Another long night studying. Another early morning class. Another day of feeling like you need a two-day nap. You cannot afford to miss any classes. You cannot afford to get a bad grade. On top of everything else going on in your life, you know that this is most important. Yet, your eyes feel heavy and you are dying to know how to stay awake in class.

Don’t worry. What you are going through is completely normal. Nearly every other student feels the way you do at one point during their school career. So what are your options? What can you possibly do besides hold your eyes open with toothpicks?

You have found the place for that answer! Below, you will find some quick ideas not only how to stay awake in class but ideas to take with you into real, everyday life that is your future.

Top 20 Practical & Effective Tips on How to Stay Awake in Class

  1. A quick pick me up is a cool shower. Try to get this in shortly before you have to be in class. Start with your normal wash up, then turn down the heat, and let the invigorating cool water do its job! Not only will this get your day going and your energy up, you’ll feel fresh and know you smell good too.

  2. Take a seat as close to the front of the class as possible. This can help in a few ways. First, you will hear everything; the noise itself should keep you awake. Second, you’re more likely to be called on; you cannot sleep while you’re answering questions. Third, you won’t want to fall asleep while sitting directly in front of the teacher!

  3. Hydrate yourself with some fresh cold water. I know the “go-to” morning is a fresh cup of Joe but water is not only better for you, it’s refreshing. A cold drink of water will wake you right up!

  4. If your eyes are irritated from all those late nights and early mornings, try eye drops. Whether you just can’t seem to get the “sleepies” out of your eyes, or they are dry from being open too many hours, an eye drop refresher may be how to stay awake in class for you.

  5. Get engaged in your classes; especially the ones you are not all that interested in. If your teacher is an absolute bore, make a game out of remembering as many keywords he says. Make a mental cartoon out of how he or she says these words. This may end up being a little fun. If the class itself is boring, try finding another classmate who feels the same and has a contest to see who can remember the most out of each lecture. Making a game out of boring tasks will not only keep you engaged now, you may be thankful for this tip in the working world ahead!

  6. Practice writing or even doodle a bit. Draw something that this class makes you think of. Practice your signature. Keep your hand moving. If you are moving, even subtly, you are less likely to zone out and end up passing out, during class.

  7. Or, don’t just doodle but actually write down what the teacher is talking about. Take notes to study for later. This will not only keep you awake, it will keep you engaged and give you something to refer back to. Make an outline of what is being said. Make your note-taking interesting for yourself. You may even realize you don’t understand something and give you something to ask your teacher to clarify.

  8. If you know you can’t concentrate, at that moment, on what is being taught try focusing elsewhere. Try counting the tiles on the ceiling or how many unique items you can see on the teacher’s desk. Keep your mind occupied on something, anything, to keep your brain awake (and your eyes).

  9. How are you sitting in your seat? Are you too comfortable? Are you slouching? Put yourself in a different position that makes to think to stay in it. Sit up straight, shoulders back, and chest forward. Concentrating on posture may be a great way for you to be able to stay awake during class.

  10. Stay engaged in the class by asking questions. Look deeper into what is being said. Again, you could make a game of it by seeing if you can stump the teacher. This is not an easy task and will take a lot of thought, which will also keep you awake!

  11. Are you too comfortable in the clothes you’re wearing? Are you feeling too snug and warm? Try wearing layers of clothes so you can remove a layer if you get too warm and comfy. This will also come in handy if another class is too cold by putting the layers back on. However, if you are one of those people who prefer their bedroom at a cooler temperature to sleep, this may not be your best how to stay awake in class tip.

  12. If layers are still not enough to keep you cool, try sitting closest to a window. Hopefully, you will get enough cooler air to keep you awake.

  13. Try fidgeting to stay awake and alert. Bounce your leg. Tap your foot (quietly, being found a disturbance in class is not a good way to stay awake). Twiddle your thumbs. Do whatever little movement you can think of to keep you moving so you are not able to nod off.

  14. Try eating a high protein snack with some fruit. The protein will help your brain function better and the fruit will give you a natural sugar lift.

  15. Suck on mints or chew a piece of gum. Keeping your mouth busy, and keeping something in it, will force you to stay awake.

  16. Go for a short stroll to the restroom. Walking will get your blood moving and pep you up.

  17. Try stretching the muscles that tend to stay in the same position while sitting in the classroom. This can be as subtle as rolling your neck and shoulders and stretching your arms. Or if you need a little more stretching, take advantage of that walk to the bathroom and do some leg and back stretches.

  18. Depending how long your lunch break is, try taking a short nap. A mere 15-minute nap can recharge you enough to help you get through the rest of your classes. Unwinding with a short cat nap immediately after school will also help you focus better, especially if you have class work to catch up on or tests to study for.

  19. Ok, this may sound strange but try some acupressure stimulation. Try tapping or massaging the top of your head, just below your knees, and on the bottom center of your foot (right next to the ball of your foot). If you are feeling stressed from a lack of sleep, try massaging the back of your earlobe or right between your eyebrows (just above the bridge of your nose).

  20. The best bit of advice I can give you on how to stay awake in class is to stop daydreaming during class. When your mind starts wandering to something besides your class, and you are already tired, you are just begging your eyes to close. Focus on where you are and what you are doing in your class. Daydreaming is, by far, the worst thing to do when the only thing you want to do is falling asleep!


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