We’ve all pulled all nighters once or twice before (well for me that’s more like once or twice a week) or have even only had a few hours of sleep to run on, but that makes staying awake in class the next day nearly impossible. So since I have an unhealthy habit of pulling all nighters, I’ve been able to come up with a few tips and tricks that will help you make it through the next day. A lot of these you may have already heard of, but they seriously help.
HOW NOT TO FALL ASLEEP DURING CLASS/LECTURE:
1.Drink Water:When I pull all nighter’s I typically bring a 24oz bottle of water to class the next day and make it my goal to drink all of it during class. Why? It gives you something to do, and when you have to pee you are not going to fall asleep.
2. Tap your hands to a rhythm:Make the rhythm more complex as you go. Here’s a Youtube Example. Obviously that would be really disruptive during class, just modify it to make it quiet, discrete and so that way it won’t catch the attention of your professor. I usually just use my index fingers on my lap.
3.Chew Cinnamon Flavored Gum: chew with your mouth closed though! It’s already been proven that cinnamon helps with memory so chewing on something that also has a bit of a kick to it will definitely stimulate your senses and keep you more alert in class. Peppermint flavored gum also keeps you awake, but cinnamon flavored is killing two birds with one stone by helping you recall information better.
4. Eat Protein!Your body is working in overdrive now and you need to supply it with the fuel it needs. Soft boiled eggs are a great choice, but the typical scrambled eggs will work too.
5. Eat an apple! Coffee provides almost no caloric energy, so if you drink only coffee to keep you going, you’ll quickly end up with low blood sugar which will exacerbate your tiredness. An apple will supply enough carbohydrate energy for a quick start because it contains fast-acting sucrose and glucose. Apples also have fructose which takes longer to digest, which provides stable energy for a longer period than a cup of coffee (with no sugar) would. The digestible fiber in an apple is also going to expand and make you feel full so you won’t have to buy something from the vending machine and bog yourself down with nasty chemicals and preservatives. Go apples!
5.Play Tetris:This keeps your brain active, but be sure to be listening while playing! Only do this if your professor posts lecture online after class or if you can borrow goodqualitynotes from a friend. I also wouldn’t recommend doing this if your class size is on the smaller end. My general psychology course had 300 students so I was easily able to get away with playing tetris on long days.
6. In between classes, walk fast:Neurological based research has shown that even small bits of exercise will help keep you more awake in class and even help you retain more information. I’m not saying walk as fast as you can and plow people over, Just walk briskly and lengthen your stride a little bit to get your heart pumping and your mind stimulated. If your classes are right next to each other and you have time to kill, walk to the bathroom and back, or the vending machine and back, anything that’s a bit of a distance away!
7.Hold your breath: If none of the above has worked for you and you feel your eyes getting heavy and your head nodding. Hold your breath for 25 seconds. This forces your body to send more oxygen to the brain after you start breathing again and refocus again.