College is the first big jump into adulthood for many teens. You're on your own for the first time, away from parental guidelines, learning how to balance work, classes, and studying with life.
If you're not doing so well on the balance part, however, you might feel run down and exhausted trying to keep up. If you're one of those tired students looking to stop nodding off in class, keep reading for our top nine tips to get your energy back!
1. Don't Eat a Large Meal Before Classes or Studying
Ever had a "food coma"? It isn't just a Thanksgiving turkey phenomenon.
Large meals, especially those heavy in carbs, release huge amounts of serotonin in the brain. While it makes you feel good, too much of it also causes a release of melatonin, the chemical that regulates our circadian rhythm and makes us feel drowsy.
A light snack like an apple or almonds can help you stay awake and focused, but avoid large meals right before you're ducking into that hour-long lecture.
2. Study Smart
If you're finding yourself snoozing when you're supposed to be studying, make sure you aren't sabotaging yourself with your environment.
Don't sit in your bed to study, sit in a chair at a desk or go to the library or a coffee shop. Make sure the lighting is bright, and the room isn't too warm. A poorly lit, toasty room makes for a better nap environment than a study one.
3. Drink More Water
Most people walk around at least mildly dehydrated, which is a problem if you're trying to stay awake. One of the common symptoms of dehydration is fatigue.
Taking a water bottle to class with you and sipping on it all day long won't just keep you hydrated. The simple act of taking little drinks of water can keep you more alert while you're trying to pay attention.
If you have trouble remembering to drink water, consider adding something flavored to your bottle.
4. Take a Shower Before Class
If you're waiting until the last minute to throw on your clothes and dash to class, thinking you'll get the most sleep you can, you're actually probably contributing to continued fatigue throughout the day.
Being awake and being alert aren't the same thing. Trying to go from fast asleep to fully functioning in a few minutes as you dash off to class eating a pop tart means you'll probably be nodding off 20 minutes into class.
Instead, take an extra half hour to get up and shower. The hot water will help you and your system fully awake. Bonus if you take time to grab a cup of coffee and a proper healthy breakfast as well!
5. Find a Helper
If despite your best efforts you're still having trouble staying awake, consider finding a supplemental helper for tired students.
For instance, keeping a tin of strong breath mints and popping one every time you feel your attention wandering can help pull you back to focus. Gum or candy you can suck on could also work.
If you're really struggling, consider a natural energy supplement that can give you a boost of energy for those jam-packed days of classes and studying.
6. Take Notes
Even if you don't have to, taking notes can help keep you focused on your class. If your brain is being forced to do some work, it will be less likely to want to daydream or doze off.
Plus, you'll thank yourself at test time when you're better prepared with your diligent note-taking!
7. Take a Walk or Workout
If you're really having a hard time in class, excuse yourself and take a brisk walk through the hallways to get your blood pumping. The bit of exertion will help snap you awake.
Establishing and sticking to a workout routine at least a few times a week can do even more. Studies show that regular workouts of just 30 minutes a day lead to improved sleep—meaning you'll feel more rested at the start of your day instead of scrambling to stay awake throughout it like the rest of the tired students around you.
If you have time to work out first thing in the morning and then shower before heading off for your day, you'll find you stay more alert for the entirety of it.
8. Go to Bed Earlier
I know, I know. It's college and staying up late to party and cram for tests is part of the fun.
But if your lack of sleep cuts into your health and grades, it may be time to test your habits and form some new ones, like getting to bed at a decent time.
If you're constantly falling into bed in the wee hours of the morning, get tough with yourself and develop healthier sleeping habits. Save the late nights for mornings that don't involve trying to get up for class.
9. Keep Your Brain Awake
If your professor allows it, consider listening to isochronic tones or brain-entrainment.
Isochronic tones change your brain waves, allowing them to function at a different level. If you can play them on low in one ear while listening to your class, you might find it easier to pay attention.
They're also a game-changer while studying. You can find many isochronic tracks on YouTube.
Help for Tired Students
If despite going to bed earlier, studying smarter, and trying to create healthy habits to balance your sleep, you're still struggling not to nod off, it might be time to find a healthy, natural supplement to add to your daily routine.
Check out Pure Lyft for a clean caffeine boost that tastes great and helps tired students stay alert through even the most tedious classes!
It comes in a variety of flavors and the small packs are easy to carry with you so you can get an energy boost whenever and wherever a slump occurs.