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starlene45

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Well I know there are some threads about this topic on some of the other forums but I really want to hear suggestions from the awesome pre-vet/vet student sdn'ers...

...Specifically I'd like to focus on "staying awake in lecture AFTER eating lunch." I managed to keep myself awake at all times during 2nd semester o-chem last fall, but it involved things like energy drinks, sodas, and delicious baked goods. basically it was all sugar, and while it got me through I just cannot sustain that kind of sugar consumption! For some reason as long as I was actively sipping a drink or snacking, I had no problem staying alert and focused.

I am wondering if eating certain things at lunch would make me more or less likely to sleep through after-lunch lectures? And would getting up early and eating breakfast really help (I am such a non-breakfast eater :(). Anyway, personal success (or failure hehe) stories would be greatly appreciated!
 

GeeQued

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I put zippfiz in my water. Its a years worth of your daily B12 intake in one packet. so it either keeps you awake from the added energy or from having to pee like every 30 mins :)
 

chris03333

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Well I know there are some threads about this topic on some of the other forums but I really want to hear suggestions from the awesome pre-vet/vet student sdn'ers...

...Specifically I'd like to focus on "staying awake in lecture AFTER eating lunch." I managed to keep myself awake at all times during 2nd semester o-chem last fall, but it involved things like energy drinks, sodas, and delicious baked goods. basically it was all sugar, and while it got me through I just cannot sustain that kind of sugar consumption! For some reason as long as I was actively sipping a drink or snacking, I had no problem staying alert and focused.

I am wondering if eating certain things at lunch would make me more or less likely to sleep through after-lunch lectures? And would getting up early and eating breakfast really help (I am such a non-breakfast eater :(). Anyway, personal success (or failure hehe) stories would be greatly appreciated!
Altoids.:thumbup:
 

badcats

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I think eating breakfast would help actually, even if it is just a granola bar, yogurt or something small like that. That way your stomach is awake and will be better able to metabolize your lunch. It is probably the blood flow getting redirected to your stomach after lunch that makes you so sleepy, so maybe smaller meals throughout the day would help too?
A big water usually helped me, although it also equaled peeing every hour, much like GeeQued mentioned with the zippfiz.

Just my $.02
 

GellaBella

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I find that the bigger the meal or the heavier the food, the more tired I am after I finish eating. Maybe you can try eating a lighter lunch so your tummy isn't completely full? I also find that if I'm actively taking notes I can stay awake much better than if I'm just sitting and listening to a lecturer.

Also, it seems obvious but sleeping more may help as well. When I was in college I remember after lunch classes being really hard to stay awake in. Now that I'm in graduate school and am an old lady (26 ;)) I tend to go to bed between 10-11pm (much earlier than in college..although I also get up earlier now than I did in college) and am MUCH more alert most days. I was always a night owl..and I still would like to be, but I've found that with a certain amount of sleep each night, consistently, I'm able to stay awake through even the most boring seminars and lab meetings :thumbup:
 

VeganChick

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Gum and chewy "commitment" candy like Now & Laters. It was not a happy day in Physics class (well, relatively speaking - no day in Physics class was a happy day) when I didn't have a Laffy Taffy in my bag.
 

twelvetigers

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You could try eating something like pretzels - something nibbly and healthy.

I hear that apples are good for energy levels too - anyone back me up on this?
 

katryn

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My trick is small lunch and lots of snacks. I usually only eat a sandwich, or something similarly small for lunch, and take snacks like wheat thins and teddy grahams to snack on before and after lunch. I find that the small meal keeps me from getting tired, and having something to chew on during lecture helps keep me awake.
 

CatVet2Be

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I've also heard that an apple and a bottle of water are better energy boosters than a caffeinated drink. I've yet to try that though and need my pepsi to get through the morning.
 

sumstorm

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Try to make sure lunch is small-ish and has carbs, protein, and a little fat. The carbs digest faster, followed by protein and fats. This will keep your body from rushing so much energy to the digestion process, slow down the digestion process, not dump energy into your system forcing your system to dump large quantities of insulin to process it, stripping the sugar out too fast, creating fatique. Slow, sustainable digestion through balanced meals.
 

DollyyLlama

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Do a crossword!
Oh wait, did you want to get anything out of the lecture, or just stay awake for it?

Seriously though, I hear the OP on this. For me, sitting still and listening just puts me in a stupor. Of course it's worse when I'm under-rested, but that's not the only factor. I find that anything that exerts energy helps; I don't get sleepy during a discussion. Participating (if that's appropriate) helps, as do furiously taking notes, working on a game while taking notes, and using breaks to stand, stretch, walk. And I'm a major foot-tapper/ hair-twirler.

