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How to Stay Awake in Class

13 Tips to Keep You Awake in Class (and at Work!)

Having trouble keeping your eyes open during class, even after a good night's rest? Do you feel yourself nodding off and your head bobbing uncontrollably? No, you don't have a mild form of narcolepsy (which, oftentimes, I thought I did after falling asleep in every class.) You're a typical student! So, you're in a two-hour class and your eyes start to get unbearably heavy . . . what do you do?

Luckily, we have 13 easy tips to keep you focused. While some of these are classroom-specific, you can also use these tips when you're off in the working world!

  1. Shower before class. Have a 9 a.m. class? Hop out of bed in the morning and head straight for the shower. It'll wake you right up! Plus, your classmates will probably thank you.
  2. Bring a water bottle, and drink plenty of H2O. Staying hydrated is a key factor in staying awake. Try putting ice in your water bottle; the cold water will keep you lively and alert.
  3. Eat a snack. Bring an apple to class! The natural sugar and the crunch of an apple will help decrease the fatigue.
  4. Shed a layer. If it's warm in your classroom, you're more likely to fall asleep. So take off your jacket or open a window to catch the cool breeze.
  5. Chew gum. Chewing gum is a repetitive act that keeps the blood flowing and takes your mind off the tiredness.
  6. Save the daydreaming for after class. Daydreaming in a one-way track to falling asleep! Taking notes is one way of focusing. Whether it's by hand or on a laptop, jotting down notes will help to keep your body active and your mind focused on the lecture.
  7. Go to the bathroom. Walk off the sleepiness by taking a trip to the bathroom. The process of walking will get the blood circulating again. And don't forget to take a stretch break while you're in the hallway.
  8. Sit up and focus on your posture. Roll your shoulders back and remember not to slouch. Slouching can cause unnecessary stress on your muscles and lead to fatigue.
  9. Tug on your earlobes. Yes, it sounds odd, but it works! Due to acupoints on your ears, this is a surefire way to get the brain going.
  10. Interact with your professor. Ask questions! Listen to the lecture and actively think of difficult questions to raise. This will force you to focus on what the professor has to say.
  11. Bring eyedrops. It's hard to stay wide-eyed and awake when your eyes are dry and irritated from lack of sleep. When they're feeling dry, splash a couple drops in them. You'll feel more refreshed and your eyes will be grateful.
  12. Sit in the front row, or at least in the middle! The closer you are to the professor, the less likely you are to fall asleep due to volume. Not to mention the fear of getting caught dozing off will keep you wide awake!
  13. Don't browse the web. Facebook may keep you awake, but you won't be focusing on the class. You might as well be asleep!
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