Always Tired? Try These 7 Tips to Stay Awake in Class

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Your head feels like it weighs a million pounds. Your eyelids droop as if they are being pulled down. Your mind goes blank as you drift off in a sea of comfortable peace…

…and then you wake up with a start. Class is over and you’ve missed the whole thing! Fighting off exhaustion and trying to stay alert in lectures are pretty typical problems to have in college. But if you’re getting worried that you’re always tired, try these seven tips to stay awake in class.

 

 

1. Hydrate and Refuel

Treat your class like a marathon by being sure you have the right fuel to make it through. Sometimes, falling asleep might be a symptom of hunger or dehydration. Keeping a water bottle by your side and a few low-key snacks in your backpack can help you get the burst of energy you need. We recommend healthy, easy-to-carry options like granola bars and fruit (peppermint is also supposed to help you stay awake), and if you must caffeinate instead of water, try black tea or coffee so you don’t get an overdose of sugar.

 

2. Ask Questions

The more engaged you are, the more you’ll be forced to keep those eyes open. Don’t be afraid to raise your hand and ask the teacher to clarify a point or review over a difficult subject. Answer a question the professor has or volunteer to participate in a demonstration. If it gets your mind moving, it’s so worth it.

 

3. Assign Yourself a Distraction

Just like being engaged, stay alert by giving yourself a small task. For instance, doodle a picture of the professor, write a poem about your classmate’s hideous hat, make a to-do list for the end of the day, or fill in your calendar with the rest of your syllabus’ due dates. The key is to not pick tasks that will take your mind off of class but will give you a temporary distraction that will re-awaken your mind.

 

4. Shower or Exercise Before Class

Running from bed to morning class isn’t going to do you any favors when you need to stay up. Instead, start your early routine with something that will invigorate you like a cold shower or a run around the track. Both activities wake up your senses and give you enough adrenaline to get through the next few hours without needing a pillow.

 

5. Keep It Cool

The more layers you wear, the warmer you are. That’s awesome for drafty buildings, but it’s horrible if you’re trying to stay awake. Seat yourself near that window that won’t close all the way and leave the coat at home. Staying cool and chilly will actually keep you awake longer.

 

6. Practice Reflexology

Small body movements that can be done at your desk or table can be lifesavers. One easy motion is correcting your posture by rolling your shoulders up and back and imagine yourself as if you were being pulled up by a string. Stretching your wrists by using your other hand to pull your palm gently back towards you is also effective. If all else fails, try the pinching method. It’s slightly painful, but there’s a reason why it works so well.

 

7. Maximize Your Nap Schedule

If it’s the afternoon classes you have trouble staying awake for, add a nap in your day. Try a NASA version, which is 26 minutes long and usually finished an hour before you need to be at your most alert. If that’s not plausible, just keep the nap under an hour. Any more, and you’ll go to class feeling even more groggy than before.

How to Stay Motivated to Workout in the Winter

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Dark, cold weather isn’t exactly inspiring us to get off the couch. It certainly isn’t pushing us to go on our morning runs or weekly trip to the gym. Staying motivated to work out in the winter is tough, but it’s essential to keeping a healthy routine when others are packing on the pounds or hibernating for the season. These tips will help you move more, rest less, and get your sweat on like you would in warmer months.

 

Find a Workout Buddy

Working out can be lonely, and you’ll feel it even more with winter blues at an all-time high. Luckily, with so many people adding exercising more to their resolutions, you won’t have to look hard to find a partner to share gym time.

If you can’t find a close friend to do it, take this as an opportunity to expand your circle. Start a running group at your college or lead a unique workout class that others would want to take. Making like-minded friends is just one another way to help you guarantee you’ll meet your fitness goals.

 

Bring in the Sun

Part of the lack of motivation to move comes from a lack of light and heat in your home. Without it, you’ll feel tired more and will naturally want to spend more time lounging around under a blanket than going out in the elements.

To combat this, try to remember to open your windows during the day and position yourself nearest to the natural light as possible. UV lights can do the trick too. To amp up the temperature, you can wear more layers around the house or turn up the thermostat a few hours before heading to the gym.

 

Find the Right Playlist

We all love listening to softer, kinder music in the winter. But folk rock and light pop can be harmful when your body needs to feel the beat to get you into those sneakers.

When creating the right playlist for your workout, you don’t need to skim on your favorite lighter tunes. Make those your designated stretching, warm up, or cool down music. If you need help selecting your actual workout music, try apps and websites like TempoTap or SoundBPM so you can find songs to match your running pace or biking speed.

 

Try Something New

Sometimes our slumps are less weather related and more emotionally based. Doing the same workout over and over again can wear anyone out, especially when you’re already feeling a lack of motivation.

This is the perfect opportunity to buy some Groupon or deal website passes to try a new, interesting class. Take an aerial yoga instead of pilates or a flywheel class instead of a bike ride outside in the snow. There are so many opportunities to mix it up!

 

Upgrade Your Gear

Do you remember the feeling of getting new clothes for school and then wanting to wear them ASAP? The same concept goes for getting new running shoes or running tights. The newer the gear, the more likely you are to want to use them.

This isn’t an excuse to drop hundreds of dollars on workout clothes, but if you’re rocking tattered and torn t-shirts, you’ll need to invest anyways. If you’re into technology, trying purchasing used or looking for discounts on last year’s models of Fitbits, GPS watches, and workout headphones. Renewing your motivation is so worth it.