10 Ways to Stay Awake in Class

Male high school student asleep in class --- Image by © Image Source/Corbis

© Image Source/Corbis

Male high school student asleep in class — Image by © Image Source/Corbis

Abigail Williams, Writer

As the second semester begins and winter break stops I’ve been finding myself sleepy during class and it has become hard to wake myself up. This week is probably the worst week to come back to school with less than eight hours of sleep. Our bodies throughout the last two weeks have gotten used to being relaxed and in a resting mode, but now that we have to get up at five or six in the morning our bodies seem to become weaker and drowsy. As our classes begin we find our eyelids beginning to feel heavy and heavier. It’s difficult to try to stay awake during class especially coming from break. I looked up how to stay awake in class and I found ten of the best ways to stay awake without disturbing your teacher.


  1. Listen to your teacher. Try to focus on the teachers words. I know this is sometimes hard and it gets boring to the point where you were more tired than before.Try to memorize the teachers words and put it into a memorable song. For example if a teacher were talking about the cell at its importance put the important information into a song like the Itsy Bitsy Spider. You will find yourself enjoying a little tune in your head while learning about the cell.
  2. Start tapping your pencil or your finger on your leg. Tapping helps keep your mind awake and alert. Start tapping to the rhythm of your favorite song or tap to the thoughts flying through your mind. Don’t tap on your desk because this may become a distraction and annoy your teacher, but tap on your leg so it won’t be heard nor annoying. Your neighbor may become annoyed by your tapping but at least you won’t be falling asleep.
  3. Eat a mint or chew gum. Eating a mint will not only make your breath smell great, but it will help wake up your brain. Peppermints are made out of sugar and oils which is the prime factor of what our brain needs. The sugar is turned into glucose and then sent up to your brain. A mint will help you stay awake and give you great breath.
  4. Eat something. Usually when someone is hungry then their bodies are on low and that makes them focus less. Hunger is the ultimate enemy of staying awake. If you eat something like a granola bar before class then it is guaranteed to make you stay awake. Just fill your stomach with a little something before a class starts and you will be ready to learn.
  5. Focus on holding posture and don’t lean back in your seat. If you put your head down good luck trying to stay awake. Try to sit up as much as you can and focus on fixing your posture. I know that the method can be rather harsh and unsettling, but it works. Also, having good posture during class will make you look more professional.
  6. Drink water. Our bodies are made out of water and if your dehydrated then you will become drowsy.  Drinking eight glasses of water seems to be mad, but drinking a glass or two during school or even during a class period will wake you up. Drinking water can also calm down your hungry stomach if you start to get hungry during class. There’s no harm in keeping hydrated.
  7. Stretch out your arms and legs while in your seat. Stretching won’t cause any disruption and no one is going to get mad over it. Stretching yourself out stretches out your neck, shoulder, and leg muscles which makes you feel much more better. Of course, don’t start doing jumping jacks or push-ups while in class that would be weird and your teacher would probably get really annoyed.
  8. Counting always helps. As you start to drift off start counting random things such as the blinds or the number of pencils the teacher has on the desk. This is exercising your mind and it will help keep you awake. If you and your friend are falling asleep try to have a counting competition with them and see who can count the fastest. Don’t count out loud or have a counting competition with your friend where it is noticeable by the teacher and get you in trouble.
  9. Participate in class. Participating in class can sometimes be difficult if the teacher in constantly talking, but it is possible by taking notes and you can’t get in trouble for taking notes. When you are participating you can ask questions and try to involve yourself in any activity. Participating in class will also show your teacher that you care.
  10. Sit by a friend. Not only can the friend keep you going by making a few comments, but f you are starting to doze off they can tap you. Sitting by a friend can be seen as a distraction sometimes, but it can also be a lifesaver when you aren’t paying attention. Sitting next to a stranger who won’t talk to you will make class even worse, so try to sit by a friend who will keep you up.

These ten different ways are to help you stay awake without distracting your teacher or your peers. If you don’t find that these ten ways won’t wake you up in class then find other ways that works for you.