College students are constantly juggling multiple responsibilities at a time; whether it be classwork, exams, a social life, a job, or finding enough time to sleep. So in this beautiful disaster, there comes a breaking point, an energy crash so potent that we get buried under our responsibilities with the strongest urge to just sleep. As college students, the burnout period of our bodies comes more regularly and with a much stronger force than that of high schoolers or even adults, as we juggle not only school, but jobs and extracurricular activities as well.
Dealing with this personally myself, I started researching ways to not only stay awake through the entirety of a day of classes, but to still have energy at the end of the day.
These are my findings and I hope they are useful for other students struggling with this same issue:
- Sleep – First and foremost a good amount of sleep is crucial to keeping your energy up throughout the day. But we all know that while juggling a social life and exams, sleep often gets pushed to the sidelines. So the most relevant advice for a student is to take ten to twenty minute power naps and no longer. This length of time is enough to make you feel refreshed while ensuring that you do not wake up feeling groggy and confused.
- Exercise – It is recommended to hit the gym midday to give your body the energy boost it needs. Exercise stimulates blood flow in the body to the brain and allows you to feel refreshed and alert once again.
- Coffee or alternative sources of energy – Drinking coffee has its ups and downs. On one hand, it gives you the energy you need on the most sleepiest of days. On the other hand, the energy crash is intense and overly dramatic. One second, you’re sitting through an accounting lecture, taking notes, and the next, your head is heavy and your eyes are closing of their own accord. One cup of coffee is recommended to keep you awake and alert as opposed to drinking multiple cups a day and becoming codependent on it. Recently when I realized that the caffeine crash was too much for me, I started looking into other sources of energy. Green tea and pomegranate juice are great alternatives if you want to double up on the health benefits and add an energy boost as well. As a sidenote, it’s also super helpful to sip on sugar-free drinks, seeing as sugary energy drinks are just as likely to cause an energy crash as caffeine.
- Eat regularly. – Although sometimes it is hard for students to find the time, it is super important to eat three square meals a day and snacks. Snacking regularly in between meals helps to keep your energy up and your brain active. Snacking is just as important as eating those three regular meals. Keep in mind that portion control is equally as important; huge meals can easily make you feel drowsy. Avoid that food coma at all costs!!
- Leave the desk and go outside. Though it might seem like a little thing, our bodies want to fall asleep if the only thing we do is SIT for hours end. Studies show that just going outside for 20 minutes can help us feel more alive and awake. So drop the books, and soak in some Vitamin D.