katryn

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This is getting very frustrating. I have always been extremely prone to falling asleep in lecture settings, and apperantly this also applies to rounds during clinics. While it hasn't affected my grades to an extreme degree, its embarassing to fall asleep in a room with less than 10 people where it can't help but be noticed. What do you all do to keep yourselves awake? Caffeine doesn't work for me.
 

ChittyBang

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This is getting very frustrating. I have always been extremely prone to falling asleep in lecture settings, and apperantly this also applies to rounds during clinics. While it hasn't affected my grades to an extreme degree, its embarassing to fall asleep in a room with less than 10 people where it can't help but be noticed. What do you all do to keep yourselves awake? Caffeine doesn't work for me.
You fall asleep during rounds? Standing up? If that's the case you may need to see an MD.

As far as lecture: No sugar before (to avoid a crash) and sitting up straight. Once I slouch it's all over...
 
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katryn

katryn

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You fall asleep during rounds? Standing up? If that's the case you may need to see an MD.

As far as lecture: No sugar before (to avoid a crash) and sitting up straight. Once I slouch it's all over...
Our rounds tend to be sitting down around a table. Standing up works, but at the end of a long day is wicked uncomfortable.
 

jerseyshoregirl

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I don't stay awake very well either... having a problem keeping my eyes from closing during lecture lately. also have a problem staying awake while driving to class or work in the early AM (especially in the winter) - I blast the air and keep slapping myself in the face (no joke). Obviously you cannot do this during rounds without coming across as a crazy person. ;) I would suggest trying to stay cold. For instance, in the winter, wear a tank top to class or rounds. I found that if I am cold and shivering, it is much easier to stay awake. It's when I'm warm and comfortable that I doze off... If you are obligated to wear scrubs and/or a coat to rounds, then this suggestion probably isn't very helpful. One other suggestion - take lots of notes. I write down everything my lecturer says. I also doodle to stay awake. Are you able to have a notepad that you can take tons of notes in (this may actually be beneficial to you) or doodle (totally unproductive) during rounds?
 
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dyachei

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Our rounds tend to be sitting down around a table. Standing up works, but at the end of a long day is wicked uncomfortable.
Honestly? Sometimes it just happens. If you can, make sure to get enough sleep the night before. Everyone on clinics has been there at least once.
 

ChittyBang

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Our rounds tend to be sitting down around a table. Standing up works, but at the end of a long day is wicked uncomfortable.
Oh, I thought you meant rounds as in morning/evening rounds :p
 

BlackDog17

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Water is a big one. Most of us don't drink enough of it, and being dehydrated definitely makes you more tired.

Regular exercise definitely helps me. Coffee is a necessity. Also eating well, especially eating a good breakfast in the morning.
 
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I'll also leave and walk around for a few minutes. I figure it's better to miss 5 minutes of class than half of it while I'm fighting to stay awake.
 

twelvetigers

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Ask the person next to you to nudge you if you start to fall asleep. Classmates should be willing to do that for you, right?
 

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I have this issue too....

Usually 48 hrs after pulling a really late night.

I find it helps to write stuff down. Even if you know you won't need/use it, it keeps you occupied. That's all I can find to keep me awake so far.
 
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People look at me funny, but I would do 50 pushups and 50 squats and it gets my blood pumping - takes less than a minute or so (once you get the hang of it). I actually do it right before exams too (in the classroom) to get some extra blood to my brain! xD It does work though - my mind clears and my eyes doesn't droop and I feel alive! :D

Regular exercise, yoga, would do wonders if you have time. Isometric exercises works as well if you're the shy type. Contract, hold, and release - joint mobility exercises too! (If you can't tell, I come from a massage therapist/personal trainer background)
 
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Not sure if this is possible depending on where you're having rounds/food rules of that area, but my trick is to keep a cold water bottle and a snack with me. Every time I start to doze, a gulp of cold water will help snap me out of it. If it's really bad, I'll resort to eating a snack, like goldfish or pretzels, and that'll do the trick too.
 