I actually considered this as a "pro" for the PBL curriculum when I was choosing a school. I figure I'd be much less likely to get sleepy in a small-group discussion than in a lecture hall. (However, I didn't end up going to the PBL school.)
 

cozycleo

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My issue is with the night courses. If I don't get a nap in between work and class (I work really early in the day so it is possible) I get really sleepy for about 30 minutes in evening classes. Then I somehow snap out of it. I've been trying to find a way to avoid that sleepy half hour. I always try to eat a little something before I go, but it still happens from time to time.
 

Ninnerfish

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I got through my last two weeks of classes by basically living on 5-Hour Energy shots. Probably not healthy as a long-term solution, though...
 

bunnity

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Please don't be the person crunching really loudly! I totally understand that people might need to eat in class, but stuff like chips is so distracting!

I think it makes sense that you can pay attention better if you are eating. I tend to not wander off mentally if I am doing something mindless like doodling (or knitting in high school when that was cool... ) because it helps keep me focused on the present moment. That is why there are bunnies all over all my notes. If you don't want to eat in class you might be able to replace it with drawing in the margins or taking detailed notes.
 

sumstorm

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Please don't be the person crunching really loudly! I totally understand that people might need to eat in class, but stuff like chips is so distracting!

I think it makes sense that you can pay attention better if you are eating. I tend to not wander off mentally if I am doing something mindless like doodling (or knitting in high school when that was cool... ) because it helps keep me focused on the present moment. That is why there are bunnies all over all my notes. If you don't want to eat in class you might be able to replace it with drawing in the margins or taking detailed notes.

I read an article yesterday that said doodlers remembered 29% more random information (unfamiliar and unconnected names and locations) presented duraing a meeting.
 

Mistoffeles

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as a counterpoint and failure story, I had Geology 101 at 8:00a, Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, 1st semester freshman year. I would always meet my friend for breakfast at 7:00a, and then we'd go to class. Between breakfast (standard eggs, potatoes, and toast affair) and the dark, humid, and cave-like lecture hall, I managed to fall asleep every class for at least half an hour.

So, now, if I have an early class, I stick to a banana and coffee; and save the full meal for after lecture. This does *not* hold true for exam days - then I eat a regular meal. I'm so nervous at any exam that there's no way I'm falling asleep.
 

david594

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Maybe I'm the only one, but if I am concerned about paying attention/falling asleep I sit in the front row.

Its pretty hard to get too distracted or fall asleep when you are standing a couple feet from the professor.
 

ckd816

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Please don't be the person crunching really loudly! I totally understand that people might need to eat in class, but stuff like chips is so distracting!

I totally agree. I was tempted to strangle someone chomping on carrots in physics lecture recently... It was terrible.

Lately I've been relying on protein bars for breakfast with lots of ice water, and then I have to have a sugar free Monster more days than not. :rolleyes: For lunch I try to do something like a grilled chicken sandwich and a side of fruit. Something not too heavy, as others have said... My afternoon class is almost completely dark, but on the plus side it is freezing in there! I'm convinced this is the only way I stay awake because I have a hard time after lunch as well.
 

cwazy cat lady

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...Specifically I'd like to focus on "staying awake in lecture AFTER eating lunch."
:laugh:
Oh, this brought tears to my eyes! I suffer from food coma after lunch, too. Put me in a stuffy lecture hall, turn the lights down for a ppt and I'm out!! Early mornings, too.

I hear you.
I am wondering if eating certain things at lunch would make me more or less likely to sleep through after-lunch lectures? And would getting up early and eating breakfast really help (I am such a non-breakfast eater :(). Anyway, personal success (or failure hehe) stories would be greatly appreciated!
I would avoid sugars as much as possible, esp. anything refined/simple. When you eat them, you get an insulin spike. You'll peak and then falter... Maybe go a bit Atkins or really lite on the lunches? I was really diligent about getting a lot of sugar out of my diet for awhile (all as a result of taking biochem!!). I remember having a giant glass of whole milk, though, and it put me out like a dead fish. I am pretty certain that it was the milk sugar. I had really gotten used to only complex carbs and it kept my energy levels more constant than they had ever been. I really did struggle in school with falling asleep/nodding off. it was extremely embarrassing. O chem was the worst and then this one instructor I took wildlife classes from. He was great, but I think something about his voice just was like a baby's lullabye. And this coming from someone who loves school, sat in the front row and took notes like a madwoman (I have to write and organize the info in order to help commit things to memory).

