How to stop falling asleep in class: 14 steps (with pictures)

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How to stop falling asleep in class: 14 steps (with pictures)
How to stop falling asleep in class: 14 steps (with pictures)

Paying attention in class is important to getting good grades and doing your homework well, but to be able to pay attention, you need to stay awake and interested. Falling asleep in class is not polite to the teacher, plus it means that you won't learn what you should, whether you're in elementary school, middle school, high school, or even college or university. However, falling asleep in class can be very easy to do, especially if you don't get enough sleep at night. To avoid falling asleep during class, there are several things you can do, including staying energized during the day and participating in class.


Part 1 of 3: Staying awake in class

Stop Sleeping in Class Step 1
Stop Sleeping in Class Step 1

Step 1. Ask questions and answer the questions

When you're in class, it can be easy to nod when the teacher is in front of the room talking and you don't do anything with your mind or body to keep you interested in what he's saying. However, just as you do not fall asleep in conversation with your friends, you will achieve the same if you participate in the class discussion in order to stay awake.

  • As the teacher speaks, take notes and ask questions about the academic material you are learning. If there's something you can't understand, raise your hand and ask a question about it.
  • When the teacher asks the class questions, don't be afraid to raise your hand and provide an answer. Some teachers will put you in a critical situation for a moment due to your noticeable inattention.
Stop Sleeping in Class Step 2
Stop Sleeping in Class Step 2

Step 2. Get up and walk

Your teacher might not allow you to get up and go to the back of the class, but if they do, do so or drink water if you feel like you start to nod. Staying active is a great key factor in staying awake in class, keeping your mind and body alert and focused.

If your teacher doesn't have a policy on this, ask if it's acceptable to walk around the room quietly during class. Many teachers would prefer you to do it, rather than fall asleep during their classes

Stop Sleeping in Class Step 3
Stop Sleeping in Class Step 3

Step 3. Stretch out and move around in your chair

In case your teacher doesn't want you to get up during class, you can still keep your body active in your chair. Move in your seat, stretch and exercise your limbs while staying in place.

  • If you feel like falling asleep, sit up straight and stretch. Move your head from side to side to loosen your neck and gently turn your waist to stretch your back.
  • Extend your legs in front of the desk and stretch them out, and push your arms forward to stretch them out.
Stop Sleeping in Class Step 4
Stop Sleeping in Class Step 4

Step 4. Play quietly while listening

Like stretching and moving around in your chair, fiddling can also keep your body active, preventing you from getting sleepy. The important thing is to do it silently. Otherwise, you could distract other students.

  • Quietly tap your feet on the floor and your toes on the desk.
  • Keep your feet planted on the ground and, with your knees bent, move your legs up and down as if you were walking.
  • Hold the pen with your fingers and twist it or flick it into the air.
Stop Sleeping in Class Step 5
Stop Sleeping in Class Step 5

Step 5. Open a window

Heat and poor ventilation are great for putting you to sleep in class, so ask your teacher if you can open a window to let fresh air flow into the room.

  • If possible, sit near a window so that you can open and close it as needed.
  • If you can't open a window, consider bringing a small, personal fan to class that you can use to blow air in your face when you start to feel tired.
Stop Sleeping in Class Step 6
Stop Sleeping in Class Step 6

Step 6. Splash water on your face

You can stand up and go to the bathroom or you can bring a bottle of water to class that you can use to wake up. Just like washing your face in the morning wakes you up, so will splashing you with water during the day.

If you do it in class, bring a towel that you can moisten with water and rub it on your face

Part 2 of 3: Stay Energized Throughout the Day

Stop Sleeping in Class Step 7
Stop Sleeping in Class Step 7

Step 1. Eat a balanced breakfast

Avoid cereals and sugary snacks for breakfast, as these will only cause a sugar crash in a few hours, which becomes a surefire way to fall asleep in class. Instead, choose a breakfast that has protein, carbohydrates, and calcium. This could include:

  • fruit and peanut butter toast
  • fruit and leafy green smoothies with dairy, soy, or almond milk
  • oatmeal with dried fruits and nuts
  • homemade burritos for breakfast with beans, avocado and leafy greens
  • healthy homemade muffins
Stop Sleeping in Class Step 8
Stop Sleeping in Class Step 8

Step 2. Start the day with exercises

Exercise gets your circulation pumping, which increases the supply of oxygen to your cells, releases good hormones, and promotes good sleep. Starting your day with exercise not only helps you sleep better, it also gives you energy and prepares you for the day ahead. Morning exercises include 30 minutes of:

  • running and jogging;
  • to swim;
  • doing aerobics like scissors, jumping jacks, or running on the spot;
  • riding a bicycle or using the stationary bicycle.
Stop Sleeping in Class Step 9
Stop Sleeping in Class Step 9

Step 3. Avoid sugary foods and caffeine

Sugar and caffeine cause crashes, and when this happens at school, there is a good chance that you will fall asleep in class. Some sugary foods include candy, soda, chocolate bars, and even juices.

