How to Stay Awake in Class - Owlcation - Education
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How to Stay Awake in Class

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I have experienced drowsiness in class and know that it is an unpleasant situation.

I'm almost certain that everyone at some point in their lives has fallen asleep in class. Whether you are currently in classes, planning to attend classes, or have gone through the whole schooling process and plan to never attend a class again, you've probably experienced this. From a boring philosophy class to an intriguing drama class, there's still the potential of falling asleep.

Sometimes dozing off in class has to do with how little interest you have in the course. Sometimes being sleepy in class is because you were up all night. No matter what your reason is, there are many ways to stop your trip to dreamland.

Tips For Staying Awake in Class

  • Sit up front and centre. By sitting in the front, you have the sense that the teacher is looking directly at you, whether or not they are. You are in view of everyone. This position not only gives you easier access to the board or projector—so you can see the notes better—but it makes you feel obligated to pay attention. You will actually fear falling asleep because everyone will notice!
  • Take a shower in the morning. Taking a shower immediately after getting up can knock the fatigue right out of you. It could leave you feeling alert for a while afterwards.
  • Work out. An exercise routine can give you energy over a period of time. Working out can give you some resistance to feeling tired more easily.
  • Take notes. Whether you are a good notetaker or not, the mere act of writing may help you stay awake. If your hand is constantly moving, then there is less of a chance of falling asleep. Just do not get too caught up in your notes that you forget to listen to what is being said. This technique is good for visual learners (people who learn best when they actually see what is being taught).
  • Draw sketches or doodle in your notebook. Though this is not recommended for grade school, secondary/middle school, and high school, there is no problem with doodling in college—only if you have a good auditory memory (you remember the things you hear). This is an alternative to taking notes. It keeps your hand busy so you have less of a chance of falling asleep. It may help for moments where the teacher goes off into a personal story or something. If your notebooks are checked for neatness and such, do not doodle in your notebooks.
  • Change your position. Do not sit in the same position for the entire class. For example, ladies often cross their legs while sitting through a lecture. Try uncrossing your legs for some time, or switching the leg that is crossed. You can even shift in your seat every once in a while. Even changing the position of your notebook now and then can be beneficial.
  • Interact with your teacher. Answering or asking questions in class can keep you alert.
  • Suck on a candy or chew gum. Now, please do not go into class with a lollypop sticking out of your mouth. Make sure the candy you select is something unobtrusive and discreet. You do not want to be sitting in class munching on a chocolate bar. If food is allowed, then it's fine, but do not be defiant and bring large packets of candy into the classroom when you know your teacher will be displeased. I've found that chewing gum or sucking on a mint can keep me awake.
  • Drink some water. This goes hand in hand with the candy and gum method. Most teachers who do not allow food and drinks will allow a bottle of water into the classroom. Take advantage of that allowance and sip some water every now and then to stay awake.
  • Keep your hands away from your face. Often times, as we get relaxed during lectures, we place our elbows on the desks and lean our faces against our hands. Most people do this. Do not prop your head on your hands. This will give your body a sense of rest and invite sleep. Leaning on your hands is as bad as putting your head on your desk. Don't do it!
  • Walk out of the classroom. If all else fails, walk away. I'm not saying to pack up all your things and go home. Just take a break—a brief break. Walk down the hallway and get a drink of water. Do some jumping jacks to wake your body up, go to the bathroom to relieve yourself, splash some cold water on your face. If you're near a door that exits the building, go out for some fresh air. Just remember to return to class promptly. You do not want to miss too much valuable information.
Late-night study sessions are a common cause for fatigue during lectures.

Late-night study sessions are a common cause for fatigue during lectures.

