Studying isn’t always stimulating, especially when your brain is ready to shut down after a hard day in class or at work.
If staying awake while studying seems more difficult than quantum physics, try one of the nine tactics listed below to help you stay awake and focused.
1. Continue to move.
The movement has been shown to increase energy levels. It may also help you stay awake during exams and enhance your capacity to remember what you study, in addition to helping you stay awake.
according to a 2018 study Source, Students of all ages — from elementary school to college — performed much better on memory, feature identification, and arithmetic problem-solving tasks after 10 minutes of walking outside.
Every 30 to 50 minutes, take a quick break to walk, dance, or perform a few jumping jacks.
2. Allow light to shine.
Light and darkness are environmental signals that our bodies are tuned to respond to. While there is no direct link between light and sleep — it is possible to fall asleep in a well-lit room or stay awake in complete darkness — light is a trigger that can aid in promoting wakefulness.
This inclination may be due to a protein that is triggered when humans are exposed to light, according to a 2017 zebrafish study.
When studying, aim to create a daylight atmosphere with plenty of light. A single lamp or overhead light may not be enough to keep you awake if it’s dark outside.
3. Maintain a straight posture.
When it may be tempting to relax while studying, this will not help you stay awake.
Increased activity in the parasympathetic nervous system, which is responsible for tasks like “rest and digest,” is linked to lying down.
Sitting erect, on the other hand, is linked to sympathetic nervous system activity. The sympathetic nervous system is in charge of things like attentiveness.
In a 2014 study, Source looked at how sitting upright or lying down influenced working memory function.
Participants’ self-reported sleep quality had a detrimental impact on their performance when they were lying down for the exam, according to the authors. When individuals were sitting upright, the quality of their sleep had no effect on their performance.
What does this have to do with studying? Sitting up can help you stay focused and aware if you’re weary.
While you’re studying, you might want to consider standing rather than sitting. Standing and moving around can help you improve your blood circulation. As a result, you may find it difficult to fall asleep.
4. Stay out of your room
If you live in a dorm or a shared apartment, the most convenient study spot may also be where you sleep.
However, you should avoid studying in any location that you connect with sleep, as this may cause you to become drowsy.
If feasible, study somewhere other than your bedrooms, such as a library, coffee shop, or a designated, well-lit section of your home.
You’ll find it easier to switch off your brain when it’s time to go to bed if you keep your studying and sleeping places distinct.
5. Keep hydrating, hydrating, hydrating.
Dehydration might manifest itself as fatigue or sleepiness. Dehydration, on the other hand, can not only sap your energy but also alter your cognitive functions, making studying harder.
Source published a review in 2010 that looked into the impact of dehydration on brain function. Mild to moderate dehydration, according to the authors, can affect short-term memory, focus, mathematical ability, and alertness.
Keep yourself hydrated throughout the day to avoid dozing off when studying. If you’re physically active or live in a hot area, this is extremely crucial.
While the amount of water you should drink varies by person, aim for half a gallon each day.
6. Remember to eat (healthy)
Your energy levels are affected by what you consume and how much you eat.
While treating yourself while studying may be enticing, it will not help you stay awake. Sugary snacks and junk food can cause a surge in blood sugar followed by a crash, leaving you feeling sluggish.
If you fail to eat or consume too much, on the other hand, you may find yourself falling asleep.
Instead, go for a diet that consists of modest, frequent meals. Ensure that each meal includes protein, a complex carbohydrate, and a healthy fat source. Here are a few examples:
Whitefish (such as cod, halibut, tilapia, and flounder), lentils, beans, white-meat fowl, peanut butter, tofu, lean beef, eggs, and Greek yogurt are also good sources of protein.
Fruits, vegetables, nuts, beans, peas, oats, brown rice, and whole wheat bread are all good sources of complex carbs.
Avocado, salmon, eggs, nuts, olive oil, coconut oil, and nut butter are all good sources of healthy fats.
7. Make studying more engaging.
It may not be enough to read and reread class notes or a textbook to stay awake, let alone absorb information.
Active study approaches will assist you in staying focused and making the most of your study sessions. Try one or more of the following to achieve this:
- A map, cue card, diagram, chart, or other visual aid should be used to communicate information..
- Pronounce the words aloud.
- Teach a classmate the material.
- Carry out some practise activities.
- Make your own practise exercises and examples.
8. Studying with a group of pals
Avoiding straying off by discussing the issue with a classmate, companion, or study group will help you stay on track.
In addition to being more motivating and stimulating, social studying can bring new insights and interpretations of class materials. To reinforce your own understanding, ask someone to explain a difficult concept to you or teach the content to a peer.
If you like to study alone, you may find that doing so in the company of others makes it easier to stay awake.
9. Get plenty of rest.
Sleep affects mood, attention, motivation, and memory, all of which have an impact on learning. It’s no wonder, however, that sleep deprivation is linked to low academic performance.
Putting sleep first. The most effective approach to keep focused when studying could be both short- and long-term.
Students were given thorough factual information over the course of 5 hours in a 2019 study. They either took a 1-hour nap, watched a movie, or crammed the material halfway through the 5-hour time. They were assessed on the material 30 minutes after the learning session ended and 1 week after the learning period ended.
After 30 minutes, students who had either crammed or rested were able to recall the knowledge better than those who had watched a movie, according to the study. Only the pupils who had napped had superior memory of the content after a week.
To make studying simpler, schedule naps and stick to a regular sleep pattern.