How to Stay Awake: Tips for staying awake in meetings and classes (2023)

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Last updated on January 11, 2023

Written byJill Zwarenstein

Disclaimer - Nothing on this website is intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment... Read more here.

Many people struggle to stay awake throughout the day. Sometimes environmental factors can affect your energy levels. In other cases, poor sleep quality during the night can cause someone to fall asleep in the middle of the day while their body tries to catch up. While it's nice to go back to bed, sometimes our busy schedules just don't allow it.

Read some of the best tips and tricks forlearn to stop falling asleep.You can use these tips to combat daytime sleepiness and get through work or school.


How to stay awake naturally

How to stay awake at work or in a meeting

How to stay awake in class

When to seek medical advice

NavigationHow to stay awake naturallyHow to stay awake at work or in a meetingHow to stay awake in classWhen to seek medical advice
(Video) 8 Tips for Staying Engaged & Awake in Class

How to stay awake naturally

Take a brisk walk

If you need a quick boost of energy, consider taking a walk outside. Ato study1conducted by Robert Thayer, P.h.D., found that brisk walking, even for just 10 minutes, can provide more energy and less tension than a candy bar. While you might think that a sugary snack will keep you energized, a brisk walk is a better -- and healthier -- alternative.

Take a short nap

Depending on your daily routine, you might be able to take a short nap. When your body is tired, sometimes just 20 minutes of sleep is just what you need to keep going. To get the most out of your nap, there are a few tips to follow. First, make sure you avoid sleeping late as it can affect your ability to fall asleep at night. Second, limit the time you spend napping to 30 minutes or less. If you sleep too much, you risk waking up groggy, which can make matters worse. Too much sleep can also make it harder to fall asleep later.

Find out more:Power Nap Benefits

rest your eyes

eyestrain2it can be difficult for some people to keep their eyes open, which in turn can make you feel tired. To reduce eye strain, stop staring at computer screens, cell phones, or spreadsheets and give yourself some time to close your eyes and recharge your batteries. If you regularly use computers or other technological devices, you should consider investing in themblue light blocking glasseswhich are known to reduce eye strain.

Eat a healthy snack

Low blood sugar can cause some people to feel exhausted at random times. Therefore, can eat a healthy snackhelp regulate blood sugar levelsS3, which should help increase energy and eliminate sugar crashes. Examples of good foods for an afternoon snack include nuts, low-fat dairy products like cheese or yogurt, or fruits and vegetables.

How to Stay Awake: Tips for staying awake in meetings and classes (1)

Start a conversation with someone

Find ways to energize the mind, which can also increase physical energy and alertness. Start a conversation about an exciting topic like your favorite shows or something mentally stimulating like politics or career projects. Having someone else to grab your attention can help keep drowsiness at bay.

leave the lights on

People generally sleep better in dark rooms because light can disturb oursheart rhythm. Light tells the body it's time to wake up, while darkness signals the body it's time to sleep. Here's how you can use the light to your advantage to stay alert. Try adding a brighter light source to give it more energy. We also mentioned earlier that a brisk walk can help prevent you from falling asleep. This is especially true on a sunny day when the sunlight provides even more energy.

(Video) How to Survive and Stay Awake at Boring Meetings

Practice deep breathing

Deep breath4is another technique that can keep you on your toes. These breathing exercises increase the levels of oxygen and nutrients in the body and, according to experts, allow your organs to function optimally, giving you more energy. Deep breathing has other benefits as well, including reduced stress, a stronger immune system, and better circulation.

switch tasks

Monotony can make someone bored during the day and eventually become sleepy. Instead, try changing things up to keep your mind sharp and focused.

First, look at the time of day when you have the most energy. It is tomorrow? If that's the case, reserve the tasks that require the most attention to detail for this time when you're naturally at your peak performance.

