Sleepless in studyland: how to stay awake

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Sravya Singampalli/File

As dead week digs its claws in, it’s only a matter of time until our solid six hours of sleep a night crumbles into a measly three hours (at best). And although you would love to be settled in sweet slumbers instead of studying for finals, that doesn’t seem like an option. Unfortunately, mind over matter doesn’t always work. Without rest, your brain will turn into jumbled alphabet soup and your eyelids will be pulled down like window blinds. While sleep is obviously the only solution to fix a weary soul, we at the Clog have come up with some suitable substitutes.

Don’t stop moving. Ever.

Isaac Newton didn’t lie: objects in motion stay in motion. The same thing applies to students studying. Exhaustion always seems to hit when you take a break and sit down. Obviously, the only solution is to never stop moving. Instead of planting yourself in a chair to do homework, do pushups. Or when you’re in class, jog around the room and do laps around the professor. This will show that you’re active and engaged. This strategy will also help you double up on working out and studying for finals.

Go caffeine crazy.

If squats and sit-ups aren’t for you, coffee is your best bet. Although you can rely on subpar espresso from Caffe Strada, there are other concoctions to create at home. Not for the faint of heart, your coffee can be brewed with energy drinks. While minor side effects include heart palpitations, this is just a risk you have to take in order to get good grades. Plus, if the caffeine doesn’t jolt you awake immediately, the foul taste of your morning cup of joe will be sure to give you a boost.

Switch up your study spot.

Everyone has a favorite study spot, but cocooning yourself in such a safe space can lead to failure. Being too comfortable can create an environment for distractions, so instead of writing your research paper, you’ll be writing Snapchat captions. To avoid this foreseeable future, simply switch up the space you study in. One great place to flip through flashcards is in the bath. A bath is a great way to treat yourself, but warm water is bound to leave you drowsy. In order to keep your body and mind stimulated, fill up your tub with ice and freezing water. Not only will this soothe any achy muscles caused by stress, but eventually you’ll lose all feeling in your body. This will ultimately allow you to put all your focus on your studies!

Think about your future.

Nothing gets adrenaline pumping like being scared. Our primal instincts heighten when faced with fear, leaving our minds sharp and alert. Although cheap jump scares in horror films can provide you with a temporary shot of adrenaline, there’s another source that provides a longer-lasting effect: thinking about the future. Dwelling on your future plans for ten minutes will leave you in cold sweats and drowning in anxiety. Another result of this is a slap of energy hitting you like a semi-truck. Instead of using this newly found fuel to create a five-year plan, focus on your finals.

So go ahead and implement one (or all) of these unusual, yet useful, tools to tackle your tests. And after your exams end, you’ll be able to sleep until 2017.

Kirsty Fowler is the assistant blog editor. Contact Kirsty Fowler at [email protected].