How to Avoid Sleep While Studying: Top 11 Tips to Stay Awake

Deepika Sodhi
Jan 17, 2023
Schools, Learning
Download our FREE Academic Calendar now!
📚 Start your child's journey to success.

Exam times are stressful times. Physical and mental stress takes a toll on the body, but the body hardly gets the time to rest. Studying takes precedence over relaxing. But every time you sit down to study, you worry about feeling sleepy.

Rank holders often talk about their ability to avoid sleep while studying. However, it is not advisable to ignore sleep. A night of sound sleep helps you stay alert during the day. 

It helps you retain information and convert it into long-term memory. So, how do you overcome sleepiness while studying?

Here are 11 tips to not feel sleepy while studying, and to stay alert and give 100% attention to your studies.

Get a Good Night’s Sleep:

A bedtime routine is a must to ensure a good night’s sleep. We require at least 7 to 8 hours of uninterrupted sleep every night to replenish our body’s energy levels. Less or more sleep disturbs the natural sleep pattern and hampers productivity during the day.

Switch off your gadgets half an hour before bedtime so that the brain knows it's time to sleep. Sleeping and waking at the same time will help set a sleep schedule that will ensure sufficient sleep every day.

Power Naps:

Power naps during the day help you stay fresh and prevent sleep during study. If you aren’t able to sleep well at night during the exams, then power naps are the best way to recover that lost sleep and freshen up within minutes.

Do make sure that the power nap is just 15 - 20 minutes long and not longer than that, else you will end up feeling drowsier. 

Start a Healthy Diet:

A balanced diet rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and nuts keeps you energetic and alert all day long. 

Foods rich in unhealthy fats that make you dull and lethargic. A healthy meal provides sufficient energy through all the necessary nutrients and improves productivity.

High-protein granola bars, fruits, raw veggies, or nuts are the ideal foods to avoid sleep while studying. These are the perfect snacks that energize you until mealtime and keep you awake and alert.

Check If your Child is Eligible for 100% Fee Waiver

Stay Well-Hydrated:  

Did you know that dehydration shrinks the brain? It’s therefore important to stay well-hydrated all day, especially during exams, when you tend to lose track of time and miss out on sufficient water intake. 

Drink 2 liters or 6 to 8 glasses of water a day. If you find it difficult to remember, set an alarm on your phone to remind you to drink water every half an hour or every hour, depending upon the weather. 

Do Not Sit for Long:

To overcome sleepiness while studying, avoid sitting for long hours. Take short breaks every two hours or so. 

Walk around the house, step outdoors for a short walk, do some stretching exercises, or dance to your favorite tunes. Indulge in any activity that requires you to move around or gives you a break from sitting.

Avoid Studying in the Bedroom:

A Bed often seems a comfortable spot to sit and read or study. However, it is also the place you associate with sleep and relaxation. 

So, to avoid sleeping while studying, sit at your study table, and sit up straight. Maintaining the right posture keeps your mind alert and helps you concentrate better. Also, make sure your study room is brightly lit. 

Studying under a study lamp darkens the rest of the room, which makes the mind drowsy. Whereas, studying in bright daylight helps you focus better. 

Active Study:

Studying for long hours can make you feel drowsy and tired. It can also lead to a loss of concentration and interest. To keep yourself awake, make your study sessions active. 

Read out loud,  teach the study material to your friends, and write down important points on cue cards, or make diagrams to revise what you learned, creatively. This will help you stay active and prevent you from feeling tired. 

Study With Your Friends:

Studying alone can feel uninteresting and unexciting. Studying with a friend or a study buddy will keep you excited and enthusiastic. You and your friends can help each other stay disciplined and prevent each other from getting distracted. 

To make your study sessions interesting, you can also play quizzes, or help solve each other’s difficulties and doubts.


A positive self-talk helps us stay motivated and alert. Talk to yourself while studying, and encourage yourself if you are feeling tired, drowsy, or sleepy. 

Motivate yourself with pep talks and affirmations, such as, “I can concentrate on my studies,” or, “I am going to perform brilliantly in tomorrow’s test,”. 

Talk to yourself even when you sit down to study. Ask yourself, “What am I going to study today?”, or “Now that I have completed this portion, what should I study next?”