So if you regularly experience an afternoon break, try changing up your routine to stimulate your mind and body. This would be an excellent time for a walk, deep breathing exercise, a healthy snack, or even an exercise class if your schedule allows. Once you regain some energy in your system, you can go back to work or school.

hydrate yourself

We usually reach for coffee to keep us awake, but you might want to grab a bottle of water. One of the symptoms ofdehydration5If you're feeling tired, then drinking more water is an excellent way to rejuvenate you throughout the day.

How to Stay Awake: Tips for staying awake in meetings and classes (2)

A practice

Exercise can help wake up your body and mind, release endorphins, and increase your heart rate. Like deep breathing, physical activity helps bring more oxygen and nutrients into your body, which creates more energy. Go for a brisk run, do light cardio like jumping jacks, or keep a pedalboard under your desk.

go to bed early

If you tend to feel sleepy throughout the day, you may not be getting enough sleep at night. Experts say adults should get between 7 and 9 hours of itsleepeach night.

However, if you stay up until midnight and wake up at 6am, it means you are probably sleep deprived. In some cases, you can get 7 hours of sleep a night, but your body is better off with 8 or 9 hours. Try going to bed earlier and see if the extra sleep time during the day makes you feel better.

drink coffee

Many coffee drinkers depend on a good cup of joe to get them going in the morning. However, that doesn't mean you should drink coffee all day.Caffeine6it can stay in your system for up to 6 hours, which means you may have a harder time sleeping at night if you drink coffee very late. It's usually ok to have coffee in the morning and early afternoon, but at 3pm. It's a good time to cut back on your caffeine intake for the day.

How to Stay Awake: Tips for staying awake in meetings and classes (3)

(Video) Seven Ways to Stay Awake During a Zoom Meeting or Online Class

Treat yourself to a massage

Aquick massage can increaseTraffic7, promoting energy and alertness. Experts recommend rubbing between your thumb and forefinger or massaging the back of your neck to the scalp. Gently massaging the earlobes can also help prevent drowsiness.

How to stay awake at work or in a meeting

maintain eye contact

Being around other people should provide stimuli that can boost your energy levels. Find someone to talk to, preferably in person so you can look them straight in the eye. This should give them focus and get them out of their tired state.

Keep scented products nearby

Scents can be a great way to feel refreshed and improve your overall mood. Keep a small bottle of peppermint oil or your favorite citrus scent on your desk or purse and take a deep breath for a quick boost. Rosemary, eucalyptus, and lemongrass scents are also known to boost energy.

How to Stay Awake: Tips for staying awake in meetings and classes (4)

Pay attention to your posture when sitting

Ato studyvonhealth psychology8points to posture as a surprising factor in energy levels. Those who sat upright at their desks reported increased energy and interest. If you're sagging from exhaustion, try sitting up like an arrow and see if you notice a positive change.

Splash water on your face

Splashing cold water on your face should give you a much-needed midday boost and help you stay awake. This can also be a good way to cool off if it's been a hot day sinceWarmit can make you even more sleepy.

Chew a piece of gum

Chewing gum is another easy way to wake up. Researchers have found thatchewing gum9can increase energy levels. We previously recommended peppermint as an energy-boosting scent, so consider buying a peppermint-flavored gum.

(Video) How to Stay Awake In Class. How Not To Fall Asleep In Class. #howtostayawake #studytips #avoidsleepy

How to stay awake in class

When children reach puberty, theirBiological clocks change10, meaning they are more likely to stay up late. Of course, this can be a problem if your school day still starts early, which is why many teenagers may need help staying up in class.

Many of the above suggestions may also work for students, e.g. For example, drinking more water, splashing cold water on your face, and doing breathing exercises. While you may not be able to strike up a conversation in the middle of class, use the time between classes to quickly greet a friend instead of looking at your phone. Talking to a friend can give you a quick boost of energy before your next class starts.

Another thing teenagers should be aware of iswhole nights, when someone stays up all night, usually studying for a test or completing an assignment. In some cases, before a big exam, you may feel restless and have trouble sleeping. Staying the night isn't ideal, but when it happens, you can help yourself stay awake throughout the day.

