As schedules get busier and classes get back into full swing, our bodies are quickly forced to shake the hangover of those hot, endless summer days. But while most people go through this in the fall, tiredness and fatigue can be more than just an inconvenience, but a year-round distraction for sleepless students.
Don’t let grogginess and irritability hurt your performance in school, and instead shake low-energy spells with these tips.
Dial back caffeine intake
One of the first reactions you might have to the two-o’clock in the afternoon feeling is probably to grab a cup of coffee or an energy drink. However, drinking too much caffeine too often can begin to lessen the effects of the drug as your body builds up a tolerance to it. So when experiencing constant tiredness, replace caffeine with lots and lots of cold water, and instead of a thermos of coffee, carry around a few high-protein snacks. These options are not only healthier, but will give you a cleaner awake feeling.
Don’t make same mistakes tonight
Consistently staying up later than you want can be the result of many things. But going to bed at a reasonable time is most commonly a matter of planning and willpower more than anything. So start tonight — set a bedtime that is just a couple dozen minutes earlier than when you went to bed the night before. Also, start a power-down routine where you turn off all electronics an hour before sleeping and do less strenuous activities, like getting ready for the next day or reading a physical book or magazine.
Maybe you are getting all the sleep you can and you still get groggy throughout the day. In this case, it’s probably a good idea to look at the sleep you are getting to make sure it’s good sleep. Use an app such as Sleep Cycle or Sleepyti.me to wake up at the end of sleep cycles and feel more refreshed, or even consider seeing a specialist or contacting SOAR for more information on sleep resources.
Get more sun
Being outdoors makes your body work a bit harder which makes it sleep a bit better at night. On top of that, simply doing your work in the sun increases your vitamin D levels, which is a key component to physiologically fighting fatigue.
Separate sleep and work
When you physically can’t stay awake in class, it’s time to start taking a short nap before or after that class and doing things like sitting up front and practicing good posture to stay alert. By that same token, when you’re going to sleep, make sure your only goal is to sleep — don’t bring work into your bed or go over plans for tomorrow in your head. That convolutes the line between work and sleep, a trap that leaves you with the least energy when you most need it.