It is that time of the day and your class has just started. The teacher is already in class busy taking you through the day’s lesson. You feel tired and unable to grasp anything, which is not normal for you whenever in school. Hardly 10 minutes into the lesson, your mind begins to drift off. Before you know it, you are deep asleep, dreaming of what can only be narrated by you. Your dream is cut short by a bang on your head by the teacher.
So you wake up. But instead of the beautiful pictures on your bedroom wall, you are surrounded by laughter from your classmates. You promise not to embarrass yourself again.
Hardly 5 minutes after the embarrassment, another bang comes through. This time though, you are frogmarched out of the classroom and you start wondering who could have bewitched you. You are out on your own trying to find out how not to be tired at school.
Relax, you are not alone. This post has been specifically put together to help you overcome the drowsiness in class.
Why do you feel tired and sleepy in school?
Nothing really seems to be wrong with you.
No, you aren’t bewitched that you find yourself tired and sleepy at school even when your energy for the day seems high.
It is just a little bit of a lifestyle problem. And you will get to know why you find yourself in this vicious circle.
Lack of sufficient sleep. Many students tend to fall asleep in class due to a lack of sufficient sleep. A teenager requires a sleep duration of at least 9.5 hours a day. In most cases, as a teenager, you end up using most of your time for homework and watching your favorite TV programs. This leaves little time for sleep. On other occasions, you find yourself adopting different sleep schedules daily, hence interfering with your circadian rhythm. This affects your body so much. In most cases, you will feel drowsy and sleepy, even in situations where your life depends on it. No, I am just joking.
Eating a large meal just before a lesson. This also contributes a lot to the drowsiness you encounter during lessons. The body will be using a lot of energy to digest the food in your stomach, hence making you tired.
Boring, one-way communication lectures. On other occasions, you find yourself in boring classes with one-way communication from the teacher. Most tutors have not mastered the art of making students active in class through questions and answers, discussions, and so forth. These teachers dominate the whole session and talk throughout without leaving room for students to stretch or ask a question. It is even worse if the teacher doesn’t use any jokes or has a lullaby voice.
Poor ventilation in the classroom. Nothing beats good ventilation and sufficient fresh air circulation, especially on a summer afternoon. However, a stuffy classroom environment brings with it drowsiness that makes the students be in the spirit of dozing off. Worse still is when the students were from an activity like running that makes their body sweat.
Students being uninterested in the topic being studied. The students could find themselves in a class studying something they don’t like. Sleeping seems like the only option in this case. This could be as a result of missing a previous class that was a buildup to the current topic. It could also mean that the topic is difficult for the student. It is even worse if the student is not a fan of that subject.
How then can you avoid being tired and sleepy at school?
Various things could come in handy when fighting sleep during class time. Some of the suggestions here demand lifestyle change. Others come in handy at that time when sleep seems to have taken a toll on you.
Drink lots of water
Take water throughout the day. This is known to aid in oxygen circulation in the body, which is important for your brain to remain active. A dehydrated body tends to be tired and give room to drowsiness to set in.
Splash water on your face
Sneak out of the class briefly and splash your face with cold water. The contact between the cold water and your skin stimulates the brain making you active, hence loss of sleep.
Start a conversation with a friend
Conversations keep us active. Engaging in a conversation with a friend will keep your brain active. It will enable you to fight off the sleep for a while. Friends will also help to keep you in check should you fall asleep while the lectures are in progress.
Participate in class sessions actively
Take up the central role in ensuring that you take part in the class activities. Ensure that you sit in the front seat (seriously). Engage with the teacher by asking questions and attempting all the questions asked by the teacher. This can involve lifting up your hands when a question is asked. Suggest to the teacher that they should introduce sessions of discussion if they are only concerned with giving lectures without any student involvement.
Take a deep breath to make you alert
A deep breath helps to expand your chest and enable a fresh stream of air into your lungs. This in return ensures that your brain gets sufficient oxygen hence being active. A deep breath also gives you a chance to exercise your mind, by engaging it, hence increasing your concentration level.
Take notes actively
Taking notes during class time is known to increase activity levels. During this time, your body is actively engaged in coordinating your hands and the mind so as to write relevant statements. This way, chances of falling asleep are reduced to a minimum. You also get notes to refer back to later after the class, what a win!
Walk around during or after class sessions
Engage your body in an active session by walking around before or after classes. If you feel sleepy during the class session, ask the teacher for permission and walk around or rush to the washroom. This activity alone will ensure that your body is active hence increasing the concentration level.
