How to Deal When You Can’t Get Enough Sleep

College is a busy time. Between studying and doing assignments for class, working, participating student organizations, spending time with friends, eating, and doing all of the other things that we want and need to do, sleep can sometimes escape our grasp. Some nights, I have too many assignments due or I am so busy that I forget to sleep. This is not healthy or good – the typical body is supposed to get around eight hours of sleep a night. Sometimes, though, we have to function on less. If we don’t get enough sleep the night before, we can’t just not show up to class or our other commitments. Here are some ways to stay alert and awake that don’t involve caffeine, so it will be easier to sleep as soon as possible.


If you’re feeling particularly foggy, sometimes taking a walk can help to clear your head and make you feel more awake. I actually had a professor who told our class that if they felt they couldn’t pay attention or that they were falling asleep, they should go for a walk outside and come back into class. Walking has been proven to improve your mood also.

Cold Showers/Baths

If exhaustion hits you really quickly and you’re working at home, jumping into the shower and not letting the water get warm can wake your whole body up very quickly. Even splashing cold water on your face can help too,

Breathing Exercises

The 4, 7, 8 breath increases mental clarity and focus. You sit upright, put your tongue right behind your front teeth, and inhale through your nose on a count of four, hold your breath for a count of seven, and exhale completely through your mouth on a count of eight. Repeat this cycle three times.

Working Out

Doing cardio is one of the best ways to wake the body up – this is why I like running in the morning so much. Hitting the gym before starting work will definitely help to make you more alert. There are even YouTube tutorials for energizing yoga, if you need a low-impact workout.