How do you stay awake?

Discussion in 'Pre-Medical - MD' started by bluesTank, May 2, 2007.

  1. bluesTank

    bluesTank Zombie
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    I was just wondering what everyone's strategy is for keeping yourself awake while studying? I find it hard to focus on things I read because I keep nodding off then I forget everything I just read.

    Besides the obvious coffee injections, does anyone have a unique and interesting strategies?
     
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  3. lilnoelle

    Moderator Emeritus 7+ Year Member

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    I get up and walk around, maybe do some jumping jacks, grab something to eat, maybe go outside for a bit, then I go back and study.
    If that doesn't work, I go find something else to do for 10-15 minutes.
    If that doesn't work, I may go take a half hour nap.

    I try to avoid studying when I know that I'm going to be sleepy.
    I have yet to try to study in the wee hours of the night or morning. I think the latest I've studied this year was 1-2 am, but that was just because I felt like staying up late and then sleeping in the next morning.
     
  4. Green Pirate

    Green Pirate Neurotic Neuro Enthusiast
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    I'm addicted to diet pepsi, though I doubt that really helps much since I feel like my body has become immune to the effects of caffeine.

    I really don't have trouble staying awake though... and I attribute that mosty to the solid hours of sleep I get every night. ~6.5 hours.
     
  5. sendwich

    sendwich you rock!
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    nasty tasting cofffee. oh yeah, starbucks makes them really well (talking about the black ones....not the lattes, fraps, etc)
     
  6. armybound

    armybound urologist.
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    well, I make sure I get 8 hours of sleep at night.
    then I prioritize my life so that I don't need to stay up really late or get up really early to study
    and finally I maximize my study efficiency so I don't need to spend hours and hours studying
     
  7. jochi1543

    jochi1543 President, Gunner Central
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    Solid advice.

    Also, fit in studying during times when you're not doing much else (downtime at work, commute, etc). And regular exercise really helps to give an outlet to all that energy that's preventing you from focusing, plus it makes you sleep better and hence function better when you're awake.
     
  8. Dr.Inviz

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  9. TheGreatHunt

    TheGreatHunt High Performance
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    You mean Adderall?

    Anyway, I take small naps in the middle of the day. Actually... they're pretty big naps, lol. I take a 1.5 hour, or 3 hour nap, and sleep 4.5 hours at night. Works perfect for me.
     
  10. scrubsaresexy

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    Naps, caffeine, and I bribe myself. No, seriously. If I get 50 minutes of work done, I get 10 minutes to be lazy before I go back to work. Normally its more than 10 minutes but lets be real...its finals week.

    I've been having huge problems with staying awake this semester, though, because thank you horrible crappy cafeteria food, I very rarely eat meat so I'm been fighting anemia all semester. It really sucks and I can't wait to go home so that I can eat my mom's made-with-love food and feel like a human being again.
     
  11. Wackie

    Wackie Inappropriate, always
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    I retain nothing when I study while sleepy. I'm better off just going to bed.
     
  12. Bacchus

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    I usually study before going to bed, if I'm not overly tired. I read something on how the information is reprogrammed during REM, but I'm not a doctor (yet ;)) so I don't know how it works, I just find that I wake up remembering what I studied.
     
  13. Mr. Belding

    Mr. Belding The Dude abides
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    +1
     
  14. Funky

    Funky This space is for sale
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    oh come on. Where's the fun in that? Procrasination is GREAT! :D
     
  15. Stversko

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    Adderall, caffeine (mainly expressos), solid 8 hours of sleep night before, sometimes i need to do a few crunches/ pushups to jump start my heart rate for a bit but then your crash after a few minutes.
     
  16. sexyman

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    isnt adderall kind of drastic? I dont know much about it but it is not sold over the counter correct?
     
  17. armybound

    armybound urologist.
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    I do procrastinate. I have a final tomorrow and another on Friday and I've barely spent more than 30 minutes studying for each.

    But I also put in a lot of work in those classes earlier in the year so I can slack off.