Chew gum (seriously)
Research has shown that when your mouth is busy, your mind is active. Chewing gum is one way of keeping your mouth busy. This in return activates certain parts of the brain which essentially enables you to fight off the sleep. That piece of chewing gum in your pocket holds a lot of power in engaging your brain. It will keep you off the embarrassment that comes with dozing off in class.
Take a shower
It can be a challenge in a classroom set up to take a shower when you feel sleepy. However, try to take a shower before going to class especially on that hot afternoon. A cool shower will keep you rejuvenated and refreshed throughout the class sessions.
Get enough sleep every night
Lack of sufficient sleep is one of the causes of sleep in the classroom. To counter this, you need sufficient sleep. You also need to stick to one routine of sleep in order to get quality sleep and sufficient rest.
Nothing beats a short nap
Despite all the above, nothing seems to work and you already believe that you are bewitched. Relax, maybe you actually need to take a short nap and everything will be back to normal. However, how you will convince the teacher that you have to take a nap as he proceeds with the class is upon you.
Things to avoid to stay awake and refreshed in school
Falling asleep during class time is actually an embarrassment. Any student would do anything in their power to remain active and alert during their lessons. Many students even result in unscrupulous means to keep themselves afloat during their class sessions. However, the saying of ‘the end justifies the means’ hardly applies here. This is because some of the things that you result to doing to keep yourself active can be risky to your health. Therefore, you should avoid these methods whenever possible.
Use of energy drinks. Energy drinks increase the risk of heart attack, kidney failure, and stroke. Relying on them so much can be detrimental to your health in the long run. An alternative to this is drinking lots of water as opposed to the complete reliance on caffeine and sugary substances.
Reliance on coffee. Coffee is known for keeping people awake and alert for some time. However, too much intake of coffee leads to excessive caffeine in the body. And caffeine has a lot of side effects to our body. If necessary, limit yourself to a maximum of 100mg of coffee in a day.
Smoking. To many, smoking keeps them awake and alert. However, smoking has the effect of keeping you awake for long and making it hard to fall asleep fast. In addition to that, smoking also leads to insomnia and sleep apnea. Snoring is also evident in people who smoke.
“Stay awake” pills. Stay awake pills can cause more damage to your body than its intended purpose. Aside from keeping you awake, it will cause nausea, vomiting, and disruption of the sleep circle. Those who have used them before have reported difficulty in falling asleep on time.
Drinking alcohol. Drinking alcohol to remain awake in class is a bad idea. The alcohol will disrupt your sleep pattern and cause you to take long before falling asleep. In addition to that, it will also cause heartburn and result in REM sleep.
Alternatives to using coffee to avoid being sleepy in class
Taking too much coffee to remain awake in class introduces too much caffeine to our body. Coffee shouldn’t be the only remedy to staying awake despite it working on most occasions. There are alternatives to coffee that will keep you rejuvenated the whole day. These alternatives will ensure that you are ready to consume chunks of information during class time. These alternatives include:
Fruits – fruits acts as a quick source of sugar. The sugar is important for the provision of energy boost needed by your body. Fruits with vitamin C helps to convert excessive fat to energy which is needed by the body to keep off fatigue.
Tea – taking black or green tea is better than taking coffee since it has less caffeine. It will keep you awake without the fear of crashing later. Tea also contains antioxidants that are important in keeping off some diseases while helping in the prevention of cancer.
Peppermint – Peppermint is known for keeping one alert. It will provide the needed attention during class time.
Ginseng – Ginseng is a herb that is known as an energy booster and stress reliever. Using it can help students to feel relaxed and ready to participate in classwork attentively.
Dark chocolate – dark chocolate is known as a substitute for coffee since it has small quantities of caffeine. In addition to that, chocolate is known to balance mood because of a substance called theobromine that raises the serotonin level in the body.
Proteins – intake of proteins like lean meat is known for its slow energy release. It is, therefore, able to keep you attentive during class time.
Falling asleep during class sessions is an everyday struggle that students fight to overcome. This problem stems from several things that include lack of sufficient sleep, teacher’s way of engaging students during class, and boring topics for the students. To overcome this struggle, students can employ various means with the aim of making themselves active. However, the student should not resort to the use of substances that may have a side effect on their health. Students should avoid using smoking, drinking a lot of coffee, alcohol, and “stay awake” pills as a means of fighting sleep.