Good luck! I totally feel for you! I'm liking those snack ideas that people mentioned--more smaller meals, rather than large ones.

Oh, I thought I might add that if you feel comfortable, you might talk to your instructor. If they ever catch you nodding off, address it after class and let him or her know that it's something you are struggling with and actively working on fixing. I think if you handle it in a proactive way, you can avoid them jumping to conclusions that aren't accurate--like that you are not interested, staying up all night, not taking care of yourself, etc.. Keep it light-hearted and I think you'll earn some respect for how you deal with it and the concern that you show.
 
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lailanni

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I totally agree. I was tempted to strangle someone chomping on carrots in physics lecture recently... It was terrible.

Oh my word, there is someone in class who eats crunchy foods all the time I'm also tempted to strangle. People need some kind of self-awareness. "Hey, I can totally hear myself eating this sack of carrots. Maybe others (rows away!) can also hear me eat this sack of carrots." The really loud gum chewers bug me too. For some reason, other people's chewy nosises don't help me think :rolleyes:

I can't think of a way to adress it, since "Hey, you chew like a cow" isn't exactly polite. But I suppose loud chewing noises in lecture aren't polite either.
 

rugbychick16

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:laugh:

Oh, I thought I might add that if you feel comfortable, you might talk to your instructor. If they ever catch you nodding off, address it after class and let him or her know that it's something you are struggling with and actively working on fixing. I think if you handle it in a proactive way, you can avoid them jumping to conclusions that aren't accurate--like that you are not interested, staying up all night, not taking care of yourself, etc.. Keep it light-hearted and I think you'll earn some respect for how you deal with it and the concern that you show.

Dear professor:

Our entire class of 108 is sleeping through the 8 am lecture. What should WE do to change this?

::Sorry, that just made me giggle alot. Trust me, you won't be the only one sleeping in class a couple months into vet school. They pretty much expect it.::
 

critterologist

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The key for me is complex carbs. If I eat anything with refined sugar I pass out. For breakfast I usually go for oatmeal or granola with yogurt, and for lunch a big salad with avocado for some fat and grilled chicken for some protein, and maybe a some whole wheat crackers or potatoes for a carb. The more fiber the better.

I still have a problem with falling asleep in class/meetings if I don't get enough sleep the night before and find that snacking helps. I worry about bothering others though. Anyone have experience with presliced carrots so there isn't the big bite down to breack off a manageable piece? Is the inner crunching still annoying?
 

ImaJerseyGirl

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Maybe I'm the only one, but if I am concerned about paying attention/falling asleep I sit in the front row.

Its pretty hard to get too distracted or fall asleep when you are standing a couple feet from the professor.

This is true for me except Bio 101 and 102... the professor would actually ask the person next to me to wake me in front of the lecture hall. How embarrassing. I just could not keep my face from hitting the desk. You know that feeling when your eyes won't stay open and your skull feels like it's 100 pounds? I was fine in physics, orgo and the like sitting up front.

Really though, get a good nights sleep. Try to wake up at a decent hour and go for a walk. Morning exercise seems to keep me going all day- it doesn't need to be intense, just get your blood going. Good breakfast (i like cereal, banana, maybe coffee) and then I graze all day. Picking at a chewy bar during lecture gives my fingers something to do. Granola bar, apple, grapes are awesome, maybe a small piece of candy, lots and lots of water. Never soda- CACA! I stay away from stuff that is saturated with sugar or really greasy.
 

CookieBear

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I think if everyone around me was snacking and eating chips... well, the sound would keep me awake AND save me from those calories! :corny:
 

crittergal

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Oh my word, there is someone in class who eats crunchy foods all the time I'm also tempted to strangle. People need some kind of self-awareness. "Hey, I can totally hear myself eating this sack of carrots. Maybe others (rows away!) can also hear me eat this sack of carrots." The really loud gum chewers bug me too. For some reason, other people's chewy nosises don't help me think :rolleyes:

I can't think of a way to adress it, since "Hey, you chew like a cow" isn't exactly polite. But I suppose loud chewing noises in lecture aren't polite either.

