Staying Awake without Caffeine
Ask any full-time college student who is heavily involved in extracurricular activities or has a side job and they’ll tell you Mr. Coffee Bean is their dearest and most treasured friend. But consuming too much caffeine can have harmful effects on your body —not only does it dehydrate you, but soda can cause substantial weight gain as well. While gaining the proper eight hours of sleep a day is really the only way to feel well-rested and rejuvenated, some college students don’t have that luxury. Luckily, there are other ways that you can stay awake during crucial class and study time, sans caffeinated beverages.
The first thing to do is start consuming more water. Since dehydration reduces your blood volume, it tends to make you feel tired, even if you received adequate sleep the night before. Try drinking the standard 8 glasses of water a day. This will not only help you stay alert, but will keep your brain and body functioning properly. This will help you retain information and stay healthy, which are key elements needed to be successful all throughout your college career.
Another way to stay awake is to exercise. Exercise pushes oxygen through the bloodstream and stimulates cells. This stimulation is what keeps your body alert. While it’s not recommended to do lunges inside of the library, you can step outside for a few moments and do some basic stretches. You can also try power-walking to class as opposed to taking the bus if you live on campus and join your school’s gymnasium to get some regular exercise into your daily life. Exercise also increases the levels of endorphins in your brain to make you feel alert and happy.
Eating the right foods can also give you an instantaneous boost of energy. Consuming fruits, such as apples for example, are a great natural energizer because they are more easily digestible than other foods and can therefore more easily provide you with the fuel you need to continue on. Try packing healthy snacks and munch on them periodically throughout the day, especially during moments where you feel the most fatigue.
Last but not least, try exposing yourself to as much natural sun light as possible. The sun contains the highest levels of short wavelength blue-light, which is needed to stay alert and activate our brains. Studying during the night and in a dimmed lighted area? Expose yourself to some immediate bright lights by turning on all the lights in the room or going to a brightly-lit area like a bathroom.