Take Care of Your Eyes:

Studying continuously for long periods strains the eyes. Furthermore, in today’s digital age, when students use computers for studying, staring at the screen for long hours can harm eyesight. 

It is, therefore, very necessary to care for your eyes and give them regular breaks from the screen.

Follow the 20-20-20 rule for eye care. Every 20 minutes, look away at a point 20 feet away for 20 seconds. Wash your eyes every hour or so with cool water. It refreshes the eyes and helps to avoid sleep instantly.

Avoid Studying Tough Subjects at Night:  

Studying a tough topic or trying to solve difficult problems at night proves to be a waste of energy. Focus on subjects or topics that are light or interesting and your favorite. 

Leave the difficult subjects for the mornings when the mind is fresh after a full night’s sleep. A simple tip to remember is to tackle the difficult topics first thing in the morning and end the day with something light and easy. 


The international school in Noida follows a curriculum that gives students ample time for revision before exams. This keeps them well-prepared for the exams without taxing them unnecessarily.

The CBSE school in Noida also gives equal importance to extracurricular activities which help students find ways to burn off excess energy and improve their concentration during their study time.

FAQs on Falling Asleep While Studying

Why Do I Get Sleepy When Studying?

One of the most common causes of feeling sleepy while studying is sitting on a bed or a comfortable place to study. Sitting on a study table and chair will help you stay alert and active. 

Keeping the sleeping area separate from the study area will help your brain distinguish between the two.

How Long Should I Study a Day?

The best way to study for your exams is to study every day. Draw up a study schedule where you allocate 4 hours of studying in a place. You may take small breaks every hour, but make sure the breaks are no longer than 10 to 15 minutes. 

Following this routine of daily study will help you stay well-prepared for your exams in time.

Is a 15-Minute Nap Good?

Power naps during the day are a sure-shot way to re-energize yourself. A 15-minute nap works wonders for the mind and body. 

It helps reset the system and improves alertness, and performance. It is a great way to boost your energy during the afternoon slump.

Is It Worth Staying up All Night to Study?

Staying up all night to study is the biggest mistake students can make. After a busy day, our body and mind need to relax. 

A good night’s sleep helps refresh and rejuvenate you and improves your performance and productivity.

Staying up at night affects your entire day. It also affects your concentration, energy levels, and memory. It is, therefore, advisable to never compromise on your night's sleep.

What is the Best Time to Study?

Between 4 am and 5 am, early morning is the best time to study. Your body and mind are well-rested and refreshed. Your alertness and attention are at an optimum. 

This helps you process the information and memorize it well. Moreover, early mornings are quiet and peaceful. The absence of disturbing sounds improves attention,  concentration, and work output.

What is the Mantra to Avoid Sleep While Studying?

Getting a good night’s sleep is the mantra to avoid sleeping while studying. An uninterrupted 8 hours of sleep at night refreshes the body, rejuvenates the system, and improves mental productivity. It prevents daytime sluggishness and keeps you active and alert.

Deepika Sodhi

A highly motivated and dedicated educator with nearly 24 years of teaching experience, Ms. Deepika Sodhi is the Academic Supervisor for International Curricula at Global Indian International School (GIIS) SMART Campus, Singapore.

Ms. Sodhi has a rich experience of teaching Physics across curricula such as the IB, Cambridge IGCSE and CBSE. She has served as an Exam Officer for Cambridge Assessment International Education. Currently, she is an IB Assessment Officer, and a member of International Schools Network and International Baccalaureate Educator Network.

In her free time, Ms. Sodhi enjoys writing blogs, creating guiding material for training staff and community service.

Related Topics

More from same author

Enquire Now

Featured Blogs

Top Scholarships

Global Future Ready Merit Scholarship


90% & Above

Learn More

Mahatma Gandhi Universal Values Merit-cum-Means Scholarship


GROSS FAMILY INCOME : Below 8,00,000 INR to 25,00,000 INR

Learn More

Dr APJ Abdul Kalam Global Skills Scholarship


Talent Based - Technology

Learn More

9GEMS Holistic Development Scholarship


Talent Based - 9 GEMS

Learn More

GIIS Global Sports Scholarship


Sports Excellence

Learn More

Global Citizen Scholarship


93.0% and Above

Learn More