How to Avoid Sleepiness While Studying?

September 11, 2014 at 11:21 AM

At the point when exams approach we attempt to put for additional hours of study. Many of us feel sleepy when we are studying and have books and reference materials with us. In such scenario we have two decisions to make, succumb to rest (sleep) or keep our self awake. Sleep comes very easily; keeping wakeful is the troublesome part. This article shares tips on approaches and tactics to avoid sleep while studying. You are sure to feel dormant when you are studying late night.

Everyone's slumbering while you sit and are stuck with your books. Can't help it! Each student aches for sleep, yet it is vital to sacrifice those valuable hours of sleep if you need to enhance your grades and performance. Here are some tips on approaches to keep away from sleep while studying. Whether you're in school or in college these tried and attempted ways work.

Causes of Sleep during Studying

Before discussing in detail the ways to avoid sleep during studying, it is essential to have a brief review about the causes of sleepiness while studying. The basic fault lies in the brain. Brain needs a lot of ATP to function (ATP is the currency of energy). Brain uses ATP and converts it into ADP. ATP keeps the brain awake and body functioning. But once you start using ATP too rapidly, as while studying, a lot of ATP is converted into ADP. ADP, unlike ATP, can’t keep pace with the energy demands of the brain and brain functioning becomes dull and it becomes unable to stay awake and make decisions. This is when you start to sleep unintentionally. But once you get a nap, the ADP is turned back into ATP.

That’s why you feel fresh after a nap. Again this ATP is tuned into ADP and the cycle continues. Some additional causes of sleep while studying are mentioned below:

Sleep Wake Cycle

On each day, there are two periods when the body has natural tendency towards sleeping. Those two periods are during the late night hours (between midnight and 7 a.m.) and again during the mid-afternoon (during 1 p.m. and 4 p.m.). When people are awake during these two times, they fall asleep unintentionally. This happens especially if an individual doesn’t get enough rest.

Miscellaneous Causes

Different medical conditions and drugs can lead to disrupting the sleep and cause sleepiness problems.

Some of the examples include:

  • Chronic illness – Illnesses such as rheumatoid arthritis, asthma and congestive heart failure or other painful diseases can cause disruption in the sleep cycle.
  • Medications – Some medications for high blood pressure, asthma medications and heart medications also cause sleep during studying.
  • Alcohol – Alcohol is another factor which causes disruption in sleep cycle. It is a sedative drink and its intake, even in small amounts can make a sleepy person more sleepy. 3. Sleep Disorders: Sleep disorders are the major cause which make a person sleepy during studies. Different sleep disorders like narcolepsy, sleep apnea and restless leg syndrome can cause problems in sleeping.

How to Avoid Sleepiness during Studying?

Now that you know the causes of sleep during studying, you will better understand the ways to avoid sleep during studying. Some of the ways to avoid sleepiness during studying are as follows:

Avoid Physical Exertion (workout)

If you push your body during the day there are many chances that you may fall asleep earlier than routine days. If you continuously go to the gym, your body will want less strenuous work to do. When the body is tired from long workout (Physical Exertion) then it asks for rest and it’s hard to keep awake for studies late night.

Keep lights in your room switched on

Numerous people commit the mistake of keeping just the table lamp switched on during the evening while studying. What this does is make cozy ambiance. With just the table lamp switched on, a reasonable area of the room is in darkness. Remember, empty bed in room is much charming with lights off. If lights are kept off in your room while studying, you will fall asleep. If you are living in a hostel room then make sure that you bribe your roomies/roommates to keep the lights in the room switched on at night.

Do not lie in bed and study

Sit on a seat with a backrest before a table when you study. When you lie on your bed while studying you may get into lazy mode. When this happens, you sleep and say good bye to books.

Do not have a heavy meal

In case you have heavy meal, you're certain to feel naturally lazy. When you feel lazy as a general rule you hit the bed. Your focus and retention power decreases because of overabundant utilization of food. Generally an early lunch and dinner is prescribed for student. Don't skip dinners or go without food. Study becomes more difficult with an empty stomach. Mostly students feel hungry after continuous study; if this happens then some quick snacks are recommended. Fruits are also the best late night snacks

Avoid studying subjects or topics that are difficult at night

During the night you feel more sluggish if you tackle a complex chapter or study a difficult subject. Leave the troublesome bit for day study. At night time, you should pick those topics which are easy, interesting and charming. For night studies favorite subjects are recommended.

