Coffee honestly sends me into either sleep or strung out mode.
Most Helpful Guy
Coffee and energy drinks are actually a very bad idea when you need to stay awake. They may make you feel really energized for half an hour but eventually you reach a point where the effect is reversed and you end up becoming even more sleepy than you were before. Of course you can just drink lots of coffee and lots of energy drinks (some people do that) but that's very unhealthy. I have to keep myself awake quite often because I have to write a lot of papers for Uni and I usually don't drink any sugary stuff or caffeine. I might drink a tea but that's about it.
Things that help me stay awake when writing a paper:
- Having the window open. Fresh (cold) air helps the brain to stay focused.
- Keep the lights on. When I'm studying, my room and desk-space is always very brightly lit. It might not be a very comfy atmosphere but that's exactly the point. I shouldn't feel to comfy and fall asleep. Also, there's something particular beautiful about turning of all the lights when you are done studying and you're gonna just have some fun or go to sleep. Somehow, the turning off of the lights almost feels like a ritual and a reward for studying.
- Moving around. If you start to feel very sleepy, walk around a bit. The blood circulation will make you feel more awake again.
- Tell yourself that it's important to stay awake. For example I would tell myself how I can't just go to sleep because I need to write that paper. I don't want to get a bad grade and fail the class. This threatening usually works very well for me.
- Think of sleep as a reward. Sure, going to sleep is always nice but nothing feels more rewarding than finally climbing into your soft, warm bed after having done some serious work.
- Talk to somebody else. Obviously, if you have to do some kind of task where you have to focus on something (for example when you have to write a paper), this doesn't work. But if you're just sitting around or driving your car or something like that, it always helps to have somebody next to you who keeps the conversation flowing. This way, you don't get a chance to fall asleep.1