How To Not Fall Asleep In Class: Snooze-Proof Tips and Tricks
Falling asleep in class is a common struggle faced by students, especially during early morning lectures or after sleepless nights. Let’s explore effective strategies and hacks to help students concentrate and stay awake in classrooms, and during online learning.
Try to maintain a consistent sleep schedule , aiming for 7-9 hours of sleep every night.
Stay active and hydrated, take short breaks and move during lectures to boost circulation and reduce fatigue.
Choose energy-boosting foods like green tea, dark chocolate, fruits, and a balanced breakfast.
Did you know?
Listening to classical music has been shown to improve focus and concentration while studying!
Falling asleep in class can be a struggle for many students, especially when having to attend early morning lectures. But, there are a few hacks you can try to stay awake in class.
In this blog post we'll explore a variety of techniques to help you concentrate in class without sleeping, whether it's a traditional lecture hall or an online session. From natural energy boosters to mental exercises, let's uncover the secrets to mastering the art of staying awake and focused in school.
How to Not Fall Asleep in Class
Get Enough Sleep Each Night:
It is vital for students to get enough sleep, regardless of their age. Getting the right amount of sleep can help students easily manage how to control sleep in class, as well as to stay focused and complete schoolwork thoroughly.
School-age children aged 6 to 12 years old typically need 9 to 12 hours of sleep per night, while teens between 13 and 18 years old require 8 to 10 hours of sleep. Adults 18 and older should ideally fit at least 7 hours of sleep each night into their schedules.
One of the best ways to get a good night’s sleep, which in turn means less daytime sleepiness, is to follow a consistent sleeping schedule. By going to sleep at approximately the same time every day and waking up at the same time, you’re setting your circadian rhythm so that your internal clock knows when it should be alert for learning. If you frequently feel exhausted during class, you should prioritize getting 7-9 hours of sleep every night, so that you are well-rested before your classes.
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Take Short Breaks
Movement increases blood circulation and revitalizes your body, so try standing up, stretching, or walking around during longer lectures to improve focus and reduce fatigue. While this may not be easy or appropriate in the middle of a lecture, walking around, jogging in place, doing jumping jacks, or any activity that gets your blood pumping, can juice up your energy and attention levels.
Classrooms that welcome physical activity have been shown to increase attention, decrease distractions, and reduce mental fatigue. If you’re in a long lecture that has a break in the middle, use that time to get up from your seat and move your body; you can also ask to use the restroom and get a little exercise on the way there and back.
A short stretching routine between classes can also help you feel less tired and prepare for your next class.
A cup of coffee, tea, or other caffeinated drink can give your senses a quick and effective jolt. This is because caffeine is a natural stimulant that promotes alertness and reduces sleepiness by blocking adenosine, a compound that your brain releases when you are tired.
Sensitivity to caffeine differs from person to person, but it is recommended that adults should limit caffeine to 400 milligrams – an amount equivalent to around four cups of coffee – or less, on a daily basis.
Coffee can sometimes lead to higher spikes in energy and lower dips when the caffeine wears off, so caffeinated tea may have a somewhat milder, more consistent effect than coffee.
Coffee or teas without a lot of added sugar are also healthier choices than sweetened, high-caffeine energy drinks. A 16-ounce energy drink packs a lot of calories and more than twice as much caffeine as a standard cup of coffee.
Remember, taking caffeine too close to bedtime can interfere with your nighttime sleep, so use it with caution! If you’re not a caffeine-drinker, below we outline how to stay awake without caffeine in class.
It is widely known that dehydration can lead to both mental and physical fatigue. If you keep a water bottle with you and sip water throughout the class, it can help you stay hydrated and maintain energy levels.
Although there are no expert recommendations on the amount of water to consume each day, most adults need at least 90 fluid ounces of water daily from food and drinks. Fluids help keep your blood flowing, which means your brain is getting plenty of oxygen and nutrients to keep working sharply in and outside of class.
