Going to college can be pretty fun, but don’t you just wish you could spend less time bumming around with friends and more time hunched over a desk, studying until your hands drop off?
Alright, maybe not. If we’re being real, studying can be a major, major struggle. We study hard during the day so when it comes to the evening, keeping awake while we attempt to cram more facts into our swollen brains can be a near impossibility.
We’ve all woken up at 4 am using a book as a pillow, but it doesn’t have to be that way. In fact, with just a few tweaks to our habits, we can get that cramming done and a good night’s sleep. Impossible? Hardly! Here are our top ten tips:
Drink more water. We probably don’t have to tell you that water is amazing, but when it comes to staying awake and studying effectively, water is crazy useful. Studies have found that dehydration can lead to impaired short and long-term memory function as well as fatigue. So, drink up!
Sit up and get those lights on. We’re not saying “be uncomfortable” but adopting an upright posture and switching the lights to “full daylight” mode will help you stay alert. Needless to say, studying on your bed is going to lead to some temptations. You might also want to turn on the eye-care/night-light feature on your screen – some computers will come with this installed, but you can also download one if not.
Play music. There’s a reason why your local gym pipes in beat heavy, uptempo music – it promotes activity and alertness, just try not to get lost in clubland, okay?
Avoid heavy foods. Grabbing a bite before you study? It’s a good idea, but be careful what you eat. Heavy, fatty foods like deserts will put you to sleep, so cut down on the processed carbs and add some protein instead. Deliveroo recommends opting for a small after dinner drink instead of heavy dessert to scratch that sweet itch, provided you’re of drinking age.
Eat healthily. Before you reach for the greasy snacks, think twice. You’ll be on a high for a short while before you feel like you need to crash out. By opting for a healthier, lighter option your body will keep going for longer.
Chew gum. Chewing gum not only makes you look ultra-cool (obviously) – Psychology Today suggests that it also makes you much more alert too. Not bad, ey?
Get moving. Sitting at a desk for hours on end can really sap your energy, so take regular breaks to move around. Whether it’s a walk around the block or a quick dance to a certifiable banger, you’ll find yourself revitalised.
Take a caffeine break. Obviously, over-reliance on caffeine isn’t a good thing, but if you’re really flagging, a little caffeine can really bring you back up. Whether it’s a strong coffee or an espresso martini (provided you’re of legal age, of course!), caffeine can get you back on your feet fast.
Have a power-nap. No, we’re not talking about a 3-hour nap, but a 10-20 minute “power-nap”, as Lifehacker explains. These short naps help clear the brain of useless junk and promote alertness, stopping right before you enter deep, REM sleep.
Take a cold shower. Feel yourself getting drawn into the cosy embrace of sleep? Wake your body up with the short, sharp shock of cold water. You’ll hate it, but at least you’ll be awake!
Change subjects. If you’ve got multiple topics to tackle, don’t get stuck on one for too long. By switching subjects, you’ll be forced to re-focus on the topic, giving an instant little boost which can help you keep going.