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katryn

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Ask the person next to you to nudge you if you start to fall asleep. Classmates should be willing to do that for you, right?
Lol. When we were in class I had a friend who was my dedicated waker-uper.
 

hygebeorht

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Amphetamines? I kid. I eat protein and avoid sugars, I chew gum so that part of me is being active, I sit up straight in the chair without leaning on the back. I know you said caffeine isn't a winner for you - I don't drink coffee, but I'll make super-concentrated yerba mate and that seems to help. Also, just making sure that the sleep I do get is restful...good temperature, no annoying pets on my face, etc. When I lived somewhere noisy, I'd sleep with earplugs in.
 

BlackDog17

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Lol. When we were in class I had a friend who was my dedicated waker-uper.
Me too! Freshman year of undergrad I had an 8am biology class. The guy that sat next to me was in ROTC and had early morning PT most days. I was on the crew team and had early practices every day. First day of class we made a pact that we would keep each other awake, and we stuck to it all semester. It worked out perfectly. He fell asleep a lot more often than I did though.:lol:

Edit:that smilie is way over the top for the simple laugh I wanted to convey but apparently SDN doesn't allow you to remove smilies when you're on mobile. :rolleyes:
 

Lissarae06

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This is getting very frustrating. I have always been extremely prone to falling asleep in lecture settings, and apperantly this also applies to rounds during clinics. While it
hasn't affected my grades to an extreme degree, its embarassing to fall asleep in a room with less than 10 people where it can't help but be noticed. What do you all do to keep yourselves awake? Caffeine doesn't work for me.
I'm so glad I'm not the only one. I don't usually fall all the way asleep in rounds (Grand rounds are a different manner) but it can be a struggle. I usually stay awake due to sheer will power. It sucks because I don't want to fall asleep.

Get more sleep at night?
That's cute.
 

CalliopeDVM

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Seriously? If you're falling asleep during rounds, then you need to either improve your health (get more sleep, get more exercise, eat healthier - avoid sugar) or see a doctor. Classes are one thing - warm room, boring details, passive listening - but in rounds your mind should be far more active and you should be participating, even if only mentally.

Wake up! You're about to be a vet - you can't be falling asleep on the job. If you can't stay awake in a small group conversation with colleagues, then you're not ready to graduate. I know how tiring it is, been there, done that, worked through a week of 18 hour days........but this is real stuff and you can't afford to mess it up.
 

dyachei

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Seriously? If you're falling asleep during rounds, then you need to either improve your health (get more sleep, get more exercise, eat healthier - avoid sugar) or see a doctor. Classes are one thing - warm room, boring details, passive listening - but in rounds your mind should be far more active and you should be participating, even if only mentally.

Wake up! You're about to be a vet - you can't be falling asleep on the job. If you can't stay awake in a small group conversation with colleagues, then you're not ready to graduate. I know how tiring it is, been there, done that, worked through a week of 18 hour days........but this is real stuff and you can't afford to mess it up.
This seems a little harsh. Clinics, at least where Katryn is and where I was, were pretty taxing health wise - physical needs, emotional needs, etc. Telling her she shouldn't graduate as a result?
 
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katryn

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Seriously? If you're falling asleep during rounds, then you need to either improve your health (get more sleep, get more exercise, eat healthier - avoid sugar) or see a doctor. Classes are one thing - warm room, boring details, passive listening - but in rounds your mind should be far more active and you should be participating, even if only mentally.

Wake up! You're about to be a vet - you can't be falling asleep on the job. If you can't stay awake in a small group conversation with colleagues, then you're not ready to graduate. I know how tiring it is, been there, done that, worked through a week of 18 hour days........but this is real stuff and you can't afford to mess it up.
Warm room, boring details, passive listening....that is rounds for us. Very few of the clinicians give us a chance to talk and teach each other.

Also keep in mind that I have a 16 month old child at home. The first two years are a constant flux of teething, growth spurts, and mental development. Even when nothing else is going on he does not sleep through the night and neither do I.