How to Stay Awake After an All-Nighter

  • Drink water. Dehydration can add to your fatigue. Eight glasses of water throughout the day would be ideal. Stay away from energy drink since they only offer a temporary fix. They will cause you to crash later.
  • Eat healthy food. Food that can boost your energy includes eggs, fish, beans, nuts, and leafy greens. Avoid sugary food since they will eventually make you crash.
  • Drink coffee. A fresh brew of coffee in the morning can be helpful. It can kickstart your energy and it even helps you boost your memory as well. However, you shouldn't drink too much since you can crash on caffeine. If you are planning to be in bed early, you shouldn't drink coffee in the afternoon. The caffeine will stay in your body for about five hours; this can interfere with your sleep schedule.
  • Turn up the AC. A cold environment will force your body to work to keep warm. This can help fight fatigue.
  • Listen to music. Music can stimulate your brain, which can make you feel more awake.
  • Get some sunlight. A quick walk outside can be beneficial. Sunlight can get your circulation going and make you feel more energized.
  • Take a power nap. If possible, try to take a nap for 15-20 minutes. You'll feel much more alert afterwards.
  • Keep moving. Walking around or doing some jumping jacks can fight fatigue. Small exercises will get your blood flowing and give your brain some oxygen.
Coffee can make you alert, but too much will make you crash eventually.

Coffee can make you alert, but too much will make you crash eventually.

How to Stay Awake Without Coffee

If you are not into coffee, here are some alternatives you can take to stay alert.

  • Fruits. These have sugars that can give you a quick energy boost. Fruits with vitamin c, like oranges, can help convert fat into energy, which helps fight fatigue.
  • Tea. Black or green tea has less caffeine than coffee, so there is no worries about crashing later. It also has lots of antioxidants. These can help fight off some diseases and prevent cancer.
  • Ginseng. This herb is known for its ability to boost energy and reduce stress. It can help you relax as well.
  • Peppermint. This stuff can make you feel more alert and helps you focus more on tasks at hand.
  • Dark chocolate. Having some dark chocolate can give you some caffeine. It also has theobromine, which can raise serotonin levels that can balance your mood.
  • Proteins. Lean meats offer a slow energy release.

The Inevitable

Sometimes, doing all of these things will prove futile. Sometimes there's absolutely nothing you can do to prevent sleep. For those times when your body is worn down and lacking sleep, it's hard not to give in. However, if it is the unexciting drawl of the teacher's voice or the boring content, there's a way to make the experience more interesting for yourself.

In your mind, try to apply what's being taught to real life. Imagine pictures in your head, animate the actions (in your mind). Even if it is math, you can make it interesting. Be creative! If that fails, well, there's nothing you can do about it.

At the end of the day, the best way to stay energized throughout the day is to have a good night's sleep.

At the end of the day, the best way to stay energized throughout the day is to have a good night's sleep.

Preventing Dozing Off in Class

The best way to prevent falling asleep in class is to get a good night's sleep. Set a regular bedtime for yourself and stick to it! Try not to take too many naps during the day as that will make you less sleepy when bedtime comes around. If you are still not sleepy, read a book in bed or listen to music.

Stay away from too much caffeine. You never know when you're going to crash; it may just occur during class and that may be the reason for you feeling sleepy. Also, too much caffeine during the day can disturb your sleep at night and then the cycle repeats.

Also, believe it or not, too much sleep can also make you tired. It may sound ridiculous, but it's true.

How Much Sleep is Required?

  • For children (5 - 10 years old): 10 to 11 hours of sleep is ideal.
  • Teens (10 - 17 years old): 8.5 to 9.25 hours.
  • Adults: 7 - 9 hours.

These statistics are just general numbers. Sleep depends entirely on the individual. No matter what age, individuals have different needs. In the end, it all comes down to your lifestyle and your health.

In Conclusion

If you want to stay awake in class, try to stay away from caffeine, get a good night's sleep, make the lecture content interesting ,and keep your hands away from your face while in class!

Sleep Statistics From

Do You Have Any Other Tips for Staying Awake in Class?

zamyaNails on March 12, 2020:

i could never say awake during class because it's very boring.

brady macy 21 on February 21, 2020:

i just fell asleep 1 hour ago and tried everything

zoezen1 on February 10, 2020:

ok so I take meds and thay cause me to be tired so thats why im on here but legit none of these exept caffen help me 1 of these will just get u in truble because in 5th grade YOU CAN NOT JUST WALK OUT OF THE CLASSROOM AND GO OUT SIDE! ive done it and got after school detenchen.not cool.

mistrey man 220 on January 30, 2020:

high school: listen to other conversations, hang out with friends, talk a lot, get in trouble

Sjensns on January 05, 2020:

It did

Houston Dummy on October 11, 2019:

I am dead, this dosent work!!

nobody on September 27, 2019:

I am literally in my last class of the day and i cant stay awake!!!!!

