Student Life

8 Ways to Stay Awake and Alert in Class

Screen Shot 2013-09-18 at 6.17.27 PMAre you the type of person who stays up late, rolls out of bed a mere 30 minutes before class, and then struggles to stay alert during lecture? It’s a conundrum – you want to focus as much as possible, but you’re slowly losing the battle against your drooping eyelids. To make the most of lecture, follow these simple suggestions for getting through a never-ending class, even if it’s the morning after a never-ending night.

Before Class:

Exercise: Make an effort to do some jumping jacks or ab exercises in your room beforehand. Not only will it help keep you in shape, but it will also get your blood flowing and help prepare you for the day ahead. 

Eat: Calories give you energy. Grab breakfast, lunch, or even just a granola bar from the vending machine to snack on before class. It’ll make a world of difference.

Avoid the “Carb Coma”: Studies have shown that high-carb diets contribute to excessive sleepiness, so when you’re eating before class make sure to skip the yogurt, sweets, and grains. Instead, choose foods high in protein to give you a boost of energy. 

Music: When you’re traveling from one class to the next, plug in your headphones and blast some of your favorite tunes. The noise will send a shock to your body.

During Class:

Take notes: Just sitting there staring at the professor while he or she drones on about the subject might put you to sleep. Instead, try taking notes – it will keep your hand moving and your mind working. The more detailed the notes, the better.

Caffeine, caffeine, caffeine: Students don’t just carry around Starbucks cups for decoration – caffeine will wake you up.

Movement: It’s difficult to keep your body moving when you’re sitting in class, but even simple things like tapping your foot can help you stay awake. Step out of the room for a bit – use the bathroom, take a walk through the building or look at some fliers on the bulletin boards. Just make sure you don’t miss anything important while you’re gone.

Participate: Staying engaged in the discussion is a great way to stay awake. You (hopefully) won’t fall asleep mid-sentence, so be sure to contribute comments and ask questions.

By Caleigh Gran

Photo courtesy