Honestly, I came here for advice because I know I can't be the only one. Not to get attacked for trying to put a stop to the problem.
 

remi4301

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I had a human anatomy prof that said the best thing to do to keep from falling asleep was to eat carrots. Something about how hard they are and the stimulation of the jaw causing a more awake state. Gum wasn't strong enough. I've tried it and it actually worked pretty well. Also think about all the good vitamins you'll be eating.:)
 

CalliopeDVM

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Well, katryn, I gave you some advice........eat properly (heavy in protein, low in sugar and starches), exercise, and get as much rest and sleep as you possibly can given your schedule (i.e. give up socializing for sleep, if that's an option)......though having a toddler adds a new dimension to the problem. You hadn't mentioned that before. And mentally participate, even if you stay silent....get interested in what they're talking about, and realize how close you are to doing it for real and having the health and life of your patients in your hands.

Yes, I intended it to be harsh. It's less than 6 months before graduation and past attempts by the OP haven't worked, so there's no time left to sugar coat things. IMO of course.
 

DVMDream

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Well, katryn, I gave you some advice........eat properly (heavy in protein, low in sugar and starches), exercise, and get as much rest and sleep as you possibly can given your schedule (i.e. give up socializing for sleep, if that's an option)......though having a toddler adds a new dimension to the problem. You hadn't mentioned that before. And mentally participate, even if you stay silent....get interested in what they're talking about, and realize how close you are to doing it for real and having the health and life of your patients in your hands.

Yes, I intended it to be harsh. It's less than 6 months before graduation and past attempts by the OP haven't worked, so there's no time left to sugar coat things. IMO of course.
I disagree with your approach, you jumped straight to being harsh; almost to the point of being rude and inconsiderate without having any additional information. You obviously didn't pay attention to what her rounds were like which from the description provided is nearly similar to being in a classroom (which you somewhat justify as an "ok... x, x, and x occur in classroom, I get it), but you can't extend and see how it would be difficult when the same conditions are repeated in the setting for rounds?

I also disagree with comparing rounds to working in an actual clinic or being in a job... sitting at a table discussing cases is not how it works in the actual clinic setting. You are much more active and much more engaged in your actual job. Yes, there is down time at vet clinics, but there are other co-workers around and other things to do which require you to more actively think and focus. Sitting at a table in rounds being lectured to isn't even close to comparable with a clinic setting.

I get not "sugar coating" things; I am all for realism, but there is a point where harsh just becomes rude... and telling someone they don't deserve to graduate because after a busy day in clinics they can't force themselves awake for a "lecture" is flirting with that line.

I agree with all the eat healthy, exercise, blah, blah, blah.... but sometimes you really just can't help it; even the healthiest person in the world, with the healthiest diet, best sleep patterns and awesome exercise routine will occasionally get to the point where they are just tired and fall asleep. We are all human, not superhuman, sometimes you simply can not help what your body does when it gets tired enough.

If it is a big problem, katryn, or something new or seems like you are more tired than you should be, might be good to make a visit with a doctor, could be something up there. Otherwise, as much sleep as possible (although this doesn't help me really either) and all the diet/exercise blab that has been going on (as much as you can, I understand your schedule is most likely packed as it is). The doodling could work, I tend to stay awake if I do that, but might not look good to do that in rounds. Chewing gum doesn't work for me, neither does any form of caffeine. Usually my friend pokes me or something if I doze; I also sit in the very front of the room as I tend to focus better if I am in the front, so maybe sit as close as you can to the person doing the rounds (might make you nervous enough of falling asleep that you don't)? Anyway, I am horrible at staying awake for things, so I don't have much to offer, but good luck; I hope you find something that works. :)
 
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I have this problem in the less interesting undergrad lectures. Drinking water works for me. Or juice, or something cold. Caffeine helps me focus but doesn't do much to keep me awake. I do stay focused on the material as I fall asleep though, which sometimes leads to odd science dreams... :laugh: Also doodling and taking extra notes. I think I'm giving away how much of a nerd I am by this suggestion, but I also doodle concepts from classes I like to make my brain more active (like drawing out biochem diagrams or something).

I've heard good things about light boxes, but I can't say personally whether they help since I've never tried one. (This also may be a Pacific Northwest thing, and not really used in other locations where you get real sunlight.)

Also, I would second the recommendations to think about seeing a doctor. It might be a good idea to make sure it's just normal tiredness.
 

