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How to Stay Awake in Class

Updated on March 11, 2017
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Everyone Has a Reason

I'm almost certain that everyone in some point of 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 everything to do with the level of its interest with you, something it has nothing to do with that and everything to do with the fact that you were up all night doing who knows what? No matter what your reason is, there are many ways to combat the doze bug.

Tips For Staying Awake

1. 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 he/she is. 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!

2. Take notes. Whether you are a good note-taker or not, the mere act of writing may help you stay awake. If your hand is constantly moving, then there is a lesser 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).

3. 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 - to doodle in the margins. If your notebooks are checked for neatness and such, do not doodle in your notebooks.

4. 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.

5. 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 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.

6. 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.

7. 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 hand. 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!

8. 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.

The Inevitable

Sometimes, doing all of these things proves futile. Sometimes there's absolutely nothing you can do to prevent sleep. Those times when your body is worn down and lacking sleep, it's hard not to give in to your body. 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.

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 - that may just occur during class and may be the REASON for you falling asleep. 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 awake 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

      Kris Shrout 114 minutes ago

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

    • profile image

      Meh 10 months ago

      I'll try them today - thanks :D

    • profile image

      scw16 4 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 image
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      kaltopsyd 5 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 5 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 5 years ago

      THANK YOU.

    • kaltopsyd profile image
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      kaltopsyd 5 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 5 years ago

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

    • kaltopsyd profile image
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      kaltopsyd 6 years ago from Trinidad originally, but now in the USA

      Thank you damek and Princess Pitt :)

    • profile image

      Princess Pitt 6 years ago

      Funny!

    • damek profile image

      damek 6 years ago from USA

      Great hub! Really useful!

    • kaltopsyd profile image
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      kaltopsyd 6 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 6 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 image
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      kaltopsyd 6 years ago from Trinidad originally, but now in the USA

      Thank you, Sheen!

    • sheen khan profile image

      sheen khan 6 years ago from Karachi ,Pakistan

      yr work is good and usefull Information

    • kaltopsyd profile image
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      kaltopsyd 6 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 6 years ago

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

    • kaltopsyd profile image
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      kaltopsyd 6 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

      Iamsam 6 years ago

      Very helpful hub

      Thanks

    • kaltopsyd profile image
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      kaltopsyd 6 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 6 years ago

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

    • kaltopsyd profile image
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      kaltopsyd 6 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 6 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 6 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 6 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 image
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      kaltopsyd 6 years ago from Trinidad originally, but now in the USA

      Wow, that's impressive JodiVee. Thanks!

    • JodiVee profile image

      JodiVee 6 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 image
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      kaltopsyd 6 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 6 years ago

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

      Term papers under budget in sharp deadlines

    • kaltopsyd profile image
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      kaltopsyd 6 years ago from Trinidad originally, but now in the USA

      Thanks, bugslady and good luck with your studies!

    • bugslady8949 profile image

      bugslady8949 6 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 image
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      kaltopsyd 6 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 6 years ago from Delray Beach, Florida

      Taking online classes also helps.

    • kaltopsyd profile image
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      kaltopsyd 6 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 6 years ago

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

    • kaltopsyd profile image
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      kaltopsyd 6 years ago from Trinidad originally, but now in the USA

      Um ok... lol :D

    • profile image

      Sleepiheadz 6 years ago

      Yay! Now I can stay...zzzzzzzzzzz

    • kaltopsyd profile image
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      kaltopsyd 6 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 6 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 image
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      kaltopsyd 6 years ago from Trinidad originally, but now in the USA

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

    • Ruchira profile image

      Ruchira 6 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 image
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      kaltopsyd 6 years ago from Trinidad originally, but now in the USA

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

    • praveenu profile image

      praveenu 6 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 image
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      kaltopsyd 7 years ago from Trinidad originally, but now in the USA

      Aww, sorry, Gemini. Thanks. :)

    • profile image

      Single_Gemini 7 years ago

      I wish i had this two years ago

    • kaltopsyd profile image
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      kaltopsyd 7 years ago from Trinidad originally, but now in the USA

      Wow, thanks, J! That's such a nice compliment!

      Agent, sadly, coffee only makes me sleep. lol. I'm just strange.

      Hubmu, that's great. Thanks.

      Thank you all for your comments!

    • hubmu profile image

      hubmu 7 years ago from BN

      Great tips, i'm going to apply this for my students ;-)

    • agent007 profile image

      agent007 7 years ago from Florida

      Good tips. Note taking always works for me and a large cup of coffee that I keep sipping.

