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How to avoid sleeping in classroom

Updated on May 5, 2013
Sleeping in the class room
Sleeping in the class room | Source

Feeling sleepy during class hours is something we all experience, and especially when you sit in the same position for a long time studying a single subject. After all, how long your brain can tolerate a single subject? There's a time limit for which your brain can concentrate in a particular activity, and after that you start feeling sleepy due to lack of concentration and therefore, understanding. But since you have to pay attention in your classes, which are important and avoid problems with your teachers, it is important to avoid sleeping during class hours.

Why you feel sleepy during class hours?

There are certain reasons which leads to sleepiness during working hours:

  1. Lack of interest in the subject.

  2. Lectures of same subject for a very long period.

  3. Some medical conditions like narcolepsy.

  4. Lack of oxygen.

  5. Lack of energy.

How you can avoid sleeping during class hours?

Here are some of the things that I do to avoid sleep during the class hours and they're most of the time successful. I said "most of the time" because if your sleepiness is out of control (e.g. if you didn't slept last night at all) nobody can stop you from sleeping! You will fall asleep no matter what. Anyways, here are some tips that you can follow.

  1. Take notes during class. It's one of the best ways I've found to avoid sleep. I always make class notes and when I don't, no matter how interesting the subject is I feel sleepy. It helps me concentrate. I recommend this. Try to listen to what the lecturer is saying and try making some class notes. Class notes can prevent your sleep as well as it is useful for exams.
  2. Stretch your body right after you wake up in the morning and also after every class. Stretching your body relieves all the stress building up in your body.
  3. Go out of the class. Don't sit inside the class room. I know how humid my class gets in the summers. Humidity due to the presence of large amount of students in a room increases the heat and decreases the oxygen level in the room. And when oxygen level decreases, you feel sleepy. So, whenever you get time, like after every class, go out and walk a little bit, wash your face with cold water, breath some fresh air, and drink water.
  4. Sit straight. Don't slouch on the chair.
  5. Take long breaths during classes or whenever you start feeling sleepy. Long breaths increases the oxygen supply to the body, and therefore makes you feel refreshed.
  6. Keep chewing gums or toffees with you. I keep mentos with me and whenever I feel sleepy I eat it. If you're a student your teacher will never allow to eat chewing gums during class therefore toffees are a better options, since you can keep them in your mouth, without chewing. Just make sure your teacher doesn't see you eating it!
  7. You can keep some energy bars with you so that in case you're hungry you can eat it. When there's a lack of glucose in your body, you feel sleepy. Therefore hunger can contribute to sleepiness.
  8. Don't take heavy lunch. After-lunch period is the most drowsy one. You eat food and most of the oxygen is supplied in the digestive system area, leaving less amount of oxygen for rest of the body. You start feeling drowsy and you start yawning to intake more amount of oxygen to complete the body's requirement. More food, more drowsiness. So, avoid taking heavy lunch.
  9. Never miss your breakfast. Breakfast is the most important meal of the day, which helps you go through the day. You need energy to start off the day.
  10. Take proper sleep. Finish up your work early and try to go to bed early. Your body needs to restore the energy which it does when you sleep. Therefore proper sleep is important for the proper functioning of the body.
  11. Read the topics to be covered next day in advance. Just read. It'll help you stay up in case you feel sleepy due to lack of interest or understanding. It'll definitely help you understand more during the class. Now, I don't do this everyday but whenever I do, I feel less sleepy in the subjects I don't have much interest in.
  12. Take a nap during the lunch break. I do this sometimes when my sleep is out of my control. This helps restore energy for next classes.
  13. In case you don't understand at all and you're feeling sleepy, you can pass message chits to your friends. I do this a lot when I'm feeling sleepy.
  14. Make sure it's not some medical condition. For this, visit your doctor.

So, these are my personally tried list which helps me prevent sleep during classes and I hope this was helpful. If you have some more ideas you can share it here with us.

How often do you feel sleepy in the classroom or work?

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    • Sneha Sunny profile imageAUTHOR

      Sneha Sunny 

      2 years ago from India

      @Au fait... Students everywhere are the same. ;)

    • Au fait profile image

      C E Clark 

      2 years ago from North Texas

      I never had trouble staying awake in my classes. I understood that even the ones that I wouldn't have taken if not required to do so would be easier and I would get a better grade if I found a way to make them interesting. It boils down to you can make the class easy on yourself or hard. Your choice.