Your brain needs to increase activity in certain areas to make up for your lack of sleep. However, you should avoid multitasking as it will also make you less able to concentrate, another reason why they are not ideal for students.

Exercise, energizing foods, or a little cold water can help keep you active. Your body can also naturally adjust your level of sleepiness to keep your circadian rhythm on track. You may feel most tired in the early morning, before this period of adjustment takes place.

If you are a junior or senior in high school and driving now, find a ride to school. You should avoid getting behind the wheel as sleepy driving increases the risk of an accident.

When you get home, you might be looking forward to going to bed. However, this can disrupt your sleep pattern. Instead, try to stay up until your normal bedtime to get back on schedule.

When to seek medical advice

Anytime you feel like your exhaustion or sleep deprivation is affecting your health, safety, or your daily activities, it's time to see a doctor. If home remedies are causing negative side effects, stop using them immediately and seek advice from your doctor on how to maintain your sleep cycle. you can only have onesleep disturbance.

Napping at odd times can happen to anyone for a variety of reasons. The good news is that you can find different ways to address this issue and you should strive to find the healthiest options that work best for you.

Try healthy activities like energizing snacks, exercise, or short naps to get you through the slower times, and if that doesn't fix the problem, seek medical professional help.


  1. Thayer, Robert E. "Energy, Fatigue, and Tension Effects of a Sugary Snack Compared with Moderate Exercise." American Psychological Association. 1987
  2. Wilson, Shayla. "Eye Fatigue". Kellogg Eye Center, University of Michigan Health System. Last modified April 2015.
  3. "Healthy Diet for Blood Sugar Control". Harvard Health. 2021
  4. Riehl, Megan. "A Simple Way to Overcome Stress — and Build a Healthier Life." University of Michigan Health. ,Function%20in%20%20large%20level. 2016
  5. "dehydration". National Health Service. Last updated 9 August 2023.
  6. Drake Ph.D. F.A.A.S.M., Christopher., Roehrs, Ph.D., F.A.A.S.M., Timothy., Shambroom, B.S., John., Roth, Ph.D., Thomas. "Effects of caffeine on sleep taken 0, 3, or 6 hours before bedtime". Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine Volume 9, Issue 11. 2013
  7. "Massotherapy improves blood circulation, relieves muscle pain". University of Illinois, Chicago. 2014
  8. Nair, S., Sagar, M., Sollers, J. III, Consedine, N., & Broadbent, E. "Do slumped and erect postures affect stress responses? A randomized study”. American Psychological Association. 2015
  9. "Nutritionist Discovers Chewing Gum May Reduce Calorie Intake and Increase Energy Expenditure." University of Rhode Island. 2009
  10. "Sleep and his teenage son". Nemour's Child Health.,until%20later%20in%20the%20manha. 2021

Jill Zwarenstein


Jill Zwarensteyn is a contributing editor at Sleep Advisor and a certified sleep scientist. She looks forward to providing helpful and engaging information on all things sleep and wellness.

Based in Los Angeles, she is an experienced writer and journalist who enjoys spending her free time at the beach, walking, reading or exploring new places in the city.

She is also an avid traveler who has a personal goal of one day falling asleep on an airplane.


How do you keep yourself awake during a meeting? ›

Make Yourself Uncomfortable

Instead of sitting in a chair that could potentially recline (or topple), stand up in the back of the room, or, if you work in a “cool” office, balance on an exercise ball. Keeping your body active will help your mind stay alert, and you'll be able to power through the meeting.

Why am I always sleepy in meetings? ›

The nucleus accumbens, or the part of the brain that is associated with motivation and pleasure, also can produce sleep. When you're not motivated by or pleased with your current surroundings, your brain is basically sending signals that it's time to fall asleep.

What is a trick to stay awake? ›

Consume Caffeine

Caffeine is a very effective, inexpensive way to stay awake and alert. 1 Caffeine is a natural stimulant that can boost your energy and focus. Coffee, tea, hot chocolate, and soda are popular caffeinated drinks. You can also get some caffeine from foods like chocolate.

