonal Changes

If you think it's something medical go and take some advice from your GP

In the meantime be gentle with your system. Drink lots of water, get quality sleep, look at the nutrient levels you are consuming and eat lots of fresh fruit, veg, raw foods, whole foods lots of green stuff, the usual protein, carbs, fat balance. Gentle exercise, walking and fresh air.

Consider trying Thai Chi, yoga, meditation to shut out and shut down thought processes

Hope this might help a tiny bit and good luck going forward (but do just keep going if you can in tick over if necessary to keep your head above water)

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