13 Tips On How to Stay Awake While Studying at Night

Staying awake to study at night till daybreak (TBD) is challenging for many students. Especially for students preparing for examinations. Also, first-year students in the University or Polytechnic.

The fact is that many students complain that they feel sleepy every time they try to read at night. It is a frustrating experience because it is during the night you may have the opportunity to study.

As a student, pulling off an all-nighter can be a difficult task. It is common to find many students going to night classes with big textbooks. But they end up using these books as a pillow.

At the beginning of my first year at the University, I struggled to create a perfect study timetable. It felt like I could not figure out how to adapt to busy college life.

I go to lecturers as early as 7 am to sit in a vantage position in the overcrowded lecture halls. Some days, the lecture ends by 5 pm. By this time, I get back to the hostel exhausted with body pains.

By 7 pm, I would go to the night class to study till daybreak (TBD). Guess what? I usually end up sleeping like akamu throughout the night. The worst part is that my roommates would hail me when I returned for covering the course outline the previous night.

It took me some time to understand the student’s biological clock and strategies to beat sleep and stay awake while studying at night.

I will share how to stay awake at night to study without using coffee or drugs.

You will find this post helpful if you are preparing for your JAMB, WAEC or semester exam.

This article also includes how to create the perfect study environment.

If you have any questions, do let me know. I would love to hear from you in the comment box below.

How to Stay Awake at Night to Study

man and woman looking at a laptop

Here are tips on how to stay awake while studying at night;

  1. Make A Study Timetable and Stick to It
  2. Create A Good Study Environment
  3. Maintain A Healthy Sleep Habit
  4. Eat to Avoid Sleep
  5. Study in A Well-Lit Room
  6. Maintain Good Posture While Studying
  7. Start with Studying Difficult Topics
  8. Take Notes While Studying
  9. Drink Water While Studying
  10. Take Short Breaks While Studying
  11. Exercise to Avoid Sleep
  12. Listen to Music to Avoid Sleep
  13. Sleep After Reading Schedule

Make A Study Timetable and Stick to It

Making a study timetable and sticking to it is the first step to studying at night.

As a student, you must have a personal study plan for each day. Wake up every morning with a study plan for the day.

It is not during the day that you contemplate the subject you will study at night.

Creating a timetable gives your brain a sense of purpose. It helps to make your whole body work together in achieving a goal. As a student, always plan your day before time.

It is advisable to create a study timetable for the whole week. You will then know what to study on Monday, Tuesday, and the other days of the week.

The timetable must be so that you can achieve your daily study plan. It will be unwise to plan an ambiguous study timetable.

Assign a particular subject for each day. Even though you may have to study other courses, know that you have a core course or subject to study for the day.

Formulating a timetable is not enough. Plan how to stick to your study plan for each day. Ensure that no extracurricular activity infringes on your study schedule.

Create A Good Study Environment

A perfect study environment is necessary to be able to study at night. You cannot stay awake to read in a bad environment. Your study room or classroom must be neat.

Study in an environment that is serene with minimal disturbance.

You can decide to study in your room or go to a night class, whichever works for you.

Make sure your study table does not have books and other materials littered. Your room has to be ready for night reading.

The problem with studying at night classes in tertiary institutions is the high number of unserious students. These categories of individuals come to the class to catch fun. Their activities may distract you from your study.

Locate a class that is less populated with students. Look for a final-year classroom to read for the night. The classroom is always serene.

Maintain A Healthy Sleep Habit

Maintaining a good sleep habits is a necessary factor that would enable you to stay awake and study.

The mistake many students make is not getting enough sleep before studying at night.

Students move from the lecture room to the hostel and then to the night class. You will sleep throughout the night and not study.

If you do not practice a good sleep routine, you will have problems beating sleep when you read at night.

Here is what you must do as you prepare to study at night.

  • Sleep for at least one hour before you begin to study
  • Enough sleep will help to keep you awake while you study.
  • If you don’t gdon’tough sleep, you will not be able to study at night.

For example, you can decide to sleep between 6 pm to 7:40 pm to get your body prepared for the night reading (awoko).

Eat to Avoid Sleep

Eating the right food is necessary to stay awake during night study. The type of food you eat affects your body’s slim body.

Some meals would make your body and brain go into a passive mode. You will always find yourself feeling sleepy while trying to study.

  • You cannot read at night if you eat meals rich in carbohydrates, fat, and oil.
  • There are certain kinds of food that you must avoid for dinner.
  • Eat food that contains protein, like beans.
  • Do not eat carbohydrates like garri, milk, biscuit, shawarma, etc.

Study in A Well-Lit Room

Studying in a well-lit room or classroom is necessary to read at night. By nature, your body system winds down at night.

To stay awake, you must trick your brain into that it is daytime while it is night. Tricking your brain is only possible in a room with artificial daylight.

You will fall asleep if you study in a room with low lighting. Your brain would know that you are trying to read at night.

