How to Stay Awake in Class

Updated on October 23, 2018
kaltopsyd profile image

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

Source

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. | Source

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. | Source

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. | Source

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!

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

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    • profile image

      vidhath 

      3 days ago

      i hate class

    • profile image

      me 

      2 weeks ago

      i need more sleep

    • profile image

      Jahniya 

      3 weeks ago

      I cant stay up

    • profile image

      keisha 

      4 weeks ago

      this don't work i fall asleep everyday

    • profile image

      4 weeks ago

      need more info

    • profile image

      bryant 

      5 weeks ago

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

    • profile image

      what the frick richard 

      5 weeks ago

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

    • profile image

      oof 

      5 weeks ago

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

    • profile image

      Sombra_Negra 

      5 weeks ago

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

    • profile image

      NOBODY 

      6 weeks ago

      IT DOSENT WORK, LIES

    • profile image

      Annabelle 

      6 weeks ago

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

    • profile image

      NUREEN 

      7 weeks ago

      YOUR IDEA IS VERY USEFUL

    • profile image

      JackHunter4256 

      7 weeks ago

      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!

    • profile image

      kyla morgan 

      8 weeks ago

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

    • profile image

      Thomas 

      8 weeks ago

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

    • profile image

      Tony 

      8 weeks ago

      This is weird

    • profile image

      rachel 

      2 months ago

      THIS ISNT WORKING

    • profile image

      me 

      2 months ago

      i keep falling asleep in ela

    • profile image

      Cat 

      2 months ago

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

    • profile image

      Noah 

      2 months ago

      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.

    • profile image

      sleep 

      2 months ago

      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.

    • profile image

      sleep 

      2 months ago

      i feel you guys

    • profile image

      CummedIn_A_Hooker 

      2 months ago

      Really helped thanks

    • profile image

      S71ll_15_5l33py 

      2 months ago

      I is still sleepy.

    • profile image

      cold_hard_cash 

      2 months ago

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

    • profile image

      cold_hard_cash 

      2 months ago

      I dont stay awake at all.

    • profile image

      jerry 

      2 months ago

      im falling asleep in second period

    • profile image

      Shawn Mendes 

      2 months ago

      stop

    • profile image

      tired girl 

      2 months ago

      im falling asleep in study hall

    • profile image

      Hot Coco 

      2 months ago

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

    • profile image

      Karma 

      2 months ago

      I found getting up and walking around really helps.

    • profile image

      plant 

      2 months ago

      i NEED coffee ASAP!!

    • profile image

      asms 

      2 months ago

      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.

    • profile image

      uhsrifusbfshb 

      3 months ago

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

    • profile image

      Oof 

      3 months ago

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

    • profile image

      Tired kid 

      3 months ago

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

    • profile image

      lucio 

      3 months ago

      i need SLEEP

    • profile image

      Sleep 

      3 months ago

      Im falling asleep in class lol

    • profile image

      Amelia 

      4 months ago

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

    • profile image

      brigitte 

      5 months ago

      so hard

    • profile image

      HALLEIGH 

      5 months ago

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

    • profile image

      Emily 

      6 months ago

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

    • profile image

      Jack 

      6 months ago

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

    • profile image

      Julian 

      7 months ago

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

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

    • profile image

      me 

      8 months ago

      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

    • profile image

      Sydney 

      8 months ago

      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.

    • profile image

      christian 

      8 months ago

      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

    • profile image

      Grace 

      8 months ago

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

    • profile image

      gang 

      9 months ago

      wiggle your toes

    • profile image

      liza 

      9 months ago

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

    • profile image

      big_bitch 

      9 months ago

      thats good

    • profile image

      Smol_boi_yato 

      9 months ago

      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

    • profile image

      tyler 

      15 months ago

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

    • profile image

      ooph 

      16 months ago

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

    • profile image

      LAWlsdasdasa 

      19 months ago

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

    • profile image

      Kris Shrout 

      20 months ago

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

    • profile image

      Meh 

      2 years ago

      I'll try them today - thanks :D

    • profile image

      scw16 

      6 years ago

      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 profile imageAUTHOR

      kaltopsyd 

      7 years ago from Trinidad originally, but now in the USA

      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!

    • profile image

      cassandra 

      7 years ago

      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......

    • profile image

      Metro4151 

      7 years ago

      THANK YOU.

    • kaltopsyd profile imageAUTHOR

      kaltopsyd 

      7 years ago from Trinidad originally, but now in the USA

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

    • profile image

      That1dewd 

      7 years ago

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

    • kaltopsyd profile imageAUTHOR

      kaltopsyd 

      7 years ago from Trinidad originally, but now in the USA

      Thank you damek and Princess Pitt :)

    • profile image

      Princess Pitt 

      7 years ago

      Funny!

    • damek profile image

      damek 

      7 years ago from USA

      Great hub! Really useful!