Avoid using a table fan when you study

Numerous students that learn at a table have a small scale table fan blowing manic wind specifically in their face. Table fans put you to rest. At the point when solid wind from a table fan blows straightly in your face on a hot summer day, it’s just about like an exotic face rub. This makes you feel languid. On the off chance that you don't have a roof fan in your room avoid the table fan as much as possible and make sure wind does not blow directly in your face.

Tired student and table fan

Drink lots of Water

This is a method that most students use before exams. When you drink a considerable quantity of water you don't fall asleep easily the reason is that because of frequent trips you may need to make to the bathroom to urinate. This may not be the best answer for keep conscious, however in crunch circumstances it works best.

Move around in your room

It would be very useful if you move around your room when you feel sleepy, yes it really works. Numerous people walk to prevent themselves from sleepy feelings while studying.

Avoid having sodas

Most of students commit the error of expending aerated soft drinks while studying. The amount of caffeine and sugar in sodas and carbonated drinks make individual less attentive which leads them to less concentration towards study. When you lose study concentration during the night, the first thing you do is look for sleep. One would contend caffeine as a great stimulant to keep you up and about; it is but not with sugar. Fresh fruits juices in their natural structure are an astounding choice at night. Those who cannot live without coffee or tea, go ahead, but without any sugar or any form of sugar.

Take a nap in the afternoon

It would be better to avoid sleep during study at late night then take a nap in the afternoon. An afternoon nap could play vital role to get rid from sleep. People who take an afternoon nap can keep alert for studies late night.

Take a Heavy Music break

By listening heavy metal songs with high volume is another way if you are feeling extremely sleepy while studying. Only one tune is sufficient to provide for you an adrenalin rush and keep you alert. In the event that you dislike overwhelming metal, listen to a song of any kind that offers a thumb. Abstain from listening to a love song as it sends you in drift away mode. When you get in a lovey-dovey state of mind you keep you books aside and focus on different activities.

Study loudly

Listening to your own voice while you move around your room does work. It may not work for all but many findings have proven this also works for sleepy student.

Take a hot water bath

In case you're making a decent attempt to keep awake yet are not succeeding, attempt a fast boiling hot water shower. Regardless if you haven shower for the day, a second bath is always refreshing. After a high temperature water shower, make sure you apply body spray, deodorant or talcum powder that has pungent smell. At the point when your nostrils feel the tickle of a compelling aroma sleep disappears.

Maintain Proper Time For Things

If you want to avoid sleep while studying, you need to maintain a proper time for everything. You need to maintain a proper time for sleeping, studying and eating. Sleep and food are necessary for a healthy life. The key behind sleep while studying is low health. When your health and fitness level are low, you feel sleepy after sometime due to the lack of stamina and concentration. Therefore, you should keep your mind and body healthy to maximize your stamina and concentration level.

Go to Bed Early at Night and Rise Early in The Morning

You might have heard the famous saying, “Early to Bed and Early to Rise makes a man healthy, wealthy and wise”. This is true because when you get enough sleep during night time, you can concentrate on different chores of daily life the following day. For both teens and adults, it is beneficial to sleep early and get up early in the morning, probably at 6am. You might lose some things this way like enjoying TV till late at night but as the proverb says “To gain something, you need to lose something”. Therefore you need to plan and organize your daily routine properly and go to bed early in the night and get up early in the morning.

Do Meditation

If you don’t want to lose concentration or feel sleepy while studying, you should meditate for at least 20 minutes daily, concentrating on one specific thing at a time. After meditation, it is advisable to practice light exercises like stretching and yoga like pranayama (breathing exercise). In this way, you will remain fit, both mentally and physically.

Study Early in the Morning

Research has supported the fact that if a person studies for at least two hours in the early morning, his level of concentration increases. Your concentration level will increase to the extent that your two hours of studying will equal other peoples’ six hours of studying, the reason being that your mind is fresh in the morning after night sleep and both your mind and body act swiftly in the morning, thus helping in increasing the concentration level.

Avoid Disturbances

If you want to avoid sleep during studying, you need to find a place that is less distracting. Try to avoid different kinds of disturbances and distractions as much as possible. For instance, when studying, you shouldn’t watch television. You should also avoid texting and answering the phone while studying. Light music has proved to be somewhat beneficial while studying, however, it depends upon the individual.