If you do not have an electricity supply, get a good LED rechargeable lantern.

Maintain Good Posture While Studying

A good sitting position makes you stay awake at night to study. It will not only help you to beat sleep but also benefit your health.

Study while sitting upright in a chair and a table. This posture will make you mentally alert to focus on your study.

Do not make the mistake of studying in your bed. You would only be giving yourself a good position to sleep.

Start with Studying Difficult Topics

During night class, read complex topics before you go into easy concepts. You are more energized and mentally alert at the start of your study.

It will only be possible to tackle problems at the start of your study later on.

Do get scared of studying complex topics. If you don’t udon’ttand a subject, watch tutorials on YouTube and search on Google.

Take Notes While Studying

Taking notes while studying keeps your brain mentally active. It is not advisable to sit and only read your material or textbook. You might get bored and fall asleep.

Your brain is most active when you take notes and memorize while studying. This kind of physical activity helps to keep you awake throughout the night.

Drink Water While Studying

It is necessary to stay hydrated while studying at night. Water is an essential life fluid required for the body’s proper functioning.

As a student, you must stay hydrated while studying, either at night or during the day.

Take Short Breaks While Studying

Studying for a long time without short breaks will lead to exhaustion. Your body cannot cope with plenty of brain work without a pause.

When studying at night, take short breaks between your study time. You can decide to walk about the room every 50 minutes of study.

It is not advisable to go outside in the cold to take short breaks. The cool temperature outside may bring your body temperature down. You will feel sleepy and tired after you go out for a walk.

Exercise to Avoid Sleep

Exercise is essential for every student. Physical activities improve your physical and mental health.

Unfortunately, many students downplay the health benefits of exercise. They see it as a kind of physical activity for people who want to lose weight.

Exercise will help your body and brain to function at an optimal level. It will make you mentally alert while you are studying for your exams.

Before you study, take a nap after exercising to regain your physical strength.

Listen to Music to Avoid Sleep

Music can also help you avoid sleep while studying at night. It can serve as part of your short break routine while reading.

Though, the music and your posture determine whether you will fall asleep or stay awake.

  • Do not listen to music while lying or sitting down.
  • Listen to gyration songs that will keep your body moving.
  • Do not listen to relaxing music.

Sleep After Reading Schedule

Sleeping after your night study is essential for you to allow your body to rest. It also helps with a retentive memory.

Know that your biological clock works for you to sleep at the night.

After staying awake at night to study, sleep for at least four (4) hours before engaging in your daily activities.

Also, try as much as possible to get enough sleep as often as possible.

What to Drink to Stay Awake While Studying

  • Drink water to stay awake while studying.
  • Drink plenty of water to make your body hydrated.
  • Do not drink anything apart from water while studying.
  • Avoid soft drinks and alcohol because they will make you feel tired and sleepy.

Foods That Keep You Awake While Studying at Night

Proteinous foods will keep you awake while studying. Avoid foods rich in carbohydrates, fat and oil.

I always recommend students take beans and rice for dinner. You can also take fruits like oranges, carrots, cucumbers, etc.

Do not eat fruits like watermelon and pineapple. They contain a high glycemic index that will slow your body’s body slim. A high glucose level in your body will make you fall asleep.

Avoid food like bread, garri, pap, noodles, fried egg, ice cream, shawarma, cake, etc.

As a general rule, avoid junk food. Eat a healthy meal only.

Stay away from caffeine and other stimulant substances. They are bad for your health in the long run.

How to Avoid Sleepiness While Studying

The way to avoid sleepiness while studying is to have enough rest before your study schedule. Create a reading timetable and study in a perfect environment.

Avoid meals that will slow your body’s slim and cognitive functions.

Studying Makes Me Sleepy

If studying makes you sleepy, then you must change your study technique. Find out the time that you are most mentally active and energized.

  1. Study in a serene environment where you can avoid distractions
  2. Avoid the use of social media while studying.
  3. Drink plenty of water to stay hydrated
  4. Study in a well-lit room
  5. Do not study in a cold environment.
  6. Take short breaks while studying.

Let me know if you have any questions or need further clarification. I would love to assist you.

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34 thoughts on “13 Tips On How to Stay Awake While Studying at Night”

  1. Thank you sir for this amazing write up. It’s so encompassing.
    I have a question, am in university and during my early year 1 l had a good roommate who reads a lot. I am mostly driven by others motivation. So when he reads l tend to read along side with him and it helped me at night. But after our year 2 he changed hostel and am staying with someone who isn’t much a reader.
    I tend to read though but it not always as intense as it use to be. I want to ask if there is any way l can motivate myself and condition myself to study always in a quite environment alone.
    Night classes here are not really a thing here on regular days unless during exam periods and it’s usually crowdy and noisy, which makes it less ideal for proper studying.

    Thanks and l really await Ur constructive response.

    Eze Israel C.

