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Caffeine-free Methods to Stay Awake

Although I am a coffee drinker, there are days when I feel like I need more caffeine to keep myself awake. That was the reason why I decided to try an energy drink last week. The energy drink consisted of 200mg of caffeine, an insane amount, and it indeed kept me awake. But…not in a good way. At first, I did not feel the effect on me. Then it hit me at around 1 am. Weirdly, I started to feel extremely tired at first. Yet, my body would not let me fall asleep because I felt shaky and jittery. My heart was pounding so fast and I struggled to fall asleep for hours in my bed. After spending a restless night, I decided to try healthier ways to overcome drowsiness, and I would like to share some of my tips with you. 

  1. Keep your body active

Sitting all day in front of the desk may not be the best way to stay focused. Sometimes, taking a short break to walk around or go outside for a run can help refresh your brain and keep you attentive. If you do not have the energy or time to do this, even a simple stretch can help you stay awake. Keeping your body physically active can effectively boost your energy and motivation to work.

  1. Cool yourself

It can be easier to become tired when you are feeling a bit warm and cozy. On the contrary, keeping your body temperature slightly cooler than usual can help you stay awake and alert. One way to do this is by opening your window for a fresh, cold breeze to sneak in. Another way is taking a cold shower. Letting the cold water run over your head will help you stay awake. Also, instead of sipping on energy drinks, you can try drinking cold ice water. The coldness of ice can help prevent you from falling asleep.

  1. Take a power nap

When you’re tired, the most straightforward, yet effective way may be to take a short, high-quality nap. Set up your alarm for around 20 minutes, turn on some calming music, and let your eyes and body relax. After that nap, you can be energized again to start working.  

  1. Alternate subjects  

An effective way to keep yourself focused on your work and studies is to alternate subjects after certain time intervals. This method can prevent you from getting bored and exhausted over one particular task and refresh your brain by moving on to a different task. 

As the midterm season approaches, the number of stressed students increases and so does the number of purchased energy drinks. At libraries, students try hard to stay focused and study late into the night, fighting their lives to not fall asleep. The easiest way to keep themselves awake is simply consuming caffeine, but high caffeine intake can lead to negative short-term and long-term effects on your body. So, before you buy another energy drink, try some of the listed methods first! It may be more helpful than you think. Good Luck with Midterms everyone.

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Iris Choi

UCSD '23

Hello! I'm Iris. At school, I am a cognitive science student who studies interaction design with the aspiration to become a UX/product designer. Aside from school and work, I like talking with friends, reading good novels, going to new cafes, watching classic movies, admiring bts, painting without thinking, randomly going to the beach, and so much more…
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