I can completely relate! I spent half a semester stewing over the head bobbing, open mouth gum chewing, bubble popping, hair twirling distraction sitting one row done from me in Orgo2. When I overheard some other students talking about how distracting it was, I snapped. I wasn't getting anything from lecture once the gum sack (yes, there was a whole sack of it) came out of the bag and neither was anyone else. It took every ounce of willpower I had to not just snap at her in the middle of lecture and play nice instead! I spoke to her privately and VERY politely during break and explained how distracting it was. She said she had no idea- seriously? How the heck do you have no idea? Anyhow, she sat as quiet and as still as a church mouse the rest of the semester. I still kick myself for letting it go on so long without addressing it.
 

eventualeventer

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Wow, I think this is one of my favorite threads ever on SDN. I had no idea there were so many other people like me struggling to stay awake! Maybe I'm too sleepy to notice the other people in my classes nodding off. :p

It doesn't help that I'm a champion sleeper -- I can fall asleep and sleep through anything, from lectures to storms rocking the house with thunder to cats attacking my head (seriously, I woke up the other day with a couple scratch marks on my forehead that must have been from Cicely, who likes to hang out right around/on top of my scalp).

Going back through my notes, I can tell when I started to drift off, since the notes become more and more sparse, making less and less sense until the train of thought stops completely. The handwriting also deteriorates as I try to force myself to keep writing in hopes that my hand will keep my brain going.

Signed,
eventualeventer,
needs a 12-step program for falling asleep in class (or when studying)
 

VeganChick

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Maybe I'm the only one, but if I am concerned about paying attention/falling asleep I sit in the front row.

Its pretty hard to get too distracted or fall asleep when you are standing a couple feet from the professor.

Oh, I beg to differ! I ALWAYS sit in the front row and yet I ALWAYS seem to be falling asleep in class!
Going back through my notes, I can tell when I started to drift off, since the notes become more and more sparse, making less and less sense until the train of thought stops completely. The handwriting also deteriorates as I try to force myself to keep writing in hopes that my hand will keep my brain going.

So true!!!

I can't think of a way to adress it, since "Hey, you chew like a cow" isn't exactly polite.

Or alternatively, since we are a bunch or vet school students, it might be taken as a compliement!
 

jglovicz

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Wow, I think this is one of my favorite threads ever on SDN. I had no idea there were so many other people like me struggling to stay awake! Maybe I'm too sleepy to notice the other people in my classes nodding off. :p

It doesn't help that I'm a champion sleeper -- I can fall asleep and sleep through anything, from lectures to storms rocking the house with thunder to cats attacking my head (seriously, I woke up the other day with a couple scratch marks on my forehead that must have been from Cicely, who likes to hang out right around/on top of my scalp).

Going back through my notes, I can tell when I started to drift off, since the notes become more and more sparse, making less and less sense until the train of thought stops completely. The handwriting also deteriorates as I try to force myself to keep writing in hopes that my hand will keep my brain going.

Signed,
eventualeventer,
needs a 12-step program for falling asleep in class (or when studying)
I had a Tues/Thurs class (1H 15 min) at 3pm (right when your blood sugar dips!) and the prof would turn out the lights to show slides...loved the class-it was very important to me but I just couldn't stay awake! I was always determined to stay awake, and I would definitely have lines in my notebook that I couldn't read after the fact because I was half asleep when I wrote them. I am definitely nervous about 8 hours/day of lectures. I need to slowly wean myself onto caffeine, but I hate the way it makes me feel (yes, I've made it through my BS and almost through my MS without drinking any coffee)...I definitely get jitters. I find that gum (quietly:D) or something like hard candy/mints are helpful to keep me awake...they also keep me from biting my fingernails to where they bleed (gross, I know...then it hurts to type on the computer)
 

starlene45

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So thanks everyone for all the awesome ideas and amusing stories! I definitely like the idea of avoiding refined sugar and getting some morning exercise-- I used to get up at like 5am to go riding in the morning before school and I always felt super energetic and functional all day when I did that. So maybe a quick jog at the gym or something would help.

I talked to a friend of mine who quit caffiene during undergrad and she used ICE cold water as a coffee substitute, I kind of like that idea too b/c I love ice water with a little lemon or cucumber or something in it.

"Hi, my name is starlene45, and I'm a habitual lecture-napper."

Anyway, this is a great resource now, I really appreciate everyone's input!
 

firelily

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Hey Starlene,

Sounds like everyone has some great advice. I just wanted to come on and second the breakfast recommendation! That'll keep you from getting so hungry during the day and going crazy on the carbs for lunch. Eating a lot of protein should help your energy stay up without getting that sugar rush and then crash.

I also think your friend was smart to give up coffee! I used to be so hooked on it...I'd drink a HUGE extra large cup every morning. And every day around 3:00 I'd turn into a zombie! There were times when I was at work and so tired I'd be delirious and practically hallucinating from the sleep deprivation. I decided to try to stop drinking caffeine, and I found that I actually had more energy after that. It's a little hard to wean yourself off the coffee, but you should give it a try for a few weeks and see if it works for you. Good luck staying awake!
 
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