Life-Saving Ways to Stay Awake in Class

If you’re anything like me, you understand the struggles of not getting enough sleep on a consistent basis. Between midterms (or even just daily classwork) and keeping a thriving social life, sleep takes a backseat on the college student list of priorities. Going to bed between 1 and 5 a.m. every day begins to take a toll when you have to wake up mere hours later and sit through hours of lectures that may or may not be very interesting. Because of this, it can be very difficult to stay awake in class. Here are my tried and true ways to stay awake in class that will save your life!

1. Drink Water

Drinking water helps to wake up your brain, especially in the early morning. In fact, you should keep a bottle of water next to your bed to drink right when you wake up to start your day off right. It is always good to stay hydrated, and the act of pulling out your water to take a drink throughout class will keep you moving and awake.

2. Take A Mental Break

If you really start dozing off, ask to go to the bathroom. Whether you need to use it or not, it’s good to take a short walk to move around. You can take a few minutes outside of class to stretch or just walk around. One of my best tips is to watch a short youtube video or something you find entertaining. Even just a few minutes of engaging in subject matter outside of your class and that you’re actually interested in will wake up your brain enough to keep you awake a little longer when you return back to class.

3. Play Music

If you can, try to find a moment or two to play the loudest and most obnoxious song you know at full volume. You can even do this when you take your mental break on the way to the bathroom or coming back to class. The loud sounds should jolt you awake enough to keep your brain going for the rest of the class. Some of my personal favorite song options are “Take A Step Back” by XXXTENTACION, “It’s Everyday Bro” by Team 10, “BINGO” by Turtles or anything screamo.

4. Use Essential Oils

Peppermint is a natural stimulant, so if you have any peppermint essential oils, take a drop and dab it on the back of your ear to keep the scent near your nose. The fragrance should help keep you awake. Similarly, if you have a perfume with peppermint undertones (if that exists?) this will work as well!

5. Chew Gum

With the same logic from #4, use peppermint gum or mints to keep your mind stimulated! In addition, the act of chewing will keep your mouth moving to help you stay awake and engaged as well. You can similarly bring a small snack to eat like nuts or dried fruit to achieve the same purpose.

6. Take “Mini Naps”

If you really can’t stay awake, take mini naps. Every now and then, close your eyes for 3 seconds instead of the usual 1 when blinking. This will give you a very slight rest and allow your eyelids to close for a second instead of fighting them to stay awake. This should keep you awake long enough to make it through your class or at least until you can take an actual nap (30-90 minutes max!)!

Though everyone will say the best way not to fall asleep in class is to have a consistent schedule and get enough sleep, I understand and have witnessed how utterly impossible this is for the majority of college students. However, with these techniques, I’ve managed to get through my classes even when I felt like sleeping for a year, and hopefully, they can help you too!