Struggling to keep your eyes open in a lecture is an all too common factor of the university experience. But it doesn’t have to be! Laura Durechova from Graduate Recruitment Bureau gives some handy tips on how to stay awake and avoid exhaustion at university.
Eat a nutritious breakfast
Cram in some brain foods to help keep your mind active, fill your stomach and stay awake. Try porridge for the foundation of your breakfast. Oats have tons of health benefits; they’re an antioxidant, a destroyer of cholesterol and high blood pressure. Oats also burn slowly so keep you sustained until lunchtime. Try garnishing with other superfoods such as blueberries and nuts to maximise brain activity.
No smart phones in bed
The temptation to roll over and see if you have any Instagram or twitter interactions after lying in bed for an hour is actually damaging to your sleep patterns. To get a better night’s sleep, try turning off your phone/laptop/tablet. It’s not only tempting to check electrical devices when you can’t sleep, but the light they emit promotes wakefulness. Signalling of light and dark help the brain know when to sleep and when to wake up, so leaving your smartphone next to you bed to illuminate every time you get an update interferes with your sleep massively.
Stop hitting snooze
Those few extra minutes of sleep can do more harm than good. Waking up slowly by setting several 10 minute interval alarms can leave you feeling worse off than waking up early. You end up starting a new sleep pattern which is then constantly interrupted so give that snooze a miss!
Hangover and 9am seminars
This is the only situation that coffee is advisable as a speedy solution, but it’ll make you feel groggy after a while. Before you go to sleep, have a glass of water to hydrate your brain. When you wake up get out of bed straight away, follow the above advice of not hitting snooze and have a good breakfast. Drink more water, make a coffee and you’re ready(ish) for your seminar. However, alcohol disrupts your sleep so following the next tip can sort you right out.
Get an early night once in a while
Exhaustion is your body’s way of telling you to slow down. If you’ve been out every night this week and also had 100 percent attendance in all your lectures and seminars, firstly congratulations! But take a night off going out and work, as you won’t be performing your best from running off cups of coffee. Turn off your phone, zone out, and get an early night.
There’s no point in sitting through a whole day of university if the only thought that passes through your mind is of your warm, inviting bed (…if your lecture’s beyond boring, you may be excused). Undisrupted sleep combined with a slow energy burning breakfast is crucial factor to being alert and active for the next day. Try combining the tips above for the best night’s sleep of your life so far and push exhaustion firmly out of your body and mind for good.