Avoid Alcohol and Tobacco
Avoid substances such as alcohol and tobacco if you want to be more alert in class. Alcohol acts as both a stimulant and sedative; although you might feel more awake when you first drink alcohol, this effect eventually wears off and can leave you feeling extremely tired.
Similarly, cigarettes and vapes contain nicotine, which may help some people feel more awake and alert. Still, nicotine is highly addictive and can cause several health problems, like elevated blood pressure and withdrawal symptoms. You might also have trouble falling asleep at night if you use tobacco products because of their stimulant effects.
How to Stay Awake in Class After an All-Nighter
While all-nighters can be detrimental to your well-being, a heavy workload can sometimes mean you are up until very late. Recovering from an all-nighter requires some planning, so here are a few tips on how to stay energized at school:
Take Power Naps
Take short power naps (around 20-30 minutes) to recharge your energy levels. Be cautious not to sleep for too long, as this can lead to sleep inertia, making you groggy.
Getting enough sleep at night should be your number one goal for preventing fatigue during class, but taking a nap may help you fight drowsiness and make it easier to stay awake. If you have more time to spare between classes, try a 20-minute nap, which may effectively reduce sleepiness.
Natural Light Exposure
Sunlight helps keep your body’s circadian rhythm on track, which can keep you feeling awake during the day. Open up your blinds or curtains as soon as you wake up, to let the morning sunlight into your home. Exposure to morning light helps you wake up faster, and perhaps more importantly, it sets your internal clock to be awake during the day and sleepy at night.
If you have time before you go to school, consider taking a walk outside – the combined benefits of physical activity and sunlight may help reduce fatigue in the middle of class. Stepping outside during classroom breaks or even sitting near a sunny window can help you shake off your drowsiness and may improve your mood as well
How to Not Fall Asleep in an Online Class
Online classes require self-discipline to stay attentive – here are some hacks that you can start with!
Create a dedicated, well-lit study space for online classes. A comfortable chair and organized desk can enhance focus and prevent drowsiness.
Being actively engaged, whether it’s taking notes or participating in a classroom discussion, can help keep you from snoozing during a lecture – being mentally involved prevents boredom and it may even help with how to stay awake in math class! Also, you should ask questions and actively participate in problem-solving, so as to engage your brain in the subject matter and stay alert.
Foods and Drinks Which Keep You Awake in School
Meal choices can also impact your alertness during class. Here are a few helpful suggestions and examples of healthy choices to help avoid feeling sleepy during the day.
Green Tea: Rich in antioxidants and containing moderate caffeine, green tea provides a gentle energy boost without the jitters associated with coffee.
Dark Chocolate: Dark chocolate contains small amounts of caffeine and stimulates endorphin production, enhancing focus and mood. Other chocolates don’t help as much – although there has been a long-held belief that sugar consumption increases energy, even if only temporarily, researchers have widely agreed that this is a myth.
Fruits: Apples and bananas are natural sources of energy due to their high fiber and natural sugar content. They provide a sustained release of energy, preventing sudden crashes
Eat Breakfast: People typically skip breakfast more than any other meal of the day. However, research shows that a nutritious breakfast is important for overall physical and mental health. Eating a healthy breakfast before school also gives the body the fuel it needs to prevent energy dips during morning classes – think whole grains, fruit, eggs, vegetables, low-fat yogurt, nuts, etc.
Afternoon snack: Keep your energy up by preventing low blood sugar in the afternoon, which can make you feel tired. Eating can prevent your blood sugar from dipping, so having a pre-packed snack in between meals may be a good way to regain some energy during afternoon classes. If you start to feel tired around the same time each day, try eating a healthy snack like fruit, low-fat cheese, or yogurt near that time. If you usually get tired during a specific class, try eating your snack right before class begins.
Staying awake and alert in class is crucial for effective learning and academic success. By adopting healthy sleep habits, staying active, and making mindful dietary choices, you can overcome drowsiness and remain engaged during lectures, whether in a traditional classroom or an online setting. Remember, staying awake in class isn't just about willpower; it's about incorporating smart habits and strategies into your daily routine, ensuring you're mentally and physically prepared to tackle any learning challenge.