CalliopeDVM

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I also disagree with comparing rounds to working in an actual clinic or being in a job... sitting at a table discussing cases is not how it works in the actual clinic setting. You are much more active and much more engaged in your actual job. Yes, there is down time at vet clinics, but there are other co-workers around and other things to do which require you to more actively think and focus. Sitting at a table in rounds being lectured to isn't even close to comparable with a clinic setting.
I know what clinic settings are like; I've worked in them for over a dozen years. I wish I had the opportunity to sit at a table and discuss cases! I know that rounds in vet school aren't the same as working in a clinic - though you'll note I never said they were - but if you choose to be more active and engaged you can be, even if it's only mentally engaged and not vocally engaged. Take notes, prepare questions, or write a novel or poetry. Something to be mentally active. And, frankly, with less than 6 months before graduation I think you should choose to be more mentally engaged -- at least engaged enough not to fall asleep, certainly not often enough for it to be a problem to write about here. Once, or twice? Yeah, stuff happens. Repeatedly? Then I'd say something in the system is broken and needs to be fixed (routine, health, something)
 

DVMDream

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I know what clinic settings are like; I've worked in them for over a dozen years. I wish I had the opportunity to sit at a table and discuss cases! I know that rounds in vet school aren't the same as working in a clinic - though you'll note I never said they were - but if you choose to be more active and engaged you can be, even if it's only mentally engaged and not vocally engaged. Take notes, prepare questions, or write a novel or poetry. Something to be mentally active. And, frankly, with less than 6 months before graduation I think you should choose to be more mentally engaged -- at least engaged enough not to fall asleep, certainly not often enough for it to be a problem to write about here. Once, or twice? Yeah, stuff happens. Repeatedly? Then I'd say something in the system is broken and needs to be fixed (routine, health, something)
You did say that you can't be falling asleep on the job, thus translating that falling asleep on rounds is similar to the job. Also, it was recognized that falling asleep is a problem, that is why she asked for help/tips on how to stay focused and awake. No one here is saying that it isn't an issue but the rest of us seem to be able to realize that when someone has recognized they have a problem and are asking for help that the last thing you should do is ridicule and be rude to them; it is uncalled for and really not acceptable, IMO.

Also, if you really believe that when you are extremely tired/exhausted that you can simply "be mentally engaged" or "choose to be mentally active" then you have either never been exhausted or you are someone who can stay awake by just thinking/having your brain running thoughts through your head; which is great for you, but not everyone is like that. I can tell myself a million times that a lecture is "interesting" or I can "mentally think about it/write notes/formulate questions/etc" but if I am tired enough, it doesn't matter; that will not last no matter how hard I try. And people don't deserve to be talked down to and told they don't deserve to graduate simply because they aren't like you and can't just pop themselves awake by "mentally engaging". If it really were as simple as "choosing to be mentally engaged" then no one here would ever have a problem with falling asleep on rounds or in classes, but that isn't even close to reality, people aren't computers and many people can't just make things work by "choosing" to do something... that is like telling a depressed person they can solve all their problems by "choosing to be happy."
 
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katryn

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Also, if you really believe that when you are extremely tired/exhausted that you can simply "be mentally engaged" or "choose to be mentally active" then you have either never been exhausted or you are someone who can stay awake by just thinking/having your brain running thoughts through your head; which is great for you, but not everyone is like that. I can tell myself a million times that a lecture is "interesting" or I can "mentally think about it/write notes/formulate questions/etc" but if I am tired enough, it doesn't matter; that will not last no matter how hard I try. And people don't deserve to be talked down to and told they don't deserve to graduate simply because they aren't like you and can't just pop themselves awake by "mentally engaging". If it really were as simple as "choosing to be mentally engaged" then no one here would ever have a problem with falling asleep on rounds or in classes, but that isn't even close to reality, people aren't computers and many people can't just make things work by "choosing" to do something... that is like telling a depressed person they can solve all their problems by "choosing to be happy."
Thank you for that. This is exactly my problem. I'm beginning to think that forcing myself to stand up is about my only chance. I'm already a pretty healthy person other than having a toddler who keeps me up at night (and even then, I go to bed at 9pm to make up for getting up several times a night). I eat primal/whole foods, case a toddler around for at least an hour every day, get out to walk when I can. So I really don't think its a general health issue.