    • profile image

      Jhendor 7 years ago

      One of the best hubs i've read in years. Great job

    • kaltopsyd profile image
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      kaltopsyd 7 years ago from Trinidad originally, but now in the USA

      lol. Wanderer, your comment really made me laugh. Looks like you ARE one of those who fell asleep in class. haha. I'm laughing too much to even reply to your comment properly. Thank you so much for this comment.

    • wandererh profile image

      David Lim 7 years ago from Singapore

      I have never fallen asleep in class. Period. Except during that boring English class with that boring Mrs Lee in primary 6 when I was up the whole night, or during Chiness lessons with Miss Yee, or Mr Tan during tutorial for network analysis.... God! I'm actually one of those who fall asleep in class!

    • kaltopsyd profile image
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      kaltopsyd 7 years ago from Trinidad originally, but now in the USA

      Definitely! Thanks, Ambition!

    • Ambition398 profile image

      Ambition398 7 years ago

      Note taking, that's best for sure :)

    • kaltopsyd profile image
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      kaltopsyd 7 years ago from Trinidad originally, but now in the USA

      You're right, Ronna. Those are some good points. Unfortunately, interactive classes are not always possible. A lot of college professors (Especially in LARGE colleges and universities) prefer to just stand there and lecture. It's horrible but they don't care. You're right about overeating- that will go more alone with sleep. And discussions go along with the whole iterract classroom thing.

      Thanks for commenting.

      -K. Alto

    • profile image

      Ronna - ronala88@hotmail.com 7 years ago

      There are some important issues that i think you could have left out.

      1) Interactive class were students should be given ample time to participate in class.

      2) Meals related. At times over eating as well as eating a lot of un-controlled carbohydrates as well as proteins can be a source of sleep.

      3) Allowing students times for discussions can also control sleep.

      4) Some of the examples used in African teaching are also far from reach of students. Besides beaming dreams, they are far from real. Examples that are indigenous i.e from with in reach also keep people alert in class.

    • kaltopsyd profile image
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      kaltopsyd 7 years ago from Trinidad originally, but now in the USA

      Thanks, Motivational Speaker! I'm glad you liked my article. Good luck tomorrow!

      Nicole, you're quite welcome. And thanks!

    • nicole.reilly profile image

      nicole.reilly 7 years ago from Austin, TX

      Thanks for the tips. I admit sometimes I felt sleepy during our class. Nice hub!

    • profile image

      Motivational Speaker 7 years ago

      The Article is really great.But it is too hard to maintain awake at classrooms. I always trying to sleep to early to wake up early but never gonna success.Thanks for the article i will try my best from tomorrow...Keep posting.

    • kaltopsyd profile image
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      kaltopsyd 7 years ago from Trinidad originally, but now in the USA

      Hi bayoulady,

      I'd tip my hat to you if I were wearing one. Raising small kids and going to school full time.. whew... Good for you! My godmother is doing medical school with 3 young kids. I don't know how you both do it.

      Hello, pretty. That IS a good one! haha. I'll try that next time.

    • prettydarkhorse profile image

      prettydarkhorse 7 years ago from US

      I use to pinch myself when I was in college, smile good one, Maita

    • bayoulady profile image

      bayoulady 7 years ago from Northern Louisiana,USA

      Brings back the old college days when I was raising small kids and going to school full time.I wanted to graduate with honors to set an example for my kids, and I did.(phi kappa phi and magna cum laude..) After supper , their baths, and bedtime for them, I'd study half the night. Pity. By class time I was sometimes zoned out.

      YOUR ADVICE: "Do not prop your head on your hand. This will give your body a sense of rest and INVITE sleep...." hummmmmmm....THAT would have been a big help!lol!

    • kaltopsyd profile image
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      kaltopsyd 7 years ago from Trinidad originally, but now in the USA

      Hehe. Thanks, D.Wong.

    • D.Wong profile image

      D.Wong 7 years ago

      Ha! Love it.

    • kaltopsyd profile image
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      kaltopsyd 7 years ago from Trinidad originally, but now in the USA

      Haha. Thanks, K9. Maybe I can submit it to my school magazine or something. Hmm... You all are putting ideas in my head. ;)

      m920621m,

      I'm glad I can be of help! I had to utilize ALL of my own tips today. Sadly... Thanks for commenting!

    • m920621m profile image

      m920621m 7 years ago from UK

      Just in time! Lately, I've been catching myself nodding during classes and I had no idea how to deal with this. Now I do and I'm really grateful. Thanks, kaltopsyd. It was very useful.

    • K9keystrokes profile image

      India Arnold 7 years ago from Northern, California

      Possibly this hub should be mailed to each new student and posted in the lunch room and in all classrooms so everyone can stay awake in class! Very good information Kim!

      K9

    • kaltopsyd profile image
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      kaltopsyd 7 years ago from Trinidad originally, but now in the USA

      Dear Ms. Audrey,

      I hate that feeling too. It's like you have absolutely no control over your own body. Horrible. Thanks for commenting!

