Stay Awake in Class Without the Coffee

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June 1st, 2009

Congratulations, you have managed to trudge all the way to class and are in your seat before your professor can begin lecturing. However, all this work will be for nothing if you cannot keep your eyes open and your mind from wandering during class. Here are some ways that you can stay awake in class without resorting to nursing a cup of coffee or popping open a can of Red Bull.

The most obvious way to ensure that you’ll stay awake during class is also one of the least heeded ways: going to bed earlier. You are falling asleep in class because your body is tired. If you simply allow your body to have the time it needs to rest each night, you will not have to battle the Sandman each morning. Most people typically need about seven to eight hours of sleep each night to be fully functional in the morning. If you find that you are constantly staying up too late watching movies, gabbing with friends, or doing nothing productive at all, try experimenting for a week with going to bed earlier. You may be surprised to find just how refreshed you feel in the mornings, even if you were never a morning person before. The more you regularly give your body enough rest each night, the better you will feel each morning because your internal clock will synch itself with your new sleep schedule instead of being confused by your previous erratic one.

Eating breakfast is another too-often skipped step when it comes to staving off the lecture snoozing. You do not have to make time to scarf down pancakes, eggs, and bacon each morning (in fact, this is not recommended). Instead, you can reap the rewards of eating a healthy breakfast with something as simple as a small bowl of cereal or even a slice of bread with peanut butter and an apple on the go. The key is to give your body the healthy fuel it needs to begin the day instead of starting your day while running on empty. When you have a good breakfast in your stomach, your brain will have what it needs to stay sharp and focused. In addition, you’ll be better equipped to pay attention in class if you are not preoccupied with how hungry you feel.

Finally, sit closer to the front of the classroom. It is far too easy to stop paying attention when you are all the way at the back of the class because you will not feel as engaged as the other students. When you sit closer to the front, you will feel more forced to pay attention because your professor is much closer to you.

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