    I don't know why some people spend 12 hours per day for 3-4 days studying for one exam. I can somehow manage to study for 2-3 hours total (assuming the test is 5 chapters or less) and do just fine on an exam. (I'm not bragging, I'm just saying some people go overboard with the studying)
     
  18. xucardsfan08

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    Adderall is an ADD/ADHD medication and is a combination of amphetamine salts. Do not take unless you have a prescription and are being monitored by a physician.

    Coffee, caffeine pills, and green tea all help with energy.
     
  19. Vvandenn

    Vvandenn Member
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    I either use adderall, coffee, or periodic naps throughout the day.
     
  20. Funky

    Funky This space is for sale
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    There are just some people who believe in the philosophy of overpreparing. That one guy who knows all the answers probably studies a week in advance.
     
  21. carn311

    carn311 Dead tired.
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    1. I get up and walk around with what i'm studying...really helps.

    2. I drink lots of water. After 3pm coffee just does nothing for me; water seems to be more effective.

    3. I attack the material. I've even been known to say somethings to my work that I regret later. (my examkrackers books will never be the same):laugh:
     
  22. armybound

    armybound urologist.
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    very well could be. i start about a week in advance as well. I just study a very little bit at a time, and cover it 2-3 times.

    I'm not exactly just edging by either :)

    I guess people just study differently. I'm glad I'm not losing any sleep though.
     
  23. j-weezy

    j-weezy MS1
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    same here - after about midnight I can't study in a library anymore because I need to pace and talk out loud (yes to myself). I look like a crazy person (thus in the privacy of my apartment) but it works.
     
  24. emaj1n

    emaj1n M1
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    Drinc mur watr.
     
  25. carn311

    carn311 Dead tired.
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    If you study better in privacy just stay at the library pacing and muttering to yourself. I find that clears out the surrounding seats pretty quick!
     
  26. pcguy2

    pcguy2 Minneapolis Master
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    I find drinking a lot of water so you feel like you have to go tothe bathroom keeps me awake. Just stay close to the bathroom and the regular cycle will keep you up and walking a bit every 30 minutes. This works for me!
     
  27. j-weezy

    j-weezy MS1
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    yeah - but i embarrass easily..... it's those judging looks of other library attendees!
     
  28. sejin8642

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    When I am sleepy, I do homeworks like research papers that do not require thought process. Because I know I retain nothing when I am sleepy.
     
  29. pcguy2

    pcguy2 Minneapolis Master
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    Haha. Wow...

    I wish i could write research papers without thinking
     
  30. corbis11

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    coffee, smoke a cigarette, adderall, listen to some drum and bass...I live real healthy during finals week...
     
  31. j-weezy

    j-weezy MS1
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    yeah, gotta watch out for that drum and bass - it'll mess you up real bad
     
  32. CagedBird

    CagedBird Don't Worry, Be Happy
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    As soon as I start to doze off....I usually get up, put on some snazzy tunes and dance :)
    The cupid shuffle is always a nice one to do....electric slide and footloose are good too.
     
  33. ssquared

    ssquared Member
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    I do the water trick, too! I also listen to rap/techno/dance on my ipod, and when desperate, I resort to caffeine. I took No-Doz during the MCAT and after I knocked back a pill one girl gave me a look as if I had just snorted crack in front of her. :laugh:
     
  34. Funky

    Funky This space is for sale
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    I for one definitely lose sleep for other reasons,
    such as browsing SDN for no apparent reason :cool:
     
  35. jstuds_66

    jstuds_66 Free cat to a good home
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    I get up and look up some funny posts on SDN...
     
  36. jochi1543

    jochi1543 President, Gunner Central
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    Methinks he was referring to lab reports....which is the only type of paper I can think of which often requires little to no thinking since you usually know everything you need before you even run the experiment.
     
  37. lunaire

    lunaire Hypogunner
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    I do capoeira, eat fruits, take walks... Provigil also works if I'm really desperate.
     
  38. NDESTRUKT

    NDESTRUKT Fadeproof
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    just suck it up...

    haha jk. do a lot of walking around and taking breaks.
     
