The average sleep requirement for a college student is 8 hours. While sleeping for less than 8 hours has little impact on some students, it is detrimental to me. It may be okay for the first 3 days, but if I continue to sleep for less than 7-8 hours for a week, my mental capability would just go rocket downwards. By that, I mean I cannot focus or even think properly. However, most of the time it is hard to have adequate sleep for me as a university student — it is just inevitable to have stay up late sometimes or even pull off an all-nighter. To combat the detrimental effects after those nights, I have tried many remedies, and below are several that I find effective:


Caffeine is known to have many negative impacts, but (in moderation) it can help you stay alert. Green tea and coffee are okay sources of caffeine. I drink tea more frequently than coffee though, just because the bitter taste of coffee sometimes gives me a headache. That said, the caffeine content in tea is much less than that in coffee. Nonetheless, both help me stay awake when needed.

Tip: if you are sensitive to caffeine, make sure to take it before noon to avoid it interfering with your sleep schedule.

Lemon water

You probably haven’t heard of this one, but lemon water does an excellent job keeping me awake. It is high in vitamin C, which gives you energy. Besides, the slight sour taste of lemon and its sweet aftertaste makes lemon water a savory substitute for water. Other than that, lemon is known to have many more benefits to your health.


Let me put it straight, sugar is bad for you – mentally and physically. To avoid that sugar addiction, I usually do my own baking so that I can control my sugar intake at the very least. However, when I feel like being healthy, I will use Stevia rather than white sugar. Stevia is a sugar substitute; it is healthier not only because it has no calories, it also does not affect your blood sugar level. Moreover, it tastes just like normal white sugar. For those who like sweets, doing your own baking with Stevia is a potentially healthier option.

Chew Gum

Chewing has been proven to increase brain activity, which can therefore reduce daytime sleepiness and improve memory. Personally I haven’t found it effective, but it is definitely worth trying.

Try these tips out when you find yourself falling asleep during lecture, in study sessions, or at work. I hope they will help. But keep in mind, the most effective way to avoid sleepiness is to get enough sleep, get up early and enjoy the day!

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