How to Stay Awake and Focused While Studying: 8 Effective Tips
Studying has always been a hot topic for students. What's the right way to study to ace the test? How early should you start studying and how many hours should you spend on the same material?
Now, students are faced with yet another obstacle: difficulty focusing. In 2021, the vast majority of students said that trying to learn while living through the pandemic presented new challenges and that concentration levels were slipping.
It's not what we would call a surprise. Learning how to stay awake and focused while studying when your mind is under a constant state of stress is uniquely difficult.
That's why we're here to help. Read on as we cover eight effective short-term and long-term tips for staying focused and awake while you study.
Short-Term Tips for How to Stay Focused and Awake While Studying
First, let's talk about some of the immediate changes you can make to your study habits. You'd be surprised at how much of a difference a few tweaks can make.
1. Limit the Distractions
We know that this isn't a new one, but we do encourage you to take it a step further. Don't just tell yourself that you aren't going to look at your phone or turn on the TV. Don't just rely on willpower to keep the Netflix tab closed.
Turn your phone off or leave it on the other side of the room. Head to the library without a pair of headphones so that watching content is out of the question. Limit the distractions by placing them out of reach.
2. Prepare Your Study Space
How often do you get up and move around during a typical study session? Do you find yourself shutting the books to go grab a notebook or a highlighter or a glass of water? It's time to start preparing your study space in advance.
Before you sit down for a study session, think about what you need, from school supplies and materials to food and drink. The key is to make yourself comfortable enough to stay focused, but not so comfortable that you start to drift off.
3. Use the Pomodoro Technique
Did you know that taking scheduled breaks is actually a really great way to stay focused? One of our favorite break-heavy scheduling methods is known as the Pomodoro Technique, which breaks up tasks into 25-minute increments.
The idea is that you work for 25, break for 5, and repeat this process three times before giving yourself a 10-15 minute break. That way, you can reward yourself for the 25 minutes of deep focus--say, by checking your phone--before getting back to work.
4. Know When to Study With Others
Do you always study solo and find yourself getting drowsy? Do you tend to study in a group and realize you are having a hard time staying focused? Maybe it's time to change up the dynamic.
Studying with others is a great way to learn more and make studying a little less dreary. However, it's also crucial to get some solo studying time in to make sure that you have the quiet time to cover any topics you're still struggling with. Strike a balance between group and solo studying.
Long-Term Tips for How to Stay Alert and Improve Concentration
Some changes won't take effect right away and require more consistency to show results. Let's look at four long-term tips for how to stay awake and focused while studying.
1. Recognize Fatigue Signs
There reaches a point where trying to download more information into your brain isn't helping. If you're starting to feel fatigued, it's time to give studying a break. Recharging is just as important as studying when it comes to alertness and focus.
What are some signs of fatigue? Muscle aches, drowsiness, brain fog, and confusion are all fatigue symptoms that can get in the way of learning. (This is part of why pulling an all-nighter before the big exam isn't a good idea.)
2. Support Your Brain Health
Did you know that key natural ingredients can support your brain health and aid with cognitive functions like focus and recall? By taking the right daily supplement, you may find that your brain is happier to stay focused and clear when you need it to.
Cognitive Edge by Sage Nutrients is designed to do exactly that. Give this brain health blend a shot.
3. Work on Sleep Hygiene
What is sleep hygiene? Sleep hygiene refers not just to the hours of sleep that you get but the quality of that sleep. By improving your sleep hygiene, you can have more energy, more mood stabilization, and better focus during the day.
Use an app or smartwatch to track your sleep patterns. If your sleep hygiene is poor, make changes by cutting back afternoon or evening caffeine, limiting screentime before bed, and calming stressful thoughts through journaling or meditation.
4. Add Energy Foods to Your Diet
If you need to cut back on caffeine to improve sleep hygiene, you're probably wondering how you're going to beat that study session drowsiness. We're here to share a dietary hack that can help.
Consider adding more whole grains to your diet. Believe it or not, carbs are our primary energy source, and the carbs you consume can either fuel you for hours or lead to a quick spike and crash. Brown rice, whole wheat bread, and oatmeal are all great energy foods to eat throughout the day for more consistent energy.
Support Brain Health for a Better Academic Outcome
Most students have reported an increased difficulty staying focused over the past few school years. If you're wondering how to stay awake and focused while studying, you're not alone. We hope that these tips will make a difference and help you to improve your study sessions.
Want to learn more about how Sage Nutrients is working hard to improve cognitive performance? Contact us with any inquiries you may have. In the meantime, stick around and peruse our blog for more brain-boosting tips.