A Guide To Staying Awake In Class

There are two things I’ve been dreaming of in life. One is that sleeping should be introduced as a subject, because I think that I would ace it. The second is that university should consider introducing nap rooms where everyone can go to sleep between classes, although I guess that the library and computer labs do tend to be used as such. The latter in particular would be useful if you find yourself getting sleepy less than halfway through a class. While I’ll be honest and say that I’ve never actually fallen asleep at university, every now and then, I do get extraordinarily sleepy during class. Luckily, I’ve discovered a few little tricks that help me to keep my focus and fingers crossed they help my fellow sleepyheads out there, too.

At the beginning of the lecture

By the end of the lecture

Get enough sleep beforehand. What is sleep, you ask? As a university student, it might be easy to forget what sleep is. It’s that thing you do when you close your eyes and you start dreaming, and it doesn’t always happen in bed. These days, it happens mostly at the laptop while scrolling through Tumblr, but you get the idea. As long as you’re getting plenty of hours of sleep before a big day of classes (rather than just three hours of sleep, if any), it’s most likely a guarantee that you’ll have more energy for the days ahead.

Actively participate. Staying awake is so much easier if you’re doing everything you can to participate in the class, rather than just sitting and listening. Take notes in your lecture and don’t hesitate to ask questions during tutorials. Not only will you be doing something to take your mind off how sleepy you are, but you’ll also be asking questions that could potentially be beneficial to others as well as to yourself.

Move around. Okay, so you can’t actually get up and walk around in the middle of the lecture, but there are little things you can do. You can pinch yourself to stay awake, quietly tap your foot on the ground and jiggle your leg. Movement helps because you’ll be doing something other than just sitting, but make sure that whatever you choose to do, it’s not distracting to the people around you (there’s nothing worse than listening to someone constantly click their pen or tap their fingers against the table throughout an entire two hour lecture).

Sit in the front row. If your lecturer and tutor can clearly see you, you’ll probably want to be doing anything to make sure that you’re not falling asleep in front of them and maybe you’ll even convince yourself to pay attention. This last one is more like guilt tripping yourself because you might feel as though you have to pay attention only because everyone will be able to see you so you’ll probably feel a bit too embarrassed to fall asleep, but if it works, then go ahead.

You would have noticed that I didn’t mention anything about drinking coffee to stay awake. It’s because I’m bitter that coffee doesn’t do anything for me anymore, but if you have anymore suggestions, go ahead and leave them in the comments.

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