Moving around in one’s seat is one of the least effective methods that actually has some benefit. It’s like pinching your arm, but less painful. Readjusting your posture also eases aches from sitting the same way for too long. Consider tapping or wiggling your foot, or thumping a finger. Just be mindful of others if any physical movements might produce repeated noise, such as drumming a beat on your desk.
5. Electronic Gadgets
Gadgets like your computer, phone, or portable gaming device are double-edged swords. On the one hand they’re excellent for keeping you awake, but on the other, they’re a huge distraction. Some lecturers may not mind such things as long as they aren’t disruptive, while other instructors may consider such things disrespectful. As a bonus, typing out anything on your computer gives your instructor the impression you’re taking electronic notes.
Chewing gum is a well-known way to stay awake, and with all sorts of flavors, your options are diverse. I’ve also experimented with salsa, ketchup, and hot sauce packets – these just aren’t effective.
I have found this to be another great way to stay awake in long lectures when I am tired. If you can doodle and pay attention at the same time, consider yourself tallented. If not, alternate between the two. If you dislike drawing, consider another activity instead, such as the sudoku, or newspaper crossword.
Tired or not, be sure to take advantage of your breaks, walking around as much as possible. If not, consider proposing the idea to your instructor, as many lecturers have determined this helps students pay more attention in class.
1. Active Participation
It shouldn’t be a surprise that keeping your brain involved in class is the best way to stay awake. Ask questions, make notes, volunteer answers.