Late night studying (partying)? Recovering from first wave of the flu this season? The “Breaking Bad” series finale aired the night before your chem exam? Whatever your reason, staying up late, or even pulling a classic all-nighter can make things tough for the next day or two.
Take care of yourselves, Prospies! In sickness and in health, as fellow students, we know how hard it can be to get up the next morning, resisting the siren call that is your memory foam mattress.
We don’t advise sleeping in for two reasons: 1) skipping class is rarely helpful as there are so many things said during lectures that are invaluable to miss, 2) sleeping in actually doesn’t help you to reenergize, but hitting the hay earlier the next time you go to bed will make you feel “caught up”. The first class you face after a long night is the day’s equivalent of the dreaded Monday mornings. Rounded up from college students all over, here are some of the best and funky tips to stay awake during class.
- Eye drops: My personal favorite, eyedrops are to your eyes, as coffee is to your bloodstream. It’s one of the easiest ways to feel refreshed instantly.
- Caffeine: We have serious caffeine addictions here at TP. If the baristas start to recognize you…you’re doing it right. In preferred order: coffee, tea, and–last resort–energy drinks.
- Eat food: If your teacher or professor allows it, take food to class to keep up your blood sugar levels. Anything along the lines of trail mix with protein and carbs are great sources for quick energy.
- Ask questions! This is a given: clarify what you don’t understand, and maximize what you’re getting in from each lecture.
- Pressure points: Two of the best, and conveniently subtle, pressure points to keep you up are your earlobes, and wrists.
For your ear, while it may look like you’re just leaning your cheek on your wrist, rub the area right above your lobe (or where a traditional ear piercing would be) between your thumb and index finger. Not only is it fine motor movement to keep you active, but also invites blood to rush up towards your ear, and therefore, to your head.
My roommate let me in on her trick: putting the inside of your wrists against something cold: the metal bar of your desk, the desktop, your laptop – she swears the pressure point here will keep you awake! (We get through Monday morning chem lab lectures together, so trust us, it works.)
- Small, repetitive movements: Foot tapping and chewing gum, just like rubbing the pressure point in your ear, “wakes up” those muscles, returning blood to those areas and reinvigorating your blood circulation.
- Where to sit in lecture/class: FRONT ROWS. ALWAYS. No matter how exhausted you are, you will probably be too terrified out of your mind to dare and fall asleep in the front. Second best bet: Middle! Stay away from doors (too tempting to sneak out, or get distracted by people walkingin), and from windows. Yes, windows just a world of daydreaming asking to happen. And deadzone are the “cheap seats”, or back rows. Yes. Facebook. Facebook everywhere.
- Friends: But seriously, consider asking the person next to you to just poke you (punch you?) if you doze off. Heaven knows that’s happened to me already. We made pacts to always sit in the front rows (see number seven).
Sometimes, the best thing you can do is get through as much as you can, and catch up on sleep and work earlier in the night, then crash. Good luck Prospies!