Tips to Stay Awake for Exams

By Aditya Roy

July 12, 2020

The end semester exams are just a week away, and you haven’t yet started your preparations.

You were busy finishing that all important project, managing college fest activity or perhaps were too caught up with that abroad internship, and were striving hard to earn your stipend or probably you were to busy finishing the last season of Game of Thrones!!!

Now, since you are planning to curtail some sleep, and stay awake and study, 

Here are some scientifically proven tips to stay awake for exams

Though this habit is not sustainable in long run, as it can cause brain-crash after a week or two, but since you don’t have many options, you can give these tips, a shot.


Can you imagine this state when you are in the exam hall, holding your answer script in one hand and the question script in the other, and are unable to answer even those questions that would help you to get a passing grade?

Yes!!! it is damn scary to even think of that, and also this will certainly stop you from dozing off. This would put your mind in hyper-active mode and hence prevent you from falling asleep.

And moreover you can always console yourself over the fact that it is a matter of just one night, and you can always catch some sleep after you are done securing the passing grade.

So just think of the perils of sleeping right when you need to study can be really grave and you might end up faring really really bad in your tests!

Food Intake

Abstain from consuming food rich in simple carbohydrates.

The prime source being sugar. It can be glucose, honey, carbonated drinks or any other food with sugar in high proportion, should not be consumed if you are planning to stay awake the whole night.

The reason being, though such foods charge up your senses and brain instantaneously, but after a very short period of brain hyperactivity, you will start to feel miserable and sad, and since you are already running behind the schedule, getting depressed is certainly not an option.

So try to eat only complex carbohydrates, i.e. food that is the normal food you take in dinner, just make sure that it is free from sugar.

You can also supplement your late night dinner with protein rich foods such as eggs, sprouts, low-fat cheese and so on, since your brain need extra fueling as you will be sleep deprived. If you are someone who like to eart a lot of fruits then you can also consume apples.

Careful division of work

Make a list of topics or lessons that are important to study because it’s almost impossible to cover entire course in one night. Keep this list in front of you entire night.

Start with topics that are essential, you can enjoy and easy to understand for you this is how you can keep yourself inspired the whole night. Leaving the less relevant topics for later is advisable.

It is essential that you keep rotating topics of studies throughout the night. This way monotony will not take over and you will be able to study more and more throughout the night. You can find more ways that work best for you to keep your interest in studies.

Writing down important points will help in learning and understand them better and fast. This is why you should always keep a notebook and a pen ready.

Headings and their sub-headings are most important points, so never miss them. You can also create a table of special terms or difficult words and a short note (of 3-6 words) before each of them.

Take beverages in Moderation

Caffeine is considered to be a neuro-stimulant. Take caffeine on regular intervals to recharge and refresh your senses.

You can take 4-5 cups of it in one night to contain your sleep, but make sure to refrain from this habit within 4-5 days or at most a week, as excessive consumption can serious health issues in the near future.

You can also supplement your caffeine intake with diet red-bull as it can help you to contain your sleep. But, just make sure that you take at most 2 cans of red-bull.

Moderation is the key when consuming beverages to contain sleep. You can either take 4 cups of coffee or 2 cans of energy-drink. Taking both these beverages in one night can lead to serious bowel problems and dizziness the next morning, which would ultimately hamper your exam performance.

You can also go for other beverages that help to refresh. Just make sure whatever you are consuming is sugar-free, and in moderation.

Also, if possible try to avoid dairy products during this time.

Take frequent breaks

Short Breaks of about 5-10 minutes after every hour or so will not only keep you awake, but also give your mind a refresh.

In this break, you can try pacing across the room, splashing your face with water and stretching exercises. This will help in rejuvenating your mind and body, helping you to focus better. 

All in all, you need to be prepared well, so that your ‘all-night study routine’ can be a success.

As a safety note, you should avoid driving the following day as there is no trick that can keep a sleep-deprived person awake while driving. Consider a ride with a friend or take public transportation. GOOD LUCK, Students!

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Aditya Roy

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