  • Caffeine in the form of black tea or coffee can be consumed in moderation as part of a healthy diet, but be sure to spread out this intake throughout the day so that you don't crash.
  • Avoid energy drinks, which contain large amounts of sugar and caffeine, and can cause a huge crash.
Stop Sleeping in Class Step 10
Stop Sleeping in Class Step 10

Step 4. Eat well during the day

Keep healthy snacks with you in case you get hungry during the day and eat balanced meals for lunch and dinner. This will give you the fuel you need to stay awake during the day and in classes. Make sure your meals contain:

  • Vitamins and minerals (fruits and vegetables).
  • Calcium (dark leafy vegetables).
  • Lean proteins (legumes, nuts, beans, or chicken).
  • Good carbohydrates (whole grain breads and pasta or potatoes).
  • Healthy fats (seeds, avocados and nuts).
  • Some good snacks include plain crackers, crackers and cheese, vegetables and hummus, fruits, yogurt, nuts, seeds, and dried fruits.

Part 3 of 3: Sleep Better

Stop Sleeping in Class Step 11
Stop Sleeping in Class Step 11

Step 1. Don't sacrifice sleep

Students always try to balance work, school, and social life. Trying to make enough time for all of this often means reducing your sleep time. However, being tired during the day means that you are more likely to fall asleep in class, and even when you are awake, you will have a hard time focusing, concentrating, and retaining information.

  • If you find that you don't have time to get enough sleep because you work a lot, talk to your boss about taking fewer shifts. If you have a lot of homework, talk to your teachers about making more time for school work during class. If you spend a lot of time with your friends, limit your social gatherings to the weekends.
  • For students over the age of 12, you may need seven to ten hours of sleep each night to perform optimally. If you are younger than that age, you may need around eleven hours of sleep each night.
  • Using caffeine to make up for a night of not getting enough sleep can be dangerous, as caffeine could prevent you from falling asleep properly again, creating a cycle of fatigue.
Stop Sleeping in Class Step 12
Stop Sleeping in Class Step 12

Step 2. Go to sleep at the same time every night

The idea of having a bedtime might seem childish, but routine can help you get a better night's rest. This is very important for people who have a hard time sleeping, as getting your body used to going to bed at the same time can help you stick to a schedule, making it easier to sleep at night.

  • If you go to sleep at the same time every night but are still awake and tired, try changing your bedtime to an hour earlier and see how that extra hour of sleep affects your waking state during the day.
  • It is important to always stick to your schedule, even on weekends and holidays.
Stop Sleeping in Class Step 13
Stop Sleeping in Class Step 13

Step 3. Avoid exercising, eating, and lights before bed

There are several things that can keep you awake at night or prevent you from having a deep sleep. Avoiding them will help you fall asleep faster and stay asleep longer.

  • Do not exercise three hours before going to sleep, as exercise creates a rush of hormones and oxygen that will give you energy and prevent you from sleeping.
  • Avoid eating a large meal an hour before going to sleep, as feeling full and bloated can make you uncomfortable and make it difficult to sleep.
  • Dim the lights and avoid electronic screens half an hour before going to sleep, as the lights will disrupt the natural circadian rhythm that governs your sleep and wake cycle.
Stop Sleeping in Class Step 14
Stop Sleeping in Class Step 14

Step 4. Treat possible medical problems that could affect your sleep

Sleep is very important for physical, mental, and emotional health, but there are several conditions that can prevent a person from sleeping or staying awake at night. If you suspect you have any, see a doctor as soon as possible. Some of the most common sleep disruption disorders are:

  • Periodic Limb Movement Disorder and Restless Leg Syndrome cause the legs and arms to jerk, often disrupting sleep.
  • Sleep apnea syndrome causes you to wake up frequently as you stop breathing when you sleep.
  • Insomnia, the inability to sleep, can be caused by a number of factors, including stress and some underlying medical problems. While it is true that most people experience short periods when it is difficult for them to sleep, you should see a doctor if the condition persists.
  • Narcolepsy is a condition that causes people to fall asleep suddenly, such as when they are in class, on the bus, at a party, or when they eat.

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