  39. Bacchus

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    Power naps work well for me. Just a thought, why are a quarter of the people on here ok with taking Adderall when they are going to be physicians? I doubt most of them have an actual prescription for it.
     
  40. j-weezy

    j-weezy MS1
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    diet coke plus (+) thoughts?

    It's diet coke plus vitamins (including B vitamins!) I like it but it tastes really really bad warm (and this is coming from a diet coke fanatic)
     
  41. Jason O

    Jason O Junior Member
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    A roommate of mine got me hooked on vegetable juicing. Once I started it, my energy level basically doubled. I could concentrate better, and for longer periods of time. I needed less sleep. I drink a glass or two every day. Once school starts, I MUST make 20 minutes every other day to do it.

    Give it a try this summer. It will change your life. You will never go back to coffee and other junk.
     
  42. NickRiviera

    NickRiviera MS-Never
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  43. jochi1543

    jochi1543 President, Gunner Central
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    Do you do fresh-squeezed, or is V8 acceptable?

    I kind of hate vegetables, and can't think of a whole lot of them that I could stomach in liquid form. I usually have to introduce them into some other, much more delicious food in my own naughty, sneaky way. Omelettes are one way (mushrooms+spinach+tomatoes+onions+cheddar = heaven)....today, I made a roast with carrots, onions, and mushrooms and the beef juice made the vegs that much more palatable.
     
  44. jochi1543

    jochi1543 President, Gunner Central
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    How do you people manage to sleep for 15 mins? It takes me like an hour (if not more) to fall asleep unless I'm absolutely exhausted, so I never nap during the day, because it comes out to be a major waste of time.


    I also don't think napping is that great of a habit to get into because you can't quite pull it off in the 9-to-5 world. Sure, a post-lunch nap sounds great, but not when your boss is in the office next door.:laugh:
     
  45. Tessy

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    Jason, what kinds of vegetables do you use besides carrots, celery and tomatoes? I know people drink beet and potato juice, it just seems a little nasty to me. Also, do you prepare it once in two days? I know it loses most of its vitamins within 30-60 minutes.
     
  46. jochi1543

    jochi1543 President, Gunner Central
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    I'm allergic to potato juice, haha. I have to wear gloves when cutting up potatoes when I'm cooking. Is this the most random fruit-vegetable allergy or what?
     
  47. beauregard

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    Beats me. I wouldn't do it, and when my classmates come into the urgent care center I work in to get it and the doctors give it with no real reason, it pisses me off. Scary thing, eh?
     
  48. j-weezy

    j-weezy MS1
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    what? who gets adderall in an urgent care facility - for no reason???
     
  49. mongrel

    mongrel Assoc. Prof. Dogsuit
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    Yah, really I'm interested in knowing how all the people here are getting Adderall? Are you honestly in need of it due to some diagnosed ADD/ADHD condition or is it more of a means just to cope with procrastination (not that I don't procrastinate as much as the next guy... :smuggrin:)

    My strategy is lots of green tea (caffeine and the bathroom trick) and some background NPR/classical music going seems to put me in a kind of industrious trance. Plus a ham sandwich around midnight usually helps.
     
  50. trudat

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    am i ****ed for medical school? i seriously ONLY drink water and milk.
     
  51. gsmithers68

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    So my routine is the following:

    Well first, I can't focus on material for more than an hour or so...

    This presents a problem so I find a video game or TV show to take breaks watching on my computer. Movies work too.... Take breaks of 15-20 minutes... At night when it is really later I choose to just freaking go to bed. I would rather sleep from 1 - 5am and study from 5am - 9am before a midterm than stay up until 4am and sleep til 9am.

    Also I have found that exercising everyday gives me more energy to stay awake and requires me to get less sleep at night.

    I don't like caffeine at night because I find that when I am finally done studying and want to sleep I simply can't... I do the water approach.

    This approach allows me to sleep at night and in the morning when I wake up (5am in this example) allows me to drink my 12 oz. cup of coffee much easier.

    (This is an approach for people who are really sensitive to caffeine like me who present severe twitching, inability to hold conversation, and pissing every 15 minutes after a single cup of coffee.)
     

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