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How to stay awake while studying: top 5 tips to stay awake at night to study

  • 4 min read

All students have struggled to stay awake while studying. Assignments, exams, and just keeping up with classwork can often mean long nights slaving away over the books. Luckily, there are many natural ways to stay awake longer that will help you to concentrate on your studies. We've listed the five best methods below.

You’ll see that we won’t be mentioning caffeine in this list, because it is not natural! Caffeine is an addictive chemical that can have negative impacts on your health if you consume too much. Caffeine also reduces the quality of your sleep, making it harder to stay awake the next day.

Read on for some great ways to stay awake during class or while studying without coffee or energy drinks.

Stay active

One of the best things you can do to not fall asleep while studying late at night is to get up and move around. One study by California State University found that taking a brisk 10-minute walk gives you an energy boost for two hours afterwards. In fact, the study found a walk was a much better option than eating a bar of chocolate, which only gives you a temporary energy boost — you are actually more tired an hour later.

Further research from the University of Georgia found that exercise was better at making people feel awake than medication. Rather than sitting at your desk or on the couch for hours, get up every now and again for a short walk. This could be a walk to the local park, around the block, or even a couple of times around your flat! Alternatively, you can jog in place or do star jumps or push-ups for a few minutes. This short burst of physical activity will make you feel refreshed and stop you from feeling sleepy.

Nike shoes for training

Eat carbs and protein

A meal or a snack can give you a boost in energy levels and help you to stay awake — as long as you eat the right thing. Sugary snacks are a bad idea, as these will give you a quick boost of energy that is quickly followed by a low that will make you want to sleep. This occurs because your blood sugar spikes and then crashes when you eat high-calorie, high-sugar foods. The ideal snack to keep you awake and alert while studying consists of a mixture of complex carbohydrates and protein. This will inject some sugar into your system to feed energy to your brain in a slow, sustained way.

Make sure to eat a healthy meal before hitting the books, and follow this up with the right kind of snacks to keep you going throughout a long study session. Some great examples of study-friendly snacks include natural yoghurt with nuts or fresh fruit and carrot or celery sticks with low-fat creamy dip. Smaller-portioned snacks throughout the session are better than big meals that may make you feel groggy or sleepy.

Drink water

Staying hydrated is also very important if you want to remain awake while studying. Dehydration makes you feel tired, so drinking plenty of water will help you to stay alert and focused on your studies. Research shows that even mild dehydration can make us tired, affect our memory, and even cause us to feel anxious. All of this is gets in the way of being able to stay up and study!

What's more, taking a break to drink some water gives your eyes a break from your computer screen or textbooks, helping to avoid eye strain. Getting up to refill your glass will force you to have some physical activity, which is also important for staying awake. Water is the best thing to stay hydrated, but other drinks like fruit juice and fruits and vegetables with high water content such as watermelon, tomato, and celery can help too. Stay away from coffee though, because this can have the opposite effect and cause you to become dehydrated.

Water out of the tap

Nasal inhalers

Nasal inhalers are another great, natural way to stay awake while studying. These inhalers contain essential oils, which scientific studies have found are helpful in preventing fatigueimproving learning and memory, and stimulating brain activity.

Ingredients such as sweet orange, lemongrass, and eucalyptus give you a refreshing boost, helping you to stay awake and focused even when studying late. Eucalyptus has a euphoric, energising smell that will instantly make you feel more awake. Orange essential oils have been found to be helpful in managing stress as well as improving athletic performance. Lemongrass has a powerful citrus smell that not only is refreshing, but also has a range of health benefits. Lemongrass oil is often used to treat digestive problems and high blood pressure. It can also help to manage stress, anxiety, and depression thanks to its positive impacts on mood.

Keep a nasal inhaler handy while studying late, and take a deep inhale from time to time to help you to stay awake, not to mention lifting your mood at the same time. Check out our range of FLYY inhalers to help you stay awake naturally.

Have a great night’s sleep

Being able to stay awake while studying also depends on the sleep you’ve had the night before. You should aim to have around eight hours of solid, quality sleep without interruptions: This will help you be at your best when you hit the books and able to stay awake and alert as long as possible.

If possible, you can grab a nap before you start a long study session. This is much better than taking a nap in the middle of studying. That's risky because if you take a nap when you’re already tired, you will probably oversleep and lose out on valuable study time!

Natural ways to stay awake while studying

There are many natural ways to stay awake at night to study so that you can smash your exam or write an amazing report. Caffeine and high-sugar snacks are not only bad for you, but they can also have the opposite effect and make you feel sleepy after the initial rush.

It is much better to eat healthy snacks with complex carbs and proteins, drink plenty of water, do some physical activity, and take a deep breath in a nasal inhaler. And don’t forget to make sure you’ve had a great night’s sleep the night before!