And case rounds aren't a problem. If we are spending 10-15 minutes a person talking about the cases we've seen, that is quite engaging enough. But when clinicians decide to reteach us all the stuff they are convinced we have forgotten in 3 years, its exactly like lecture. No amount of anything short of moving constantly seems to keep me awake.
 

that redhead

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I don't know your family dynamic, but is it possible for your husband to help deal with your toddler when he decides not to sleep? Obviously not every time but maybe if he can help out a bit more in that respect (maybe he already does, dunno) you could get some more sleep?
 

ChittyBang

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I also think you may want to look into gluten sensitivity/intolerance (if you haven't already). Some of the lesser-known symptoms are fatigue and fogginess. Hope you're able to overcome this :sorry:
 

BlackDog17

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Thank you for that. This is exactly my problem. I'm beginning to think that forcing myself to stand up is about my only chance. I'm already a pretty healthy person other than having a toddler who keeps me up at night (and even then, I go to bed at 9pm to make up for getting up several times a night). I eat primal/whole foods, case a toddler around for at least an hour every day, get out to walk when I can. So I really don't think its a general health issue.

And case rounds aren't a problem. If we are spending 10-15 minutes a person talking about the cases we've seen, that is quite engaging enough. But when clinicians decide to reteach us all the stuff they are convinced we have forgotten in 3 years, its exactly like lecture. No amount of anything short of moving constantly seems to keep me awake.
Have you tried little things like jiggling your foot, or flexing and relaxing your muscles regularly? If you have swivel chairs, swiveling side to side works nicely as well. That's a big one for me because I really have trouble sitting still through a whole day of lectures, and oddly enough the extra motion helps keep me focused on what's happening around me. I just have to be careful because it does distract the people around me sometimes.
 

DVMDream

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Thank you for that. This is exactly my problem. I'm beginning to think that forcing myself to stand up is about my only chance. I'm already a pretty healthy person other than having a toddler who keeps me up at night (and even then, I go to bed at 9pm to make up for getting up several times a night). I eat primal/whole foods, case a toddler around for at least an hour every day, get out to walk when I can. So I really don't think its a general health issue.

And case rounds aren't a problem. If we are spending 10-15 minutes a person talking about the cases we've seen, that is quite engaging enough. But when clinicians decide to reteach us all the stuff they are convinced we have forgotten in 3 years, its exactly like lecture. No amount of anything short of moving constantly seems to keep me awake.
May still be worth a quick dr. visit. Make sure you aren't anemic or something. I was always feeling like I was tired/unable to concentrate a few years back but I thought it was due to working over 12 hour days because the clinic was short-staffed. A dr. visit and some bloodwork showed anemia and with some iron pills it improved, but I still have trouble with it off and on. Might not hurt just to make sure there isn't something underlying there. I was surprised to hear that was the cause to be honest because I really didn't feel that bad.
 

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May still be worth a quick dr. visit. Make sure you aren't anemic or something. I was always feeling like I was tired/unable to concentrate a few years back but I thought it was due to working over 12 hour days because the clinic was short-staffed. A dr. visit and some bloodwork showed anemia and with some iron pills it improved, but I still have trouble with it off and on. Might not hurt just to make sure there isn't something underlying there. I was surprised to hear that was the cause to be honest because I really didn't feel that bad.
And/or vitamin D deficient, especially if you're spending all your time in the hospital! I was ridiculously deficient after a year of vet school and spending the summer in winter (southern hemisphere). Feel way better with some supplements.
 
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And/or vitamin D deficient, especially if you're spending all your time in the hospital! I was ridiculously deficient after a year of vet school and spending the summer in winter (southern hemisphere). Feel way better with some supplements.
And/or vitamin B-12 deficient. I don't absorb it correctly or something, and have to take supplements even with a good diet. Same with anemia - my family tends to have iron deficiency even when getting plenty of iron in the diet.
 
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I literally have the same issue. I can be wide awake, have gotten 8 hours of sleep the night before, had a healthy breakfast (kale, apple, greek yogurt smoothies), and get to class and fall asleep. I've tried taking notes, drinking something, chewing gum, etc. Nothing seems to help. My best friend sits next to me and kicks me...
 