Unkown on September 02, 2019:

I had trouble staying awake,so I making a list of things and this helped me out sooooo much!!!!!

Unknown on August 18, 2019:

This will be sosososoo helpful when school starts again, i have the same teacher for social studies and always falls asleep bc he speaks monotone

Unknown on July 08, 2019:

If i eat a peppermint candy in class the smell starts spreading and someone shouts from the other end of the class thats someone's eating candy in class and then i get caught

\adfgh./ on July 05, 2019:

how do I walk away if I'm already asleep?

vidhath on June 23, 2019:

i hate class

me on June 09, 2019:

i need more sleep

Jahniya on May 31, 2019:

I cant stay up

keisha on May 28, 2019:

this don't work i fall asleep everyday

? on May 28, 2019:

need more info

bryant on May 20, 2019:

i hate my class and just wanna sleep in my hammock in my room

what the frick richard on May 17, 2019:

im in spanish and im dying hate this class and i wanna go home

oof on May 16, 2019:

I tried most of them they did not work im still tired

Sombra_Negra on May 16, 2019:

i fell asleep often and tried these, some work and some didnt work

NOBODY on May 15, 2019:

IT DOSENT WORK, LIES

Annabelle on May 13, 2019:

Testing started already feel asleep. Going to try done if these this and see how it goes.

NUREEN on May 07, 2019:

YOUR IDEA IS VERY USEFUL

JackHunter4256 on May 03, 2019:

For a teen around 13-17, from experience, 6 hours is much better as a set time of sleep, I always go to bed at 10, and wake up at 4, It's so much better!

kyla morgan on April 30, 2019:

i literally am trying not to fall asleep in computer lab right at this moment lol

Thomas on April 29, 2019:

Sadly, I’ve been falling asleep in Math Class, and don’t know why. This article has helped me a lot.

Tony on April 28, 2019:

This is weird

rachel on April 26, 2019:

THIS ISNT WORKING

me on April 25, 2019:

i keep falling asleep in ela

Cat on April 25, 2019:

I hate falling asleep in computer class. Hopefully this will help!

Noah on April 24, 2019:

I'm failing physics with two months of class left, probably because I'm constantly dozing off in class. I wonder if it's because of the citalopram I'm taking, or maybe just staying up too late on the weekends; I usually try to go to bed at 10:30 on the weekdays but often stay up until 1 or 2 in the morning on weekends. I will keep this guide as a bookmark so I can focus. I know I can fix my grade easily as I'm usually an honours student, but I won't be able to without this guide. To whoever made it, you're my hero.

sleep on April 23, 2019:

thanks i don't know if it will help but i am going to try everything because lately i have been really tired and i carry i bottle of water around with me.

sleep on April 22, 2019:

i feel you guys

CummedIn_A_Hooker on April 22, 2019:

Really helped thanks

S71ll_15_5l33py on April 19, 2019:

I is still sleepy.

cold_hard_cash on April 16, 2019:

I hate sleeping in class, but i cant sleep at night! lol

cold_hard_cash on April 16, 2019:

I dont stay awake at all.

jerry on April 16, 2019:

im falling asleep in second period

Shawn Mendes on April 15, 2019:

stop

tired girl on April 11, 2019:

im falling asleep in study hall

Hot Coco on April 08, 2019:

Taking a cold shower really helps... I need coffee noww.

Karma on April 03, 2019:

I found getting up and walking around really helps.

plant on April 03, 2019:

i NEED coffee ASAP!!

asms on April 01, 2019:

i didn't sleep the night before and as im in science i am barely staying awake. I asked to go to the bathroom and drenched my face in the freezing water and it got me moving a bit.

uhsrifusbfshb on March 24, 2019:

Start to talk smack with a friend. Because the tea is real and it will hype you up boo!

Oof on March 22, 2019:

Playing fortnite all night has decreased my test scores a lot because half the time i'm testing i'm literally falling asleep help

Tired kid on March 21, 2019:

Im so tired and i kept moving a minuet ago for like 12 mins and i feel much better!

lucio on March 12, 2019:

i need SLEEP

Sleep on March 04, 2019:

Im falling asleep in class lol

Amelia on February 05, 2019:

Im just about falling asleep right now in class lol!!

brigitte on January 15, 2019:

so hard

HALLEIGH on January 04, 2019:

i'm in class right now how do i stay awake

Emily on December 10, 2018:

Reading all the things to keep you awake does not seem like it works but I will try it.