    • kaltopsyd profile imageAUTHOR

      kaltopsyd 

      8 years ago from Trinidad originally, but now in the USA

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

    • Tinsky profile image

      Tina Dubinsky 

      8 years ago from Brisbane, Australia

      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 profile imageAUTHOR

      kaltopsyd 

      8 years ago from Trinidad originally, but now in the USA

      Thank you, Sheen!

    • sheen khan profile image

      sheen khan 

      8 years ago from Karachi ,Pakistan

      yr work is good and usefull Information

    • kaltopsyd profile imageAUTHOR

      kaltopsyd 

      8 years ago from Trinidad originally, but now in the USA

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

    • willdr8k profile image

      willdr8k 

      8 years ago

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

    • kaltopsyd profile imageAUTHOR

      kaltopsyd 

      8 years ago from Trinidad originally, but now in the USA

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

    • Iamsam profile image

      Helna 

      8 years ago

      Very helpful hub

      Thanks

    • kaltopsyd profile imageAUTHOR

      kaltopsyd 

      8 years ago from Trinidad originally, but now in the USA

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

    • mecheshier profile image

      mecheshier 

      8 years ago

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

    • kaltopsyd profile imageAUTHOR

      kaltopsyd 

      8 years ago from Trinidad originally, but now in the USA

      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 profile image

      Trinsick 

      8 years ago from Cali

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

    • iburahimu profile image

      iburahimu 

      8 years ago

      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 profile image

      miss sugars 

      8 years ago

      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 profile imageAUTHOR

      kaltopsyd 

      8 years ago from Trinidad originally, but now in the USA

      Wow, that's impressive JodiVee. Thanks!

    • JodiVee profile image

      JodiVee 

      8 years ago

      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 profile imageAUTHOR

      kaltopsyd 

      8 years ago from Trinidad originally, but now in the USA

      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.

    • profile image

      ream_papers 

      8 years ago

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

      Term papers under budget in sharp deadlines

    • kaltopsyd profile imageAUTHOR

      kaltopsyd 

      8 years ago from Trinidad originally, but now in the USA

      Thanks, bugslady and good luck with your studies!

    • bugslady8949 profile image

      bugslady8949 

      8 years ago from The Bahamas

      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 profile imageAUTHOR

      kaltopsyd 

      8 years ago from Trinidad originally, but now in the USA

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

    • SUSIE DUZY profile image

      SUSIE DUZY 

      8 years ago from Delray Beach, Florida

      Taking online classes also helps.

    • kaltopsyd profile imageAUTHOR

      kaltopsyd 

      8 years ago from Trinidad originally, but now in the USA

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

    • saesha profile image

      saesha 

      8 years ago

      nice tips, I often try to slap myself when I'm tired.

    • kaltopsyd profile imageAUTHOR

      kaltopsyd 

      8 years ago from Trinidad originally, but now in the USA

      Um ok... lol :D

    • profile image

      Sleepiheadz 

      8 years ago

      Yay! Now I can stay...zzzzzzzzzzz

    • kaltopsyd profile imageAUTHOR

      kaltopsyd 

      8 years ago from Trinidad originally, but now in the USA

      hahaha, good luck, FCA! Yes, I guess this Hub counts for lots of things. You can even use it for sermons in church. :) Thanks for your comment. Once again, good luck with college and such!

    • profile image

      FutureCollegeAttendee 

      8 years ago

      Your Hub actually helps out us high school students too. I'm constantly falling asleep in my classes, heck I won the superelative for it. But hopefully now I won't as much...man where was this for fresh,soph, and junior year? XD

    • kaltopsyd profile imageAUTHOR

      kaltopsyd 

      8 years ago from Trinidad originally, but now in the USA

      Thank you, Ruchira! I sure hope it will be helpful. :)

    • Ruchira profile image

      Ruchira 

      8 years ago from United States

      an interesting hub kimberly :) It sure is gonna be helpful for all the current students. In my days..it was more of observe and try to follow ;)

    • kaltopsyd profile imageAUTHOR

      kaltopsyd 

      8 years ago from Trinidad originally, but now in the USA

      Interesting. I will check it out. Thank you, praveenu.

    • praveenu profile image

      praveenu 

      8 years ago from india

      website for education that is www.educationuday.blogspot.com. It's world best online education in USA, UK, Australia, Britain, Dubai, New zealand, Germany, Singapore, France, Malaysia and all over the world education systems and education loans from Udayagiri-Praveen 91-9248383705. It's very useful every student.

    • kaltopsyd profile imageAUTHOR

      kaltopsyd 

      8 years ago from Trinidad originally, but now in the USA

      Aww, sorry, Gemini. Thanks. :)

    • profile image

      Single_Gemini 

      8 years ago

      I wish i had this two years ago

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    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
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    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
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