Why can't I stay awake in class? ›

Participate. Being actively engaged, whether it's taking notes or participating in a classroom discussion, can help keep you from snoozing during a lecture. You may just need to occupy your mind more during class, so take good notes. They can be questions or comments on the lecture if there aren't facts to jot down.

How do you increase energy in a meeting? ›

Going Well – Ask everyone to go around the table and share one thing that is going well in their lives or at work. Give them about 30 seconds each. This is a quick way to raise brain serotonin levels by focusing on something positive and taking their minds away from the problem they were just solving.

Why do I feel sleepy in class? ›

Sitting still for too long can make you feel tired. Try to move your body to feel more alert and think more clearly. If possible, take activity breaks for at least 10 minutes every few hours. You can also try stretching out your arms, torso, knees, and legs.

How do you avoid boring meetings? ›

Avoid a boring meeting with these 5 tips
  1. Use laughter.
  2. Walk instead of sit.
  3. Only talk about what's necessary.
  4. Bring goodies to share.
  5. Skip your meeting altogether.
Nov 28, 2018

What makes you awake instantly? ›

To feel more awake instantly get some bright light exposure, drink some caffeine, exercise, take a cold shower, and drink some water.

How can I feel more awake ASAP? ›

  1. Get Up and Move Around to Feel Awake. ...
  2. Take a Nap to Take the Edge Off Sleepiness. ...
  3. Give Your Eyes a Break to Avoid Fatigue. ...
  4. Eat a Healthy Snack to Boost Energy. ...
  5. Start a Conversation to Wake Up Your Mind. ...
  6. Turn Up the Lights to Ease Fatigue. ...
  7. Take a Breather to Feel Alert. ...
  8. If You're Driving, Pull Over When Sleepy.
Mar 27, 2022

How can I stay awake until 1 am? ›

How to Stay Up All Night
  1. Practice. The easiest way to stay up all night is to reset your internal clock. ...
  2. Caffeinate. Caffeine is a helpful pick-me-up and can increase your alertness. ...
  3. But avoid energy drinks. ...
  4. Take a nap. ...
  5. Get up and move. ...
  6. Find some bright lights. ...
  7. Use your devices. ...
  8. Take a shower.
Apr 12, 2018

How do you get rid of tiredness fast? ›

7 things I recommend you do instantly if you feel tired:
  1. Get up and get moving.
  2. Drink a glass of water.
  3. Get outside and breathe in some fresh air.
  4. Eat an energy-boosting snack.
  5. Splash your face with cold water.
  6. Smell some peppermint.
  7. Listen to your favourite playlist.

How can I be more active in class? ›

6 Ways to Stay Engaged in Class
  1. First, get your mind right. Much of how we perform any task starts with how we set up our mentality. ...
  2. Minimize distractions. Choosing to sit in the front of the class will help in a few ways. ...
  3. Optimize your note-taking skills. ...
  4. Be active. ...
  5. Talk to your teachers. ...
  6. Be prepared.
May 12, 2017

How can I focus in class? ›

  1. Tips to Focus your. Attention in Class.
  2. Prepare before class. Preparing before class can help you understand the material better.
  3. Get a minimum of 8 hours sleep. Fatigue makes it really hard to concentrate in class. ...
  4. Get moving. ...
  5. Sit near the front. ...
  6. Turn off your phone. ...
  7. Participate. ...
  8. Take notes.

What should I eat to stay awake in class? ›

Try bringing some of these fruits that are high in vitamin C to class on days you're feeling sluggish: oranges, pineapples, strawberries, grapefruit, guava, kiwi, or many more that can be found here. Fruits that are high in potassium, like bananas, raisins, and pears have also been shown to boost alertness.

Is falling asleep in class ADHD? ›

College students with ADHD tend to fall asleep in class as well as pull all-nighters more frequently than others. Even though most people need 7-9 hours of sleep to function their best, sleep issues come with the territory of ADHD. As a result, staying awake in class can be a challenge.

