One of the simplest challenges for a vet tech student can also be the most serious: staying awake in class.
The fact is that many students struggle with remaining awake and fully aware in their classes during the day.
This can often lead to the student doing poorly on his or her tests and worst of all, being unable to remember the information he or she may need to pass later professional certification examinations. This can be especially true for adult students who also need to work or raise a family.
Fortunately, there are a number of ways a student can stay fully awake in class, even if their educator is not the most dynamic speaker.
Proper Sleep Patterns
The first solution to the problem of staying awake in class is the simplest: the student should get sufficient sleep.
Most individuals require at least eight hours of sleep in order to be fully rested, although the exact amount of time needed can vary from person to person.
However, in today’s busy world, getting enough sleep can be difficult for many individuals who are juggling school, work and personal lives.
• Schedule a specific time for sleep.
• Avoid mixing sleep and other activities.
• Avoid activities that harm the individual’s ability to obtain a restful sleep.
• Schedule a specific time for sleep.
Schedule Specific Sleep Periods
Many students find themselves sleeping irregularly, taking catnaps between other activities rather than sleeping for uninterrupted periods of time.
This practice seldom provides a truly restful sleep, often creating the very fatigue that can lead the student to falling asleep in class. It is far better to schedule a specific time for sleep and stick to it.
By doing so, the student can condition his or her body to fall asleep quickly, while also getting the best possible benefit from the time he or she is asleep.
Avoid Mixing Sleep and Other Activities
In today’s world, the temptation to play a quick online game, read a web page or send email to friends in bed can be overwhelming.
However, that can harm the student’s ability to get a restful sleep because it leaves their mind keyed up and active. It is best to schedule a period before one goes to bed for such activities and then refrain from them once in bed.
Making the night’s last email check a part of the activities surrounding going to bed can also help prepare both the body and mind for a full night of sleep.
One major challenge to a restful sleep is being awakened due to incoming phone calls. Unfortunately, many individuals are inconsiderate when it comes to calling their friends or coworkers and waking up to take a call can cost a student several hours of sleep. For this reason, phones should be turned off or set to silent when their owner goes to bed.
Avoid Harmful Activities
Many individuals find that they have specific needs to get a restful sleep. They should avoid those activities that make it more difficult to fall asleep.
For example, some people find that taking a shower immediately before bed actually “wakes them up” rather than helping them fall asleep.
When preparing for sleep, anything that makes it difficult to fall asleep should be avoided by the individual.
Maintaining a Proper Diet
A proper diet is essential to avoiding the kind of fatigue that leads to dozing off in class. Popular energy drinks and caffeine tablets often provide a momentary rush of energy, followed by a sudden and unavoidable “crash” which can see the student falling asleep in the middle of a lecture.
Equally, a large and heavy breakfast can cause a student to grow tired over the course of the day as his or her body digests the meal.
For this reason, students should focus on eating healthy meals in moderation over the course of the day.
A balanced breakfast, lunch and dinner will do far more to keep a student awake in class than alternately not eating and gorging during meal times.
Junk foods should also be avoided, as they often include large amounts of sugar and fat, both of which can result in the student falling asleep during class. In the long run, a balanced and healthy diet will do far more to help the student stay awake than any number of energy drinks.
Resting During the Day
Many students suffer from an over abundance of work. Classes, homework and in some cases, employment related duties put them in the position of never having a chance to sit down and rest for a moment.
While this is not always under the student’s control, finding time to simply sit down and rest for a few moments can help the student retain the energy he or she needs to remain awake in class.
This can be especially useful if the student can ensure that he or she can rest at the same time every day, as the routine will help the student gain the maximum possible benefit from the rest period. This does not mean that the student must try to sleep.
Taking a walk, reading a book or any other activity the student finds restful will have a positive effect on his or her energy levels, helping to ensure that he or she does not fall asleep during class.
Seeking Professional Help
In some cases, constant fatigue can be a sign of a serious underlying medical problem.
If an individual is suffering from chronic fatigue and is unable to rectify the issue, they should seek help from a medical professional.
By determining what is responsible for the individual’s difficulties, his or her physician can provide an effective long-term solution to the student’s chronic fatigue.
Ultimately, staying awake during class is a key part of getting the most out of a student’s education, especially, to pass the VTNE. Whether the individual is a college student or studying at a vocational institution, he or she cannot benefit from an education by sleeping in class.
By utilizing the suggestions given above, the student can ensure that he or she will be focused and awake and able to fully benefit from the class.