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Wide Awake: Every Engineering Students’ Battle to Fend Off Sleep

"I had enough sleep last night!" said no engineering student ever.


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The world is turning around or even upside down. Your eyelids were as heavy as the load of work you need to do. The voice of your E-mags professor is like a lullaby that brings you to eternal peace – far from the world, until you’re already mesmerized by sweet and ecstatic dreams, and drowned into your deepest slumber.

Suddenly, memories will flash into your mind that will make you wake up amidst the neediness to close your eyes. Something will kick your inner soul until you become fully alive again – school works, plates, design projects, and deadlines. Sleep debt is an aggregate effect of not getting enough sleep from seven to nine hours daily, a condition not foreign to many college students.

Moreover, the stories of sleep rejection may be the most rampant among engineering students and these are just few of the most notable weaponries they have devised from ages ago to stay wide awake, in their everyday battle to fend off sleep.

An apple a day keeps sleepiness away

Got four exams on equally difficult majors tomorrow? Still stressing yourself out in finding a way to extend the night? Vitamins from apples, specifically the skin, are released slowly throughout the body, making you feel more awake. There is no jolt of energy. No mood swings and most importantly, no crash. The results wear off as gradually as they started. With this argument, though, any healthy snack can be your best battle gear to help fight sleepiness. Easy to say that concentration is needed to overcome the call of sleep, preparing the state of mind to overcome physical fatigue and exhaustion. There can be times that your body may feel it’s already giving up but keeping in mind the reasons why you’re pushing himself will push you to your limits.

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Chocolates, cocoa, and its kick

Have you ever been caught sleeping in class before? Well, buddy this might be the sword you need to rid you off the embarrassment. The study adds to a growing body of research showing that certain elements in chocolate — such as antioxidants called polyphenols — can have helpful health benefits. Previous studies found chocolate can help fight heart disease and reduce the chances of developing cancer. Aside from the fact that it is a common friend to future engineers, eating chocolates can make you even more energetic and still able to last long hours without having efficient sleep.

Break Free with Coffee

Want to know how to end your constant cramming? Put your mind at ease as project deadlines come close at bay. Caffeine is a type of drug that promotes alertness. These drugs are called “stimulants.” Caffeine acts as an “adenosine receptor antagonist.” Adenosine is a substance in your body that promotes sleepiness. Caffeine is your shield that blocks the adenosine receptor to keep you from feeling sleepy.

Body, sleep, and the world beyond that

While having complete sleep may prove to become the hardest problem to solve when you’re an engineering student, it is still essential to one’s health condition. Weapons and battle strategies developed to keep you awake can guarantee a temporary solution but this can pose serious risks if practiced religiously.

Sleep loss can be countered by settling short-term debt. If you missed 10 hours of sleep over the course of a week, add three to four extra sleep hours on the weekend and an extra hour or two per night the following week until you have repaid the debt fully.

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Added to this is addressing a long-term debt. Plan a vacation with a light schedule and few obligations. Then, turn off the alarm clock and just sleep every night until you awake naturally. Avoid backsliding into a new debt cycle. Once you’ve determined how much sleep you really need, factor it into your daily schedule. Try to go to bed and get up at the same time every day — at the very least, on weekdays.

As for the tremendous obligations you are destined to carry as an engineering student, the only key is discipline.

Written by guest writer Kevin Facun

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