Jack on December 10, 2018:

Thank you for helping me stay awake. It actually works!

Julian on November 01, 2018:

Teens (10 - 17 years old): 8.5 to 9.25 hours.

And yet we end up getting about 5 hours of sleep a night.

me on October 16, 2018:

oof so pulling three all nighters in a row to finish work and not fail out of classes is bad?....... i NeEd To PaSs My ClAsSeS and my teachers are betches and depent a lot of your grade on homework but also assign a lot of homework gtg kms

Sydney on October 15, 2018:

It mostly depends on why you're tired. A lot of times, it's because of lack of sleep. For other people, it could be cases like ADHD/ADD or just being bored. You should talk to your teacher about standing in the back during the lesson to get your legs moving. Also, don't listen to what people say about coffee. All it does is make it worse. Instead, try and exercise more often and get more sleep.

christian on October 15, 2018:

i know it so hard i get about 5 to 6 hours a day even know these is bad someoe got tip because am going to get in big trouble if i fall asleep

Grace on October 09, 2018:

Guess 1 hour of sleep for an 11 year old is bad yep yepp

gang on September 24, 2018:

wiggle your toes

liza on September 24, 2018:

drink lots of coffee so you could stay up and so that your wide awake and aware of your surroundings and what your doing.

big_bitch on September 19, 2018:

thats good

Smol_boi_yato on September 06, 2018:

when it said on bold to keep my hands off my face, i put them on my face cuz u knoe that sleeping is gonna get u outta class, or get you in trouble but hey it dosent matter

tyler on March 19, 2018:

I was falling asleep in class and i had my hands on my face.

ooph on February 09, 2018:

the sad thing is im reading this in class while my hands are on my face

LAWlsdasdasa on November 26, 2017:

most of these things doesnt work for me. but overall, get informations :)

Kris Shrout on October 19, 2017:

Appreciate it, I really need to stay awake so I'm trying to find ways to stay awake.

Meh on November 24, 2016:

I'll try them today - thanks :D

scw16 on April 11, 2013:

Some days, I am super tired and when I read this post, I found I was doing exactly what it told me not to: Propping my elbow on the desk and leaning my head on it. Thanks for the info. of how to stay awake:) I appreciate it.

kaltopsyd (author) from Trinidad originally, but now in the USA on April 03, 2012:

You're welcome, Metro.

Cassandra: if the class is boring then that's perfectly normal. haha. But these little tips help. If you're exhausted, sometimes the inevitable happens (you fall asleep) But good luck in your class!

cassandra on March 27, 2012:

I TRYH TO STAY AWAKE IN OA CLASS BUT ITS SO BORING I DONT HAVE NUTHIN TO DO SO U I JUST GET ON THE COMPUTER FOR A LIL BUT STUDY ABOUT SUMTHING LIKE DIS MORING I WAS IN CLASS AND I DIDN'T HAVE NUTHIN TO DO SO I JUST LAY MY HEAD DOWN AND WENT TO SLEEP THEN MY FRIEND WOKE ME UP AND TOOK ME OUTSIDE TO GET SUMM FRESH AIR SO THEN I KAME BACC IN THE OA CLASS AND WAS JUST STUDYING HOW TO STAY AWAKE AND WAT ARE THE THINGS THAT MAKE ME FALL ASLEEP AND WHY DO I FALL ALSLEEP ALL THE TIME BUT SHID IM JUST TRYING KEEP MY SELF AWAKE CUZ I BE GOING OUTSIDE AND STUFF LIKE WALKING AROUND G0ING IN PEOPLE CLASSESE AND JUST DOING ALOT OF STUFF TO MAKE ME STAY AWAKE IN MY CLASSES AND STUFF SO THANK YOU FOR TELL ME HOW THE WAY TO KEEP MY SELF UP AND AWAKE IN CLASSS......

Metro4151 on March 08, 2012:

THANK YOU.

kaltopsyd (author) from Trinidad originally, but now in the USA on January 27, 2012:

Oh no. There's always taking notes (since it's actualy class-related). Word-for-word. That usually helps me. Good luck!

