Image from Pexels.

Image from Pexels.

It’s that time again: right after lunch when you’re all warm and fuzzy because of that fantastic (or not-so-fantastic) sandwich you just ate. Your eyes are starting to droop and you feel your head bobbing up and down. Uh-uh this will not do. This is your toughest AP class with the teacher who goes through five PowerPoint slides a minute. His voice drones on and on as you try to keep your eyes open and copy the excessive amount of words on the screen… What feels like a couple seconds later, you feels something wet on your arm. You look down and see squiggly lines all over the sheet and your teacher has somehow moved forward fifteen slides. What in the world happened?

You fell asleep, silly! Don’t worry you’re not the only one. You could say that I am notorious for sleeping in class. I’m a professional sleeper in classes (I know it’s not a good thing). A couple of weeks ago I almost fell out of my chair. I can bob my head like I’m at a rock concert; you would think that I would get whiplash or something. Nope. One of my teachers would whack my desk with a meter stick; I would sleep right through it. So why in the world would I be giving advice on how to stay awake? Well, I decided to take all the things that I do that may cause sleepiness and list them, so that you could avoid them. You are welcome.

1.Going to bed late. Do not ever go to bed at four o’ clock because you were watching baby videos on YouTube all night/morning. “Oh, just one more….” Never. NO. Those little babies will suck you in and make you watch more until it’s the next day. You will snore through all your classes. It’s the truth. I speak from experience. Do what you need to do and do not get distracted by their adorable drooling faces. Check out this article for more ways to stay focused. Check out the National Sleep Foundation’s page for teens for more incentive to go to bed earlier.

2. Not budgeting your time. So if you’re staying up late and it’s not to spend hours on the internet, I’m going to assume that it’s because you just have way too much on your plate. You’re to-do list probably sounds like this: AP Physics homework, read 30 pages for AP Literature, 25 problems for math, practice an hour of trumpet, make that flyer for Science Olympiad, run the Key Club, and after that you have some other things that wouldn’t fit on the paper. If all these activities are making you go to bed past midnight, you might want to reassess. Maybe you don’t need to overload yourself with all the stuff. Do what you can handle. Sometimes it’s not worth the stress. Check out Senior Editorial Intern Jessica Swanson’s article on too many clubs and over commitment here.

3. Being really warm. Warm=Bed=Sleep. It’s true. If you are feeling warm in your classroom, doesn’t it evoke memories of your warm bed? It does for me. I’ve found that the colder I am, the less likely I am to fall asleep. So how do feel cold? Well, don’t wear gigantic sweaters and do sit next to the malfunctioning heater that is blowing cold air. Also, eat ice cream at lunch or maybe get a cold drink. Boom. You’re wide awake. Yes, that was a reference to the Katy Perry song. Sorry, but not sorry.

4. Lacking a friend who will keep you awake. Well, I actually do have a friend who does this for me, Community Outreach Intern, Cary Zhang (no we are not related). She usually sits in front of me because of the whole alphabetical order thing and she will punch me in the leg whenever she detects that I am falling asleep. Yes, she somehow detects it. I don’t know how, but she will always punch me at the right moment. Once I was called down to the Guidance office (I can hear the “Ooooo”s.” It was not related to my sleeping). Unfortunately, right at that moment, I was out cold. I did not respond when my teacher told me to go down to the office. Eventually, after multiple punches from Cary, I woke up. You can always count on your friends to wake you up. Well, some laugh and try to record videos, but most try to keep you awake.

5. Being dehydrated. It’s true. Dehydration can cause sleepiness. According to WebMD, “dehydration can cause blood to thicken, forcing the heart to pump harder to carry blood to your cells and organs and resulting in fatigue.” That’s right, so drink that water!

That’s all for today. Stay awake, my friends.


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the author

Jenny Zhang is a freshman at the University of Pennsylvania, who is thinking about majoring in economics (but that is definitely not set in stone). She has many talents such as falling asleep anywhere at any time (this can be verified by her roommate) and procrastinating. Jenny likes to spend a lot of her time on YouTube watching baby videos and obsessing over anything Jeremy Lin-related while eating various forms of food that are high in sugar and/or fat. She is currently trying to learn how to play Ultimate Frisbee to avoid the Freshman 15 and attempting to perfect her street-crossing techniques. Her spirit animal is a panda. You can follow her on Twitter @JenKnee_Z

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  1. alisan on December 2, 2015

    thank you i will now be able to stay awake in class and have more time to sleep

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