When Ramadan coincides with exam season, students across the world struggle to create a balanced routine for themselves that would enable them to maximise their productivity, while also being able to fast and pray. For students that wish to try and balance their academic careers with their personal and spiritual lives by compromising on neither, we recommend forming some new, healthy habits that can optimise productivity during Ramadan.
Eating Well At Iftar And Sehri
While it is tempting to indulge in heavy, deep fried foods at iftar after a long day of fasting, it is unwise to do so because such food can make you feel weighed down and lethargic rather than energised. Although such food might fill you up, it prevents you from being able to study or be productive for the rest of the night. It’s better to go for healthier, lighter options during iftar so you can use the rest of the night to study and get work done. That said, you should definitely make sure you’re eating enough. Eating light or healthy doesn’t mean not eating properly! We recommend continuing to snack on healthy items such as dates, bananas, walnuts, almonds, dark chocolate, and berries throughout the night. Not only are these snacks delicious and filling, but they are also known as “brain foods,” and are credited with improving cognitive function.
Getting Adequate Sleep
We all know how difficult it is to manage a proper sleeping schedule during Ramadan, but one way you could ensure you’re getting enough rest is by training yourself to take naps during the day. Taking a nap during the afternoon is a good way to catch up on sleep. We understand that not everyone can do that because they may have work, school, or other commitments, but if you are able to, then you should incorporate napping into your daily routine. An added bonus is that your brain is scientifically proven to retain information better once you go to sleep after learning something new. Therefore, make sure you are not compromising your sleep, because your brain will actually function more efficiently if you allow it some rest!
Optimizing the Time After Fajr
After enjoying a filling sehri and having offered Fajr prayers, you can utilise the hours of the early morning to study and get work done before going to sleep. This is actually one of the most effective ways to study while fasting since you will be satiated and have sufficient energy which will improve your focus and allow you to achieve maximum levels of productivity when it comes to studying and completing assignments.
It is of utmost importance to drink as much water as you can between the hours of Maghrib and Fajr. Being hydrated is vital for healthy brain function and significantly impacts your ability to focus and retain information. You should aim to drink about 2 litres of water during the night so that the following day, you are not feeling too thirsty or dehydrated (which can negatively affect your academic performance, concentration, and overall patience).
Taking Frequent Study Breaks
If you choose to do study during the afternoon, you should keep in mind that it is unrealistic to expect yourself to be able to study continuously for hours on an empty stomach. You should take frequent breaks while studying to ensure that you do not feel burnt out. If you sit for hours on end in one spot trying to study, you will inevitably grow agitated and become distracted by feelings of hunger, thirst, and impatience. Therefore, you should take short breaks during which you go for a walk, do some form of exercise, read a chapter of a book you enjoy, call up a friend to chat, or any activity that you feel will rejuvenate you and make you feel less exhausted. Taking such breaks and doing little things that bring you joy can have a huge impact on your mood and can be very refreshing, which can subsequently improve your ability to concentrate on your studies.