How do you calm nerves when meeting? ›

How to overcome meeting anxiety
  1. Prepare yourself. You may feel better about going into a meeting if you feel prepared. ...
  2. Practice your statements. ...
  3. Reach out to the participants. ...
  4. Use relaxation techniques. ...
  5. Acknowledge your feelings. ...
  6. Speak up early. ...
  7. Engage with the material. ...
  8. Take action steps.
Jun 8, 2021

How do I get energetic and alert? ›

Read on for our tips on how to feel more awake and alert.
  1. Pay attention to diet. One of our main sources of energy is, of course, the food we eat. ...
  2. Do some light exercise. ...
  3. Put time aside for yoga, meditation. ...
  4. Learn to delegate tasks. ...
  5. Don't underestimate sleep.
Jul 21, 2020

How can I be more alert and energetic? ›

Takeaway: Exercising can lead to more energy throughout the day, and better sleep at night. Strive to hit the recommended amount of exercise per week, 150 to 500 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic activity.

What can I drink to avoid sleep while studying? ›

Drink water often

The students should have their water bottles and fill them up every time they consume them. They can keep the bottle near their study table and should drink it every 30 minutes. Moreover, water helps them stay hydrated, especially while doing intense tasks.

How do I stop being quiet in meetings? ›

Before the Meeting
  1. Find Out the Meeting Agenda. ...
  2. Plan and Practice What You're Going to Say. ...
  3. Find Some Quiet Time Before the Meeting. ...
  4. Put Yourself in a Calm State. ...
  5. Get it Over With Quickly. ...
  6. Give Yourself Time to Think. ...
  7. Regain Control After Interruptions.

How do you pass time in a boring meeting? ›

Sign up for National Breaking News Alerts
  1. Write poetry (assuming you're allowed to take notes)
  2. Hone your bucket list.
  3. Daydream about what you'd like your career to look like 5 years from now. ...
  4. Pray or meditate.
  5. Make a list of things you're grateful for.
Aug 19, 2011

How do you avoid awkward meeting silences? ›

Here are some ways you can avoid an awkward silence:
  1. Give a genuine compliment, followed by a question. ...
  2. Ask story-generating questions. ...
  3. If you have personal experience with the topic—let them know! ...
  4. Plan some conversation starters ahead of time. ...
  5. When asked a question, answer with depth (and end on a question)

Why do I struggle to awake? ›

Conditions That Can Cause Sleepiness

Other causes include drug, alcohol, or cigarette use, lack of physical activity, obesity, and the use of certain medications. But nodding off when you want or need to be awake may also be caused by an underlying condition.

Is sleepy a symptom of anxiety? ›

Can Having Anxiety Make You Feel Tired? Anxiety causes a hormonal rush that can leave you feeling drained and tired. The crash is probably temporary, but the feeling of exhaustion can last even after you've gotten some rest.

Why do zoom meetings make me sleepy? ›

Thus, on top of the stress of keeping intense close-up eye contact, seeing yourself while talking to your coworkers, and suffering from a lack of usual mobility, Zoom attendees are also carrying a heavier cognitive load, all contributing to Zoom fatigue.

How do you recover from meeting fatigue? ›

A good way to limit any fatigue from virtual meetings is to take frequent breaks throughout the day. After each meeting, consider logging off your computer to give your eyes a rest and allow yourself to recharge for your next responsibility. If possible, consider taking a walk outside to change your scenery.


1. Neuroscientist: "Never Feel Tired During The Day" | Andrew Huberman
(Be Inspired)
2. How To Stay Awake In Boring Meetings
(Chad Littlefield)
3. 3 Ways to Stay Awake in Meetings - Meeting Management Minutes
4. 3 Tips for Staying Awake & Engaged in Online Lectures
(Dennis Learning Center at Ohio State)
5. Sleep is your superpower | Matt Walker
6. How to stay awake during video meetings | video meeting fails | video meeting tips and tricks
(Beyond Edu)
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