LetItSnow

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That's cute.
It wasn't intended to be 'cute'; I was being sincere. First year, I used to have the WORST time staying awake in classes. I'd fight it and fight it and count the seconds till class ended, hating every second because I couldn't keep my eyes open. When I just started going to bed an hour earlier .... amazing, I could stay awake in class.

So it wasn't meant to be snarky. Sometimes people just really overlook the obvious. If you're sleepy, the first 'differential dx' on your list shouldn't be some sort of sleep disorder. It should be: Are you getting the sleep your body is telling you that you need?
 
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katryn

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It wasn't intended to be 'cute'; I was being sincere. First year, I used to have the WORST time staying awake in classes. I'd fight it and fight it and count the seconds till class ended, hating every second because I couldn't keep my eyes open. When I just started going to bed an hour earlier .... amazing, I could stay awake in class.

So it wasn't meant to be snarky. Sometimes people just really overlook the obvious. If you're sleepy, the first 'differential dx' on your list shouldn't be some sort of sleep disorder. It should be: Are you getting the sleep your body is telling you that you need?
I know LIS. The quick and easy answer is, I don't get good sleep. But kiddo kind of prevents that for me. On the other hand, I was still prone to dropping off even before I got pregnant, and I was getting plenty of sleep back then. At this point if I go to sleep any earlier, I'm going to bed as soon as I get home, which isn't an option. And still doesn't change the fact that my sleep is broken up at irregular intervals. :(
 

wolfspeaker

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I'm not sure if you are allowed food during this time, but sucking on candies may help short term. Sour/spicy candies like lemon heads, red hots, etc

And they aren't as noisy as carrots ;)

If I don't have something to do with my hands, I will often times start to doze off during meetings. Play with silly putty. :D
 

Lissarae06

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It wasn't intended to be 'cute'; I was being sincere. First year, I used to have the WORST time staying awake in classes. I'd fight it and fight it and count the seconds till class ended, hating every second because I couldn't keep my eyes open. When I just started going to bed an hour earlier .... amazing, I could stay awake in class.

So it wasn't meant to be snarky. Sometimes people just really overlook the obvious. If you're sleepy, the first 'differential dx' on your list shouldn't be some sort of sleep disorder. It should be: Are you getting the sleep your body is telling you that you need?
I meant that it was cute because it often isn't feasible. There have been times when I am at the VTH for 36 hours straight. On busier rotations I will be there until 6 and then have to be back between 8 and 10 to do treatments an walk patients only to be back at school at 6 the next morning. Somewhere in there you are supposed to find time to study and spend time doing things normal people do. It's easy to say I should get more sleep. It can be difficult to actually put into practice.
 

CalliopeDVM

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You did say that you can't be falling asleep on the job, thus translating that falling asleep on rounds is similar to the job.
No, being a vet student is her job. THAT'S exactly my point - at this stage of schooling, it should be considered as important as a job.....what would people say if the OP wrote that she was falling asleep in team meetings at work in front of her boss.

I can tell myself a million times that a lecture is "interesting" or I can "mentally think about it/write notes/formulate questions/etc" but if I am tired enough, it doesn't matter; that will not last no matter how hard I try.
Yup, and that's where all those other recommendations come in, such as eating better, making sleep a greater priority at other times, changing "sleep hygiene" habits, and seeing a doctor.....in fact, it sounds like the quality of sleep, not the amount of sleep is the issue. Particular "sleep hygiene" habits might help with that - I know someone who has nothing electric on for at least an hour before bed - no electric lights, no TV, no radio - and it's helped because electric light stimulates the brain in a way that candles or daylight don't.

I refuse to brush aside the problem as "common" or "no big deal" and not address the real issue, which is making whatever changes are needed to continue doing your job until you can switch jobs to one that's better suited to your lifestyle.
 

DVMDream

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Yup, and that's where all those other recommendations come in, such as eating better, making sleep a greater priority at other times, changing "sleep hygiene" habits, and seeing a doctor.....in fact, it sounds like the quality of sleep, not the amount of sleep is the issue. Particular "sleep hygiene" habits might help with that - I know someone who has nothing electric on for at least an hour before bed - no electric lights, no TV, no radio - and it's helped because electric light stimulates the brain in a way that candles or daylight don't.