      People who are always getting up, leaving the classroom and coming back, are extremely annoying to students who are trying to pay attention. Rather than be a nuisance, I think any student who does't want to be there should leave. After I've paid $1500 for the privilege of being in the class I don't appreciate anyone who makes it hard to hear or pay attention. I've had a few professors who let students know their grades would suffer and that they might even be permanently removed if they continued to be a distraction. Tuition money is not returned if one drops a class after the class begins -- or if one is removed.

      Given the high cost of university tuition, I should think anyone who had to pay it themselves would want to get their moneys worth. An A doesn't cost anymore than a C. D's and F's are very expensive as one must repeat the class to get credit for it if they get such a low grade, so they end up paying twice.

      I think sometimes people should wait until they're grown up before attending the university and then pay for it themselves rather than depending on their parents since they're too young to appreciate the sacrifice their parents are making and too young in many cases to seriously learn anything. It's usually a good idea to get the partying out of one's system first.

      We have air-conditioning in our classrooms. It's more often too cold than too hot in our university classrooms.

      Interesting to see that Indian students are just as spoiled as most of our American kids. ;)

    • Sneha Sunny profile imageAUTHOR

      Sneha Sunny 

      5 years ago from India

      Its true that when you are feeling sleepy nothing can make you stay up. These are just a few methods that helps to avoid sleep. :) Thanks for visiting.

    • mr-veg profile image


      5 years ago from Colorado United States

      ha ha ha. Sneha you took me back to my college days... we used to have lecture for almost 2 hours... and I still remember the chalk piece flying like a rocket towards me and hitting on my head :) ... Well the best mechanism that I found to avoid sleeping in class was to bunk the class go out to cafeteria and just chit chat with friends... and it worked magical :)

    • Sneha Sunny profile imageAUTHOR

      Sneha Sunny 

      5 years ago from India

      Thank you!

    • Careermommy profile image

      Tirralan Watkins 

      5 years ago from Los Angeles, CA

      Sneha, I need these tips for work! These are great. Very useful.

    • Sneha Sunny profile imageAUTHOR

      Sneha Sunny 

      5 years ago from India

      @PaoloJpm.... So true. I forgot to write that one. Thanks for the addition. Boring teachers make me sleep in the first class of the day!

    • Sneha Sunny profile imageAUTHOR

      Sneha Sunny 

      5 years ago from India

      Yeah but sometimes I start feeling sleepy in the very first class. And once I start feeling sleepy I can't concentrate for the entire day. I too sleep when my sleep is out of control but these methods help me stay awake as long as possible. :)

      Thanks for stopping by. :)

    • PaoloJpm profile image

      John Paolo B.Magdaluyo 

      5 years ago from Philippine

      Oh, I would like to add something on the reasons why students felt sleepy during class:

      Boring teachers

      - they are teachers who does not consider a lively or colorful atmosphere in the class. Instead they just continue to do what has been a usual way of teaching which cause students to get more sleepy. I truly love those teachers who kept on loving their job through continue innovation of techniques on how to create a lively discussion or a fun with great impact in learning.

    • sameer.anand profile image

      Sameer Anand 

      5 years ago from Pilani (India)

      Well that's why I always chose the last bench during my schools, coz u see simply putting the head down is much more simpler than performing so many elaborate steps to stay awake! :D

      Funny hub though! Reminded me of those good old school days.

    • Sneha Sunny profile imageAUTHOR

      Sneha Sunny 

      5 years ago from India

      viewfinders.... thanks you for stopping by and commenting! :)

    • Sneha Sunny profile imageAUTHOR

      Sneha Sunny 

      5 years ago from India

      kidscrafts... lol.. I got the idea because I feel sleepy quite often in some or other classes, and especially in summer time. These ideas work for me. I hope some other students 'like me' would also find it useful!

    • viewfinders profile image


      5 years ago from India

      Some useful tips that students can try ...

      thanks for sharing such a useful tips with us....

    • kidscrafts profile image


      5 years ago from Ottawa, Canada

      Funny topic....especially because I remember a course in highschool where I just wanted to sleep :-)

      I think all the advices are definitly good advices to avoid the problem!

      Thanks for sharing!


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