That1dewd on January 09, 2012:

I got slapped for doodling and chewing gum. Any other ideas?

kaltopsyd (author) from Trinidad originally, but now in the USA on August 17, 2011:

Thank you damek and Princess Pitt :)

Princess Pitt on August 17, 2011:

Funny!

damek from USA on August 16, 2011:

Great hub! Really useful!

kaltopsyd (author) from Trinidad originally, but now in the USA on February 27, 2011:

Haha, thank you, Tinsky, for your adding to the list of class sleepers!

Tina Dubinsky from Brisbane, Australia on February 25, 2011:

Great article and how true! I will join those who have admitted to the embarrassment of falling asleep in class; mine was in tenth grade geography!

kaltopsyd (author) from Trinidad originally, but now in the USA on January 26, 2011:

Thank you, Sheen!

sheen khan from Karachi ,Pakistan on January 26, 2011:

yr work is good and usefull Information

kaltopsyd (author) from Trinidad originally, but now in the USA on January 22, 2011:

Um... is that an insult, willdr8k? Eh, nevertheless, thanks for commenting! :)

willdr8k on January 22, 2011:

i had to use these same tips to not fall asleep during this hub

kaltopsyd (author) from Trinidad originally, but now in the USA on January 21, 2011:

I'm glad I can be of help, Iamsam! You're welcome and thanks for commenting!

Helna on January 21, 2011:

Very helpful hub

Thanks

kaltopsyd (author) from Trinidad originally, but now in the USA on January 21, 2011:

hahaha, that must have been embarrassing! Thanks for the comments, mecheshier.

mecheshier on January 21, 2011:

Great tips. yes, I have been there and was once caught snoring! Thank you for an insighful Hub!

kaltopsyd (author) from Trinidad originally, but now in the USA on January 21, 2011:

Hi Miss Sugars. I hope this helps you too! I don't want you to get anymore detentions either!

iburahimu, that can definitely be a problem. When I needed glassed I used to get headaches and it was impossible to fall asleep with those headaches so I don't have that same experience. :)

Trinsick, either your friend has a sleeping problem or a focus problem. Or maybe those things are just too boring for him? haha

Thank you all for commenting!

Trinsick from Cali on January 21, 2011:

I had a friend that would fall asleep in class every time, then again he would fall asleep during movies, and everything else.

iburahimu on January 21, 2011:

Great hubs,

I just like to add something here.. I had the similar problem during my studied. The problem was due to my eyes problems.. after the checked I realized that I need to wear glasses.. maybe my eyes were just too tired..

miss sugars on January 20, 2011:

Thanks for the tips :-D

I'm always sleeping in Spanish (I have it early in the morning) and I am sooo not a morning person. Hopefully these will help, I'm sick of getting detentions!

kaltopsyd (author) from Trinidad originally, but now in the USA on January 20, 2011:

Wow, that's impressive JodiVee. Thanks!

JodiVee on January 20, 2011:

I've felt very sleepy in some of my classes, but never to the point of dozing off. These days, as I've left the student life and entered the working life, I make sure to go to sleep at the same time every day, and limit my computer use. The results are great -- I awake refreshed and remain energetic throughout the day.

http://www.jobvirtue.com

kaltopsyd (author) from Trinidad originally, but now in the USA on January 20, 2011:

Good preventative measures... term papers under budget in sharp deadlines... I wouldn't recommend that (if I've interpreted that correctly). Professors have ways of catching people who do that. Academic integrity is worth keeping even for failure.

ream_papers on January 19, 2011:

Keep yourself active ..Take good sleep.Nice food and exercise.

Term papers under budget in sharp deadlines

kaltopsyd (author) from Trinidad originally, but now in the USA on January 19, 2011:

Thanks, bugslady and good luck with your studies!

bugslady8949 from The Bahamas on January 19, 2011:

I am planning to attend college part time and I can use these tips from falling asleep in class. You did a great hub.

kaltopsyd (author) from Trinidad originally, but now in the USA on January 14, 2011:

Hello Susie. I have to agree with you on that one! I wish I had that option as a full-time student.

SUSIE DUZY from Delray Beach, Florida on January 14, 2011:

Taking online classes also helps.

kaltopsyd (author) from Trinidad originally, but now in the USA on January 12, 2011:

Hello, saesha! I've actually done the same thing! hahaha. :D