Why do students feel sleepy during classes: some tips on how to deal with it

Mar 30, 2022   |   8 min read


Why do students feel sleepy during classes: some tips on how to deal with it


Who among the students, when they were in a boring lesson, never wished for a quilt and a pillow? The professor's soft voice booms through the entire classroom, the student's arm draws uneven lines in his notebooks, his eyes become heavier, his mind falls down... And then there's the awakening, the student understands that the lector is referring to a different subject. "Was I asleep? Was I really asleep? No one noticed?", the student thinks, blinking confusedly, and picks up his pen again. Veins get darker and heavier... In a different word: suffering.

Why do I fall asleep during classes?

The first thing to do is to determine the underlying reasons for the students' drowsiness. If a student is always feeling dull at university, maybe he or she, just simply isn't motivated enough, as they say nowadays. In a simpler term, the undergraduate is in the incorrect environment for learning. This problem could be a reason why learners use college essay writing service BidForWriting, as they are not interested in studying and doing a homework. Here you can change either your specialization or your perception of your studies.

The second reason hides in the professor nature. If a lecturer stands at a desk and reads monotonically from a sheet of paper without raising his eyes, then any methods, up to and including electroshock, will be useless - students will fall asleep anyway. This is a matter of the text itself and the presentation. Presentations by international scholars show that any kind of information, even very complex ones, can be presented in an interesting form.

The third reason is chronic sleep deprivation. Undergraduates have fun until dawn or, more likely, are up all night in front of the PC and then taking a nap in class. The human body is lacking sleep, and it attempts to grab its own at each chance it gets. The rule states: "If you're 5-10% efficient because you haven't slept at night, that's how much you're going to get out of class."

What you shouldn't do during a lecture :

First of all, it should be said that in any case you should never support your head with your hand or lie down on the desk. After all, it is the above-mentioned postures that promote sleep. It should be remembered that during sleep the muscles of the body are relaxed. Thus, the head can slip from the hand to the desk, which probably will notice the lecturer, in the worst case, you can get a bruise or damage the ligaments of the neck.

Also you should not wear glasses with darkened glasses - on the contrary, this will increase the desire to fall asleep. It is not recommended to use perfume or toilet water with soothing scents, clothing with a tight collar or a tightly tightened tie.

Much depends on the lecturer :

A monotone is the thing that makes students most soporific. It's always great when the speaker includes some relevant jokes, to attract students' attention. Eye contact with the audience is also significant: teacher should look not only to the center, but also to the sides. The lecturer's attention is like a spotlight: where his head is directed, that's where it shines. Once a listener hears the noise is headed in their way, they are certainly " activated".

It is advisable to interact with students - to question them, to hold debates. It's a strong trick for involving learners - getting them to reflect. Visible content - charts, graphs, electronic presentations - also help to concentrate mind.

Moreover, another big and often ignored reason of lack of attention while studying is the inability to understand the concept clearly. This gives rise to frustration and students end up all upset hence think about other things than concentrating on present.

This is where the importance of proper education system counts the most. It is essential that you have enough resources and a proper educational system which will help you grasp the concepts deeply. Educational platforms like shaw academy or online learning platforms which help you learn about concepts in details from the comfort of your own home. They also offer affordable rates and students can use shaw academy coupon code to get their courses for cheap rates.

Tips to cheer up and stay awake during class :


If your mind goes off, it means it's probably high time to take a little break. And the nicer way to relax is to do a different kind of thing. Hard to make a difference in the classroom - you actually have to sit, listen, and write. If you really can't stand it, it's better to get out and move around. Walking to the restroom and back is already a physical action that will 'overload' the brain.


If it's not interesting with the professor, you can attempt to "draw" the subject matter while you're struggling to comprehend the matter. For instance, a brilliant design student currently sitting in a technical university. He can lay out the topic in the form of comic strips. In this way it is much better for student to listen and absorb the material.


It is considered that the sleepiness of students may have underlying physical causes. Many students become drowsy due to hypoxia - a shortage of supply of oxygen to the brain. Sitting in class, they take a breath, oxygen becomes scarce, and they become sleepy.  In this case, you need to strongly rub the nail and the pad of the thumb, and then all your fingers. This boosts blood flow to the head, and the oxygen is carried by the blood.

Other working advices :

If you feel sleepy, you should prepare for the upcoming lecture in advance. Typically, it is particularly challenging to participate in classes in the afternoon, as well as in the afternoon during the hottest times of the year. Thus, during the lunch break it is recommended to drink a few cups of coffee or strong, preferably black, tea. Also, you should not pass before a couple, which can increase the feeling of sleepiness.

A small nuance, it is not recommended to drink too much coffee, especially if there is high blood pressure or any other medical contraindications.

Also, it is recommended to stock up on mint (menthol, eucalyptus, etc.) flavored chewing gum, lollipops, or candy to consume during the professor's lecture.

Also, in such a condition, mint candies or pills should not be overused. It is worth mentioning that the eating of candy can also promote " sleeping mode" of the brain.

Already in the classroom, during a lecture, it is recommended to try to listen attentively to what the lecturer says. This method will help not only to focus on the topic, but also to master new knowledge well.

For the process to be even more effective, you should take notes quickly. As a result, the time will pass much faster, and the knowledge gained will allow you to successfully pass the exam in the future.

Some smells are known to stimulate nervous activity. Thus, it is recommended to choose perfume, eau de toilette or deodorant with citrus or any other invigorating fragrance.

How to wake up here and now while doing your homework :


If you're nodding off at work, get up and take a walk to the cafeteria, for example. You don't have to buy a bun or a full lunch, just unwind.

Boredom often leads to sleepiness. Not for nothing do we yawn with an annoying conversationalist and fall asleep during a dull movie. So dilute the monotonous work with small breaks.


A proper snack will also help cheer you up. Ideal foods are:

  • apples;
  • spinach;
  • complex carbohydrates (oat or buckwheat porridge, green beans, zucchini);
  • bitter chocolate;
  • ginger.

In the fight against sleepiness, experts also recommend avoiding overeating and completely eliminating fatty foods from your diet.


A nap during the day improves performance. A Georgetown University study showed "Power naps may boost right brain activity": while we nap, the left brain hemisphere responsible for memory and logical thinking is less active, which means it recovers. Therefore, after a day's rest we become more active and easier to absorb information.

Daytime sleep should be short. Experts believe that in order to recover, it's enough to take a nap for 15-20 minutes. And if you drink a cup of coffee before that, the result will be even better.

It is important to consider the time of daytime sleep. Doctors advise not to take a nap in the evening. This can lead to insomnia at night. The fact is that in the darkness we produce melatonin, which is responsible for deep sleep. Therefore, if we take a nap after sunset, the mode of production of this substance is disrupted. As a consequence, we toss and turn in bed all night long.


Increased sleepiness usually comes with a reduction in the daylight hours. Sunlight hitting the retina regulates the production of melatonin, which is essentially setting our biological clock.

So open the blinds or curtains to cheer yourself up. And if it's dark outside the window, turn on the light. The brighter the better.


Fresh air can help wake up in no time. Simply open the windows and air the room. Lack of oxygen is one of the causes of sleepiness. If you have time and opportunity, take a short walk.


Washing your face with cold water will also help relieve fatigue. It is stressful for the body, so for a while you will find yourself awake.

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