  2. Thanks Allot for this wonderful Article. But am someone who reads with physical motivation from my roommate, friends etc. I use to read with my roommate and it was great but since he left me the new person am staying with is not really the reading type and it makes me attimes not to read long hours because of sleep and some other distraction. Sir is there a way l could condition my self- motivation and study efficiently on my own. Meanwhile Night classes are usually crowdy and more safe during exam periods. Thanks for Ur reply.

    • Hello Eze,

      The truth is that you’ll have to either build a culture of self-discipline or start going for night classes.

      See this as an opportunity for self-improvement and be determined to be your own motivation.

      I’ll be cheering for you.

  3. Please help me create a good study timetable my subjects are math, social, English, science, history, CRS, Twi, Literature -In- English

    • Dear Tracy,

      This is the Time table I came up with

      Monday- Mathematics and CRS
      Tuesday- English and History
      Wednesday- Science and Social
      Thursday – Lit in English and TWI
      Friday- History and English
      Saturday – Mathematics and Social.
      Sunday- Science and Literature in English.

      I don’t know the subjects you find more difficult, but you can use this timetable.
      Better still you can decide to mix the ones you find difficult with the ones you find easy to study.
      Then you can study difficult subjects more frequently.

  4. I am a jss3 student and I need to know how to stay awake and to prepare for for my junior WAEC and I don’t know if I can get A’s because in my class I have strong opponents and I try to beat them but up to no use, pls help me

  5. I am actually finding it difficult to read because i barely maintain the 8 hours rest and sleep advice by our psychologist what should i do sir?

  6. Thanks a Million Sir for this article. Good day sir, please sir, I want you to explain to me the effective steps I can take to study courses that contains only notes like Sociology, Psychology and the rest. Please Sir, kindly explain to me the steps I can take to Study voluminous textbooks on courses like these, the names the Scholars that postulated the theories, definitions and the years of postulations and stuffs like that that deal with notes and notes and notes. Also, steps on how to read PDFs on a Mobile phone and ones mind will not be carried away. Thank you very much sir.

    • Hello, Olamilekan

      It is nice to hear from you.

      The best strategy for studying theoretical courses is to divide your textbooks into sections.

      I mean that you read using the table of contents in the textbook.

      Start reading from the beginning and move to the next topic.

      You must evaluate yourself after reading a chapter. Ensure that you are able to answer the questions in the chapter before moving to the next.

      The tips in this post will also help you.

      Concerning studying with your phone.

      Ensure that you switch off your data internet connection.

      Discipline yourself not to check out your social media apps.

  7. sir please am having problem in financial accounting and mathematics i don’t Know where to start from, please can you help me
    and my writing waec this year 2022

    • Hello Favour,

      Let me know the specific problem you have with Financial Accounting and Mathematics.

      Do you have challenges with calculations, etc?

  8. Is there any way to stop sleeping while lessons are going on ? I am asking because I usually get enough sleep At home but coming to the classroom The next day, I begin to feel sleepy.
    I am sorry for asking so many questions, but it’s better to seek for advice now than for me to regret later.
    Thank you.

  9. At night, I usually eat eba a lot and whenever I want to read at night, sleep comes Knocking and before I know it, I have started sleeping.
    Please What can I do to stop this?

  10. Please I am very addicted to social media, but I also want to study and excel in my upcoming waec and neco exams. What can I do to stop this addiction?
    I need your help and advice.

    • The way to handle your distraction is to get yourself busy with productive activities.

      Stay away from your mobile devices when studying.

      The tips in this article will help you know how to deal with social media addiction.

  11. Please help me to create a good study timetable. My subjects are:
    Literature in English
    Civic education
    Dyeing and bleaching
    Please help me to create more time for mathematics, English and literature in the study timetable because I am deficient in those subjects

    • Monday – Biology

      Tuesday – Mathematics

      Wednesday – English Language

      Thursday – Literature in English

      Friday – Economics & English Language

      Saturday – Government & CRS

      Sunday – Mathematics & Dyeing and bleaching

  12. sir pls am preparing for GCE I read 3:00am – 6:00am each day after sleeping from 900pm – 300pm and prepare for school by 6 :00am is it good like that?
    Sir is it bad to stand while studying at night and reading aloud but not shouting in my room or sitting room. Cuz I don’t really like sitting while studying. Sir because you said we should sleep after reading schedule so after reading I prepare for school I don’t sleep again but I feel sleepy in class. and we eat pounded yam a lot in my house. Sir pls advice me on what yo do sir.

    • Hello, Oluwatimilehin,

      Your reading schedule is okay.

      Yes, you can pace around the room while reading. The most important thing is that you are reading effectively. I mean that you ensure that you understand and recall all that you read.

      Also, you can read aloud while you reading. Though, not all the time.

      It is okay that you don’t have time to sleep after you read. Though, it may affect your performance throughout the day.

      Just keep doing your best. I wish you success in your exams.


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