Switch Off The Mobile Phone

When you are about to study ensure that your mobile is somewhere far or switched off. The reason behind doing this is that unnecessary calls from friends and other people can distract you and prove a hindrance in your study and spoil your study time. You need to set a particular time for study everyday and maintain it. 20. Take Breaks Studying isn’t all about studying, studying and just studying. When studying, you need to take breaks in between. This will help you in not feeling bored or tired after continuous study. However, you need to make the assurance that the break isn’t for too long period of time. Set a proper time for your study and take breaks at the same time every day.

Find specific spot for studying

If you have a particular place where you study daily, you can concentrate better. If you want to avoid sleepiness during studying, find a particular place that you find comfortable and less distracting. 22. Prepare The Mind You need to prepare your mind when you are about to study. You should make yourself mentally ready for studying and concentrating on your books.

Eat Frequently

If you want to avoid sleep while studying, you need to make a change in your eating patterns. Rather than eating three large meals a day, try eating 5-7 smaller meals throughout the day. This will continuously provide the body with more nutrients and vitamins which will help in staying focused.

Get Sunlight

In case you feel sleepy while studying, go out and get some sunlight. Exposure to sunlight increases the vitamin D in the body which gives you a boost of energy. If the weather is good, you can also study in sunlight. In this way you can kill two birds with one stone, that is, you can study and enjoy the outdoors at the same time.

Adjust intake of Caffeine

Although taking coffee helps to stay awake, much intake of coffee is harmful for the health. The factor which makes too much coffee harmful is the caffeine content present in it. Too much intake of caffeine can make you a bit too much active and worsen your night sleep. Therefore, you should limit the intake of coffee to 2-3 cups or less per day.

Listen To Music

To avoid sleep while studying, you can also choose to listen to some light music when studying. The reason is that music has effect on the mood and the mental state. Other than this it also effects your emotional state and boosts your energy levels. A study has shown that, regardless of the pitch and the tempo of the music, people who listen to music feel more energized than those who don’t. So if you are feeling sleepy, grab your iphone or ipod and listen to some quality music.

Girl listening to music while studying

Eat Omega 3s

Omega 3, among other things, is helpful in keeping a person awake. If you are feeling sleepy, eat omega 3 rich foods like fish, fish oils and salmons.

Try The Water Therapy

You might have heard the joke that a student was a heavy sleeper and always slept while studying. The other students decided to throw a bucket of water on him and when they did, he actually got up. This is also true in real life. If you feel very sleepy while studying, splash cold water in your face or try a cold shower. The cool temperature will improve the blood circulation in your body which will help you get a better concentration level than before.

Take magnesium supplements

Out of the many reasons of feeling sleepy while studying, one is due to basic lack of vitamins and minerals in the body. In case you aren’t getting enough magnesium in your diet, take magnesium supplements. They are mostly available in health stores and can be taken on daily basis.

Avoid Fatty Meals

In case you are studying in the night time, you should avoid fatty meals. Take some light snacks during the evening time. Eating heavy meals can make the mind and the body sluggish.

Avoid milk

During the study hours, don’t drink milk. This will make you sleepy and it will be hard to concentrate on studies. Instead of milk, you can take the drinks of juicy fruits like orange and grapes.

Study online

If you want to avoid sleep when studying, you can also try online studying. Studying online is definitely more engaging and interesting than studying from books. There are different sites present online which contain some reference material and books of your subject. All you have to do is to sign up on those sites and study online.

Take Catnap

When you are feeling really sleepy during studying, you can also go for short naps instead of longer naps. Shorter and timed naps will just provide the body the energy it needs to refresh itself. When feeling sleepy while studying, you can take a nap of 20 minutes. This is enough for the body to kick out fatigue causing stressors which have built in the mind.

Some Final Tips

Other than the above mentioned tips to avoid sleep when studying, some of the dos and don’ts to avoid sleep are mentioned below:


Eating an apple just before the start of studies is quite helpful.

Before studying, drink tea or coffee; it depends upon your choice whichever you like. Both have the same effect.

While studying, you can also walk. This will keep you awake.

Take notes as you read. This will give you a better grip on the subject and keep you constantly awake due to the physical work.

You can also choose to study with a small group of people. This will keep you awake for a longer duration.

Drinking as much fluid as you can will also help in keeping you awake.


Don’t study any subjects other than Maths or Accounting or a subject which involves counting and calculations of some kind at night. This will keep you awake and interested.

Before studying, don’t eat a heavy meal. This will make you sleepy.

Eating rice before studying should be avoided as it will make you doze.

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Written by: Michal Vilímovský (EN)
Education: Physician
Published: September 11, 2014 at 11:21 AM
Next scheduled update: September 11, 2016 at 11:21 AM
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