Imagine this: you are sitting in your class, trying to pay attention, but you’ve just eaten a large meal and you can hear the soothing sound of raindrops outside. Your eyes close. Your head bobs.
You realize you are almost asleep and sit straight up, forcing your eyes open, but in moments start nodding off again.
Everyone has those days when they just can’t stay awake in class whether it’s because they didn’t get enough sleep the night before, because class is during nap time, or because their professor has a lulling voice. Here are four tactics to help you stay awake in class on those days when you can’t help falling asleep.
1. Bring a Drink or a healthy snack to Class with you.
Many professors don’t like their students to have drinks other than water in the classroom. Ideally you would have a caffeinated beverage, but a bottle of water is fine. You can’t drink and sleep at the same time.
2. Chew Gum
Chewing gum has been proven to help people stay awake while on the road, so it makes sense that it would help you to stay awake in class as well. As long as you are chewing something you will not fall asleep. You could also try bringing a snack to class with you which most professors will allow, but if you bring a full meal with you then you will likely not be allowed to eat it.
3. Be an Active Participant in the Class
This can be hard or nearly impossible to do in a lecture class in which the professor talks the entire time, and those tend to be the classes that end up turning into nap time, but if your professor is not adverse to students speaking up in class then pay attention to the subject matter, think of something to say, raise your hand and say it. If you are actively engaged in what you are learning, then you will be too busy to fall asleep.
4. Move Around
Get up and go to the bathroom, stretch, go out of the building for a minute and sprint. Using a quick burst of energy in this way helps your blood to circulate more through your body, and can give you a small jolt of adrenaline which should be just enough to get you through the rest of the class period.
Hopefully these tips will help you to get through the doldrums of the semester, and to make the most of your learning time.