    • kaltopsyd profile image
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      kaltopsyd 7 years ago from Trinidad originally, but now in the USA

      Hello CM,

      Ooh, history of Religions as a PhD class, huh? Yikes... Haha. So you're a doodler as well, huh? Great. Well since you had to take notes for your friend, that kept you awake right? Nice.

      Thanks for commenting!

    • kaltopsyd profile image
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      kaltopsyd 7 years ago from Trinidad originally, but now in the USA

      Hello Lizzy!

      A good night's sleep is one of the best preventative measures, one that I have yet to master. And how can I forget waka waka (wink wink).

    • kaltopsyd profile image
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      kaltopsyd 7 years ago from Trinidad originally, but now in the USA

      Sammy, not taking night classes after a full day of work is definitely a good point. Haha. And yes, hand positions... very influential, for lack of a better word. Thanks for your cool comment! :)

    • akirchner profile image

      Audrey Kirchner 7 years ago from Central Oregon

      Great info on how to stay awake in class - nothing is worse than knowing you are drifting off - at a concert, at a program - whatever. I hate that feeling so good advice. I'm rarely quiet or motionless enough to get that tired but then every once in a while when I AM motionless, it just catches up with me. Good tips!

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      Christina M. Castro 7 years ago from Baltimore,MD USA

      Hey, Kalto, this brings back memories when I had to take a History of Religions class in my first semester in college and the PhD. that was lecturing was very monotone and boring. My classmate was always running late to class and so she asked me to copy my notes for her, Well not only my photocopy of my notes did she receive but my FANCY Doodling as well!! :o)

    • LizzyBoo profile image

      LizzyBoo 7 years ago from Czech Republic

      Hello Kim!!!

      The most important is - get a good sleep over night! Then taking notes is very usefull and helpful. You have made up a great guide. Well done and do not forget WAKA WAKA

      LizzyBoo

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      Sammy 7 years ago from Australia

      I wish I had these tips before! Haha! Though, I have sat at the front almost my entire schooling (I like to think it is an advantageous position to sit) and yet I still manage to doze or my eyes get incredibly heavy.

      I guess a tip could be don't take night classes straight after a full day of work!! :)

      I never really thought about how hand positions could impact on our state of mind - I will keep it in mind when at uni next!! :P

      Thanks Kim!! :)

      It was a good read.

    • kaltopsyd profile image
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      kaltopsyd 7 years ago from Trinidad originally, but now in the USA

      Hello Venugopal. Point 8, I have never done. I may just have to tomorrow, seeing as I am still awake past midnight. I love teachers who have a good sense of humour and is not afraid to use it in a lecture. It's great and we all learn better too.

      Thanks for commenting!

    • VENUGOPAL SIVAGNA profile image

      VENUGOPAL SIVAGNA 7 years ago from India.

      Point No.8 is good. If a student cannot control his sleep in classroom, he may just walk away (with the teacher's permission) and return after a while.

      It is better if the teacher keep the students awake by combining jokes with lessons and keep the classes lively. Even that does not work, the teacher may walk away and make the students happy.

    • kaltopsyd profile image
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      kaltopsyd 7 years ago from Trinidad originally, but now in the USA

      Wow! Thanks, Tina! That's so kind of you. Your comment is much appreciated!

    • profile image

      tinamarie9884 7 years ago

      If I know anyone going to school and they have a problem staying awake, I am sending them to your hub. I do say you have some great ideas!!

    • kaltopsyd profile image
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      kaltopsyd 7 years ago from Trinidad originally, but now in the USA

      Oh, what a nice comment, Lady E. Thanks!

    • Lady_E profile image

      Elena 7 years ago from London, UK

      Great Tips. This should be included in Student Induction packs at the beginning of the Academic year.

      Thanks for the share.

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

      Aww, thanks Shil!

    • Shil1978 profile image

      Shil1978 7 years ago

      Kim, I so wish I had these tips when I was younger :) These are really wonderful tips! Thanks for sharing!!

    • kaltopsyd profile image
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      kaltopsyd 7 years ago from Trinidad originally, but now in the USA

      Dr. BJ, did you forget that I read Fokk University and left a comment too - especially since I was cross from repetitively swearing in my mind? ;) Sorry about these tips coming about. I was struggling myself to stay awake in Psychological Statistics today and I remembered my tips! Yay!

      Thanks for commenting!

    • drbj profile image

      drbj and sherry 7 years ago from south Florida

      Gee, how I wish I had these tips when I was attending BORING classes, Kimberly. I'm saving them though for the students who attend Fokk University (see hub) though of course they won't need them. Students in all our courses stay awake - OR ELSE!