Pulling an all-nighter, or close to one, is practically an inevitable part of a high schooler’s career—especially for students of a high caliber who don’t put down the books until they’ve mastered a topic or assignment. And as we all know, a side effect of staying up late is the near-impossible task of keeping our eyes open during class. Unfortunately, the best solution, and the one that reaps more benefits than just the lack-of-tiredness, getting an adequate amount of sleep, isn’t always possible. There are many students who go to sleep in the wee hours of the morning daily and have trouble staying awake during the day.
In my grade, there is one student who sleeps during the down time (and, well, the “not” down time) in every class, and is very well known for this “feat”. I advise you, at all costs, to not allow yourself to get to this point. Get on a consistent sleep and wake-up schedule right off the bat. Since bad habits tend to form a cycle, and once you begin to go to bed late, you will likely continue to do so. However, for the nights where going to sleep at a decent hour simply isn’t possible, I’ve shared with you some of the best tips for remaining awake and alert during the school day that follows—aside from consuming mass quantities of caffeine.
1. Allow your body enough time to wake up.
Waking up minutes before your bus or ride comes does not allow the body enough time to fully wake up, and therefore you’re bound to fall asleep again later on. Set your alarm for an earlier time than you anticipate getting out of bed so that you have time to adjust to the day and get in that “school-zone”.
2. Eat breakfast.
It’s natural to try to squeeze in every last minute of sleep in the morning when you’ve gone to bed only a few hours before waking up. Consequently, many people skip breakfast since they don’t have time for it. Not only is breakfast the most important meal of the day because your body has gone a long time without fuel during the night, but consuming enough energy will help to subdue the sleepiness. It’s well worth it to wake up a few minutes earlier even for a simple meal such as yogurt and a piece of fruit. (The less artificial the food, the greater the energy it will provide you with!)
3. Exercise before school.
Though it might be hard to find the time for this, practicing yoga, doing a few squats, running for a couple minutes on the treadmill, or any other quick activity before school will get your heart pumping and boost your energy level.
4. Drink a glass of cold water (or splash some on your face).
Since you might not have time to take a cool shower in the morning, splash some cold water on your face when you get out of bed—this may not be the most pleasurable sensation, but it’ll certainly perk you up. Drinking a glass of cold water can provide a similar benefit, and this is easily accessible to do throughout the day.
4. Interact in class.
Not speaking in class is the easiest way to zone out. By forcing yourself to volunteer, ask questions, and play an active role in a class discussion, it is guaranteed that you pay attention and stay awake.
5. Leave the classroom and walk around.
When you find yourself dozing off, ask your teacher to go to the bathroom or to get a drink of water. Sitting in class for so long can prove tiresome, and by walking around you will reenergize your body to learn.
Sleep deprivation is hard to conquer, but hopefully with these tips, you’ll be able to stay awake long enough to revel in the sweet victory of that essay you aced the night before.