How to Stay Awake in Class

Posted on 03. Jun, 2007 by in Study Skills (general)

You may have classes of different levels of interest. Some may be boring, some may be worth anticipating; you may even have classes you wish you don’t have to take. Here are some tips to stay awake in your most dreary classes:

  1. Have enough sleep the night before. The average sleep for an adolescent is 8 hours daily. Of course, we can’t avoid those late nights or early mornings that we have to stay awake, but make sure that the reason is academics, and not those booty calls. You know what I mean.
  1. Exercise. Make your muscles and bones happy by giving them stretches first thing in the morning. Some of us might have classes in the sixth floor, then the sixth floor of another building. Engaging in morning exercise prepares your body for that tedious stair-climbing and helps blood circulate to your brain.
  1. Caffeine. Coffee, cola, chocolates, and the like stimulate the Central Nervous System. This means that taking generous amounts of caffeine keeps your brain working. However, too much is never good; excessive caffeine can cause insomnia, anxiety, and the like. So, if you don’t want to end up being a lifeless vegetable, be careful with your intake.
  1. Eat. Never come to class hungry, because an empty stomach won’t help your brain and body fully work. Add to that the embarrassment of hearing your tummy grumble, crying for food. In simple words, an empty stomach distracts your concentration. You can just have some simple finger food, but don’t get caught by the teacher.

  1. Take down notes. You may be the best in memorizing things but we only use 10% of our brain. It’s good to take down notes to keep you busy and to remember things the teacher gave emphasis on. You can use acronyms or any other shortcuts; the good thing here is you can rewrite or edit your notes after class.
  1. Say something. Be participative. Join a debate, ask questions, and clarify things you don’t understand. Formulate questions in your mind, construct them into sentences, and speak up.
  1. Read in advance. It’s good to have an idea on what the subject or the topic is about. Besides, who knows when your teacher will give you a surprise quiz? Surely a surprise quiz will keep you awake.
  1. Sit with a “comfortable” classmate. Sit with someone who knows your problem and could help you stay attentive. Sit with someone whom you can ask questions regarding class matters. Do not, however, sit with someone who will tempt you to chat whole period; or else, your concentration will fly away.
  1. Concentrate. Keep your brain busy by following the teachers’ discussions, not by daydreaming. Daydreaming may lead you to narcolepsy or cataplexy- states of muscular weakness that makes you lose mentally asleep even though you’re physically awake.

Come on, have some interest in your class. It may be the most boring subject; but hey, maybe if you give it a little chance, it wouldn’t seem that boring after all. Enjoy every experience college life gives you.

6 Responses to “How to Stay Awake in Class”

  1. Charlene

    03. Jun, 2007

    Hi George,

    This is Charlene from the United States. First of all, I like to thank you for providing me such a comprehensive e-course. I’ve learnt a great deal about managing my studies from the e-course alone. It was only recently that I bought your book, “Secrets of Scoring As” and I like to say I was not disappointed. You’ve covered a great deal of information and knowledge about studying and tackling my major problem, concentration and focus.

    You’ve outlined the entire process in a easy to understand manner and it really got me started applying the information. And the changes are extremely positive and I’m experiencing a new me which I’m so proud of.

    Thank you George. All the best.
    And I’m looking forward to hearing from you in the next email.


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  2. Joel

    03. Jun, 2007

    Hi Charlene,

    This is Joel here, co-author of “Secrets of Scoring As”. On behalf of George, I like to thank you for your kind comments.

    It is such comments that make our efforts towards “” worthwhile. Thank you.

    And please do make sure you apply all the things you’ve learnt from “Secrets of Scoring As”. You’ve to apply in order to really achieve the grades.


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  3. Joel

    03. Jun, 2007

    Hi guys,

    Joel here again. To all those who are reading…

    I would really love to hear you guys participating on the blog.
    George and I like to hear what you have to say.

    What articles would you like to read?
    What’s the biggest question you’ve about studying?
    How can we help you more?
    What would you like to learn?

    If you don’t ask, we can’t really give.

    So quick…
    start posting more on this blog.

    Reply to this comment
  4. Joel

    03. Jun, 2007

    As mentioned in point 6 of this post…

    “Say something. Be participative. Join a debate, ask questions, and clarify things you don’t understand. Formulate questions in your mind, construct them into sentences, and speak up.”

    Speak up and you’ll learn more.

    Reply to this comment
  5. Jasmine

    14. Jun, 2007

    Hi George,
    The ideas you told are really good. I’d like to ask that what should i do, if i feel so sleepy once i come back from college. And i don’t wake up once i sleep, not even for the dinner.
    Reply me pls.

    Reply to this comment
  6. Dino

    04. Jul, 2007

    I’m a law student, and we face several obstacles others may not: 1) Dry material (there, I’ve said it!); 2) Motivation to come to class is nil because most of the time, the final exam is 100% of your grade; and 3), the fact that once you’ve been called on, you won’t be called on again for the rest of the semester (the democratic involvement of each of the 80+ students demands this).

    However, you CAN raise your hand and participate, which not only involves your mind, it scares the pants off you. No one wants to be made a fool of in front of the class.

    Also, don’t dress too warmly! At my school, they keep the air conditioners on full blast all year (I’m in Tucson), and shivering = wide awake.

    Another thing that helps is searching for the discussion topic online while in class. We all have laptops and wifi, and not only can I find supplementary material that may be clearer than a law book, I also find that I’m analyzing the issue while I refine my searches online. Just try not to get stuck on facebook or ebay.

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