Do you ever have days where you cannot stay awake? Do you have to start to your morning with a Venti, double-shot dirty chai? I know I have these mornings, and given that I have an 8am class on MWF this semester, I know that I will be stopping by my school’s café around 7:50am every one of those days to pick up my caffeinated beverage. However, sometimes I realize just how much caffeine I am ingesting, and it makes me a wee bit nervous. I’m not one of those people who swear off caffeine, and I definitely don’t hate it, but I do monitor my intake. I hardly ever drink soda, or any sugary drinks. My downfall is with tea and coffee. I drink tea more than water, justifying this by the fact that you can’t have tea without water. Anyway, I wanted to share with you 5 short tips of how to stay alert without so much caffeine!
First, take the extra time to shower in the morning before class. I know a lot of people who shower at night or intent to shower right after their 8am class if time allows, but I also know they are the people who have the hardest time paying attention during that first class. By showering before class, you’re more alert, and you feel way more refreshed. Also, you generally look less tired if you shower and get all that sleepy-esque look washed away. Using a really lovely scented face cleanser is also a great way to wake up because the smell will make you feel more refreshed. (I recommend this one because I use it, and I love it)
Second, if you’re studying, and find you’re dozing in and out of concentration, try going for a walk outside. Walks are really great for waking you up without caffeine, and get you feeling re-energized to study. If you have enough time, I also suggest a run. My college has a bunch of great trails surrounding it, and I know a lot of students go running in the afternoons to get their endorphins going, and to take a nice break from school before diving into their homework. This also ensures you’re staying in shape!
Third, brush your teeth. I know this sounds super weird, but if you brush your teeth, you’ll feel way more awake. Also, minty toothpaste will get you feeling clean, refreshed, and ready for more work.
Fourth, eat a small, healthy snack. I usually eat a handful of cashews, a protein bar, or a bowl of fruit. Since I’m hypoglycemic, I have to keep my blood sugar up or I feel SO tired, and risk passing out in the middle of whatever I’m doing. Eating a small snack will balance your blood sugar, and make you wake up. A lot of college students are constantly moving, running from class to work to meetings for different clubs, and they often end up skipping meals. You don’t want to do this because it will make you feel tired, and you’ll be part of the 3pm crash that so many people feel when they haven’t eaten enough in a day and rely on their coffee or sugary drinks.
Fifth, as a very last resort, if you’re still feeling really tired, take a ten-minute nap. I repeat, a 10-minute nap. You do not want to sleep longer than this, and you don’t want to sleep shorter than this. Last semester, I employed the 10-minute nap a ton because I was so exhausted every day, but don’t oversleep because it’ll just make you feel worse. The 10-minute naps I take sometimes feel like hours, and my roommate laughs at me because I jump up after 10-minutes so energized, and ready to complete whatever work I have left. This solution is a last resort, however, because when I am truly exhausted, it is complete torture having to wake up and keep working. Only employ in case of emergencies!!!
What tricks do you know for staying alert during the day?