does your mind get numb from studying too much?

Mine does. i start to get numb mentally, and i become nauseous if i study too much. I am guessing it is due to the lack of nouveau stimuli that is doing it. I am trying to distract myself by thinking of engrossing and complex things for 20-30 minutes if i start to become this way. i notice when i do think of things other than what i’m studying i seem more aware and more able to handle larger ideas (like my brain is really trying to think of something else for a while).

Does anyone else become mentally numb from overstudying? if so what are you doing to remedy the situation? does thinking of something else help? what about mentally digesting what you’ve gone over by quizzing yourself? any ideas welcome.

No cite, but in middle school (which was very Paideia), we youngins were told that our brain could only concentrate on absorbing new knowledge for about 15 minutes at a time. In math, especially, they tried to break up the 45 minute period into review, learning, practicing.

I can’t think of much advice, since I never studied. Maybe cram for 15 minutes, then take 30 minute breaks where your mind is at rest and can reflect on what you’ve learned? 30 minute walks, or working out, or napping?

ive heard the 15-30 minute timelimit too from a book i read about studying called ‘master it faster’.

Mine usually did, although I was also drinking lots of caffeine and not sleeping much. So I was never sure which was causing my brain to numb worse.

I’ve also heard the 10-20 minute number, except in this case, it was given as a typical attention span when lecturing. It was the amount of time you could count on your audience paying attention to you before you had to switch up somehow.

I find it helps to get up and walk around for 5 minutes every half hour or so. I usually wander around the house mumbling to myself about what I’ve been studying.
If I don’t take breaks, my brain does sort of shut down - I’ll realize that although I’ve read to the end of a page, none of it has registered at all. That’s when I take a break. Also, sometimes I’ll read the pages out loud to myself, so it’s like I’m listening to the book instead of reading. New stimulus = brain stays alert.

After a good amount of studying, I’ll realize I’m no longer paying attention to what I’m looking at or reading. I’m not really thinking of anything else, and my eyes are moving left to right like I’m reading, but I’m not. Is that what you mean?

Many times after I’ve studied something thoroughly, someone will start to tell me something else and I simply can’t handle it. I might as well have “REACHED CAPACITY” stamped on my forehead, and it feels like if I don’t keep it all contained, it’ll fall out of my head and splatter on the floor. That happens much more often than the numbing you mention.

I have taken up juggling to combat this very problem.

I am TERRIBLE at juggling. Just ask my cats. The two of them sit and watch me while I do it, only occasionally dodging when I make a particularly mistimed thow.

I feel that a little physical exercise after a lot of mental exercise does wonders. I also go work out at the gym, and after a good workout I feel willing and eager to dive into the books head-first.

I usually know when I’ve had enough when I read a paragraph, stop, read it again, stop, and think “Have I read this?”

More mental stimuli, or bad physical stimuli (like coffee or liquor) will compound this effect, at least for me. I haven’t looked at a “real” book for weeks, and I can’t bear to read internet sites or the news after a prolonged session of studying.

i get that too but i’m talking about something different.

i get that after an hour or so, when i can reread a paragraph and realize i didnt read it the first time. I try to use alot of critical thinking, self questionnaires, in depth examination, etc. when i study and when i find i can’t build up the mental energy to do that anymore then its time to stop.

This is different, what im talking about in the OP. i start to get physically nauseated, and i develop a weird headache if i try to study too much and i dont know what its due to or how to remedy it. I am guessing intensive but short study sessions (40 minutes broken into 15 minutes studying 10 minutes off & 15 minutes studying) spread throughout the day might be a better idea. I’ve learned 3x as much during intensive studying that i am mentally equpited for than during exasperated, nauseated studying.

Are we talking about studying as in “reading out of the book” or as in “studying before a test?” If it’s “before a test”, I’ve found that there is just a point where I’m not going to learn/remember/retain anymore and it’s just time to put the book down and kill time until the test starts.

Ah, that. Sure, I’ve been there. Usually, it’s a sign that I should throw some music on and take a short nap.

Hardly ever happened to me, though, since I’m not a big fan of cramming or doing all my assigned readings at once. I usually broke assignments down into chunks more suited to my (limited) attention span. :slight_smile:

Before a test or exam, I’d just take a nap or sleep in–I’d rather be well rested and slightly clueless than knowledgeable and totally exhausted.