I refuse to brush aside the problem as "common" or "no big deal" and not address the real issue, which is making whatever changes are needed to continue doing your job until you can switch jobs to one that's better suited to your lifestyle.
Again, nobody said it was "no big deal". Nobody. Not a single person here as said, "oh don't worry about it, it isn't a big deal". We all have been sympathetic, we have realized it is an issue and we have given tips. YOU came on here, cut her down, told her that she needs to "WAKE UP!" and that if she can't she isn't fit to graduate. That is not just harsh, that is rude. I hope you don't treat vet techs or employees that way because that will sure get them running out the door and get you a bad reputation as being a jerk rather fast. Let's say you have a vet tech who is amazing; she has good communication skills, works great with animals, does her job well, goes above and beyond to make the clients happy but she comes to you and tells you, "hey, I am having trouble with dealing with euthanasias, it is starting to affect me and I am losing sleep over it." Would you yell at her and tell her she isn't fit for the job and needs to "snap out of it" or "deal with it" and if she can't then she just needs to leave? I sure hope you wouldn't. I would hope that you would work with her, give her some tips and help and support her as much as you can. That is what should be done when someone says, "hey I am having "x" problem can you help me?" A person should never, ever be degraded, ridiculed or "treated harshly (as you put it)" when they are coming to someone for help. If someone has recognized they have a problem, you support them and try to help them; you do NOT treat them like dog ****. There is zero excuse and no reason for treating someone like crap when they ask for help... none. I have no issue with your advice (though, she can't just tell her child "too bad, mommy is sleeping"), but I have an issue with you treating her like a piece of dirt.
 
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StartingoverVet

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No, being a vet student is her job. THAT'S exactly my point - at this stage of schooling, it should be considered as important as a job.....what would people say if the OP wrote that she was falling asleep in team meetings at work in front of her boss.



Yup, and that's where all those other recommendations come in, such as eating better, making sleep a greater priority at other times, changing "sleep hygiene" habits, and seeing a doctor.....in fact, it sounds like the quality of sleep, not the amount of sleep is the issue. Particular "sleep hygiene" habits might help with that - I know someone who has nothing electric on for at least an hour before bed - no electric lights, no TV, no radio - and it's helped because electric light stimulates the brain in a way that candles or daylight don't.

I refuse to brush aside the problem as "common" or "no big deal" and not address the real issue, which is making whatever changes are needed to continue doing your job until you can switch jobs to one that's better suited to your lifestyle.
You are way off base.

The problem is not the OP, the problem is the structure of medical training that is inappropriate to proper learning.

The number one cause of accidents in airlines is fatigue.
The number one cause of accidents in the workplace, in truck drivers, etc, is fatigue.
Medical schools are combatting fatigue by limiting the hours that interns/residents work, airlines are being forced to cut hours, and increase sleep time, etc etc.

Meanwhile, vet school still believes that long hours, being on-call without sleep, and other sleep-depriving practices are perfectly acceptable.
No, the problem is not Katryn, it is a ridiculous system that thinks your ability to work and learn effectively while sleep deprived is ok.

I have worked IRL in jobs with long hours, and hard stress but I rarely if ever had severe fatigue because I had downtime and the ability to have decent sleep. Hey I was tired a lot, but not severely fatigued. Vet school, let alone clinics is an entirely different animal (pun intended). Here it is not uncommon for people to stretched to the limit for no good reason (except for the slave labor).

Your judgmental comments are not only inappropriate but misplaced. Your attitude of acceptance of these practices is part of the problem in this industry. As if our fatigue had ANYTHING to do with our dedication to the profession.
 
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While I think Calliope is being a bit harsh (by her own admission), I don't think she's treating anyone like "a piece of dirt" here. She was reiterating the seriousness of the issue by putting it in a graduation context (i.e. "time is running out for you to fix this), not saying that the OP is unfit to be a vet.

Simmer down, y'all.
 

