10 Tricks To Help You Stay Awake In Class

July 08, 2016
By Nick Fleming

Staying awake in class is a challenge for even the most seasoned student. While some lifestyle choices may be the culprit of your sleepiness (read: Bintang Jugs, Brown Alley dance offs and Sunday kick ons), the average student workload doesn’t lend itself to getting a good night’s sleep.

Here are our top tips for making it through class, without chugging back that fourth coffee.


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1. Walk to your class (or better yet, run)

Exercise releases a chemical called dopamine. Dopamine helps you stay awake. So, forget driving to class when you’re running late; if you want to get the most out of the lecture, run there and you’ll absorb much more.

2. Focus on posture

Beneficial as it may be for long-term heath, sitting up straight is not known for its pleasantness. In fact, it’s uncomfortable as heck. Swing this to your advantage to stay awake and your future osteopath will thank you too.

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3. Take off that extra layer

Is your lecture theatre more of an igloo than an educational arena? Wonderful. Trade in your fat pants and ugg boots for a pair of stubbies and thongs and let the breeze keep your mind sharp.

4. Be the teacher’s pet

This power move has a sneaky twist to it. Sitting up the front not only shows that you’re eager to learn and have no fear of being called on, it also puts you in one of the loudest areas of the lecture theatre.

5. Get doodling

When that feeling of restlessness starts to take over, pull out your notepad and pen and draw whatever comes to mind. By moving in small ways, blood pumps around your body a little faster, keeping your brain engaged.

6. Move your body

Don’t consider yourself to be the next Picasso? Whether it be tapping your foot or drumming your fingers, making small repetitive movements can have the same effect as doodling. Just be aware of not disturbing others around you.

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7. Plan out questions

While it may feel like you’re learning, copying everything from a powerpoint as you slowly fall asleep isn’t the best way to absorb information. Try and digest what’s on the screen by writing down questions in response to the information. You’ll look extra diligent in your tutorial later too.

8. Drink something cold

Preferably good old fashioned H20, but if it’s an iced tea or a soda who are we to judge? Just be mindful of avoiding a sugar crash.

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9. Find a friend

Everything is better together. And, nothing wakes you up quicker than a cheeky (gentle) elbow to the ribs from a pal. Bonus points: could also be a good bonding exercise for friends you’ve just met.

10. If all else fails, get intimate with your earlobes

Apparently this is a thing. Stimulate the pressure points in your earlobes and enjoy the sweet feeling of an energy release. Ways to do this without looking like a weirdo involve resting your head on your hand or “accidentally” dropping your pen on the floor.


Got pro tips of your own that help keep you awake in class? Share them in the comments below.