Please note, we are proudly supported by our readers. The product links are referral based and if you purchase an item we make a small commission. For more information please see our disclosure page.
Staying awake in class is rough. Whether it is because you haven’t gotten a good nights rest or because your professor has the monotone silky soft voice of the sandman, keeping the ZZZs at bay can feel impossible. And don’t even get us started on trying to stay awake during those long study sessions.
Thankfully we have a few tips and tricks up our sleeves for staying awake through that class that has you passing out mid lecture. Keep reading to learn how we managed to stay awake during those impossibly long classes and study sessions.
If you are passing out in class, one of the fastest ways to wake up is to get moving. Take a quick walk around the halls or, if you’re really struggling, pump out a set of jumping jacks or push ups. By getting out of the comfortable spot you have been sitting in and getting your blood moving, you will start to wake up rather quickly.
If you drop and give yourself 20 in the middle of a busy hallway, you might get some stares but that is better then drooling on your notes. Even if you only have enough time for a quick walk to the bathroom and back, a little bit of movement is bound to help.
We all know it and most of us love it. From coffee to energy drinks, the love story between caffeine and college students goes way back. But how much caffeine is too much?
With so many struggling with anxiety or becoming dependent on caffeine, a lot of people are opting out. It is important to know your own body and take care of you own health but here is our take on the caffeine debate.
Use wisely and with intent. Instead of grabbing a large triple shot latte every single morning on your way to class, only get it when you know you’re really going to need it. That way when you get in a class that absolutely puts you to sleep, your caffeinated beverage will pack a bigger punch.
Also, skip the sugar, instead go for a black coffee or a sugar free option. This will help to prevent crashes.
If you are actively taking detailed notes it can help to keep you awake in class. Often times this isn’t enough or it can get stagnant, try playing with new note taking programs, the process of using a new system may keep you stimulated and shake things up.
If you typically take notes on paper, try taking notes on your computer and vice versa. Get creative and see what you can do to continue being effective while also keeping things interesting.
If you are a doodler when you take notes, try doodling with a purpose. Often times doodling go hand in hand with day dreams. However, if you are an avid doodle artist try creating little drawings that go along with the lecture you’re trying to pay attention to. This way you are staying awake while keeping your mind involved with the content being taught.
If you need a little something to keep you moving, chewing gum is a great little tool that can use. Studies have shown that chewing gum can help keep you alert and less tired feeling throughout the day.
Not only is the minty flavor and chewing action invigorating, but it also improves blood flow to the face and head, which helps to keep you awake as well. So don’t hesitate to bust open that pack of minty fresh gum.
Scents are incredibly powerful at adjusting and enhancing moods. You can use this to your advantage with essential oils in order to stay awake and alert.
Peppermint, Rosemary, Pine Needle, Juniper, and Citrus, essential oils are all refreshing scents that can be beneficial to staying awake during class. Try putting several drops on your wrist and temples for maximum effect.
Naps can be risky, especially if you are truly dog tired. So nap with caution. We suggest keeping your naps between 5-25 minutes long. Any less then five will do very little for providing any sort of real rest.
While taking a nap lasting over 25 minutes will send you into a deeper REM sleep that could leave you feel even more tired then when you went to sleep in the first place. So keep it short and sweet.
This is a great option when studying. Thank goodness for headphones, you can now listen to music wherever you are studying, even at the library. Finding that up beat music that keeps you focused and in the zone can definitely help keep you awake.
Pick a playlist that gets you in the mood to get up and dance. If you can have one that also doesn’t distract you with too many lyrics, that would be preferable. Avoid playlists that are too repetitive, as even their peppy beats, if too consistent, may put you to sleep.
If you have been stuck studying in the same spot for a while and you just keep falling asleep, try changing up your surroundings. Coffee shops are popular choices for study sessions, but there are many other wifi free spots to check out.
Just try not to move somewhere that will make it tempting to end your study session completely. Like your couch at home where friends and Netflix might be far too tempting to resist. Instead, pick a place you know you will be able to stay for a while and focus.
Carry around a bottle of water with you. Staying hydrated is not only helpful with fighting off lethargy, but it can also be helpful to have a little something to do. If you’re sitting in class having a couple refreshing sips of cold water can help give you a little life throughout your lecture.
Also helpful, adding refreshing flavors naturally. A popular refreshing combination that we love is spearmint and cucumber. You can either infuse your water overnight or use a Water Bottle Infuser to keep your water flavored as you go.
Whether you have an early morning class or mid afternoon, a shower before class can help to wake your system up and leave you feeling refreshed and ready. Especially if you are just waking up in the morning or from a nap, this can be a good way to tell your body “HEY! It is time to get up and get moving!”.
If you are really needing an extra jolt, go for the cold shower. While it might not be as enjoyable as a nice hot shower it can also have lasting health benefits and increases blood flow.
This is something you can do whenever you just start to feel the symptoms of sleepiness beginning to creep in. Lightly squeeze and rub the section of your palm between your thumb and pointer finger. It should feel tender but try not so squeeze so hard that you hurt yourself.
Another acupressure trick from staying awake it to lightly rub and pull on your earlobes. Another popular spot is on the bottom of your feet, right by the balls of your feet, but for the benefit of your classmates, we ask you to please refrain from doing this in class.
It isn’t always possible to get all of the studying (or partying) you would like to do and stay awake the next day in class. But we hope that with a few of our tips and tricks you will be able to stay awake through all of your classes. When you are ready to have a regular sleeping schedule, check out our article How To Fix Your Sleep Schedule to learn how to do just that.
If you have any questions for us or if you need help finding anything specific, feel free to contact us. We would love to help you out.