DVMDream

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While I think Calliope is being a bit harsh (by her own admission), I don't think she's treating anyone like "a piece of dirt" here. She was reiterating the seriousness of the issue by putting it in a graduation context (i.e. "time is running out for you to fix this), not saying that the OP is unfit to be a vet.

Simmer down, y'all.
I don't agree, telling someone that they should not be allowed to graduate is telling them they are unfit to be a vet. Granted it isn't outright using those words, it is significantly implying that.
 

twelvetigers

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I didn't realize that Burnett's Law was active over here in the vet forums too!

I argue that Calliope doesn't actually know what Katryn is going through unless she had a child that age during vet school and attended rounds at UTK. General advice is fine, but she was perceived to pass judgement on Katryn's character as a person and student based on what she had shared with us in confidence here, whether or not that was the intention.
 

LetItSnow

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I meant that it was cute because it often isn't feasible. There have been times when I am at the VTH for 36 hours straight. On busier rotations I will be there until 6 and then have to be back between 8 and 10 to do treatments an walk patients only to be back at school at 6 the next morning. Somewhere in there you are supposed to find time to study and spend time doing things normal people do. It's easy to say I should get more sleep. It can be difficult to actually put into practice.
No doubt it can be difficult. It doesn't mean I was trying to be dismissive or trite. People often seem to want to jump to "omg there's something wrong with me!" when the actual problem (not the solution) is pretty simple.

I mean, with sleep ... you really don't get to just duck it. You can get away with a shortage for a while, but sooner or later you pay the piper. In the short term it's by being sleepy and maybe dozing off inappropriately. In the long term it's with other chronic problems. But you have to get what your body needs eventually.

*shrug* Vet school sucks that way.

And it's not like I don't understand. I'm doing vet school with three kids and two jobs.

Anyway, it wasn't meant to be an unsympathetic comment. Just a "maybe the answer is right in front of you" kind of thing. Even if the solution isn't easily attainable.
 

lailanni

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Seriously? If you're falling asleep during rounds, then you need to either improve your health (get more sleep, get more exercise, eat healthier - avoid sugar) or see a doctor. Classes are one thing - warm room, boring details, passive listening - but in rounds your mind should be far more active and you should be participating, even if only mentally.

Wake up! You're about to be a vet - you can't be falling asleep on the job. If you can't stay awake in a small group conversation with colleagues, then you're not ready to graduate. I know how tiring it is, been there, done that, worked through a week of 18 hour days........but this is real stuff and you can't afford to mess it up.
I disagree. Sometimes rounds are passive listening in a warm, dark room. Some of equine med/surgery rounds were like that. Room darkened to see radiographs, people going on and on about horse ligaments. I had absolutely zero interest in anything equine. At all. I may have nodded off or gone extremely close to it. And guess what? I graduated and am doing fine. What I tried to to: take excessive notes. Or doodle. Or make a calendar. Yes - I would actually draw out a calendar, count down to graduation, outline which rotations were when, and plan my graduation menu I'd cook for my family.

Also: needing to pee. Many of my classmates would say "If I need to pee I'll stay awake", so I know it's not just me. So drink lots of water. May not be the most pleasant way to stay awake, but at least you're hydrated and awake! AND if you need to use the restroom, that's a chance to walk around and wake yourself up a little.

When rounds were something I was actively engaged in (updating the clinician on my patients, going over the game plan for the day, actual things that mattered to how I'd manage my time, real cases we'd seen or would see soon) that was always easy to participate in. When the clinician actually cared if we learned (asking us questions, getting us to draw diagrams, etc) then it was easy to participate. When it was something I was actually interested in (round topics I liked, species I liked) it was easy to stay awake.

When it's something highly theoretical, goes on without interaction, and doesn't really apply to the here and now - that's easier to space on. At least it was for me. Not everyone learns the same way. Dry lecture without interaction can be a terrible way for some of us to learn, especially on chronic sleep deprivation. Even now, I bet if you yammer at me about horse ligaments I'll be fighting to stay awake within 15 minutes.

OP - If you're spacing on the minor things, don't be too hard on yourself; just slug it out a while longer. If you feel like you're missing out on the meat and potatoes, then maybe try and seek help to get additional rest or talk to your rounds leader and let them know you may need to move around or an occasional break to keep awake.