Natural energizers help students stay alert
November 8, 2010
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By Michael Misselwitz, Contributor
Supposedly, the modern market offers five hours of energy in two ounces of mystery liquid. Fatigue can be forgotten with an over-the-counter capsule, and “wings” are available in an eight-ounce can.
For many college students, sleep deprivation is a fact of life, and companies such as Redbull and 5-Hour Energy are quick to capitalize on people who simply don’t have time for enough rest.
To remove unhealthy, unfulfilling, instant energy sources without losing any pep, try incorporating these natural, easy habits. Wings may even be possible.
Instead of hitting the snooze button, roll out of bed onto the floor and crank out 20 pushups. Blood circulation is a major factor for the body’s vitality, and starting the morning with a mellow workout will release endorphins and get the heart pumping.
Slip on headphones, tune in to a favorite jam and rock out. Go to the bathroom for a solo dance-off if dancing in class isn’t on the professor’s syllabus. A quick, one-song dance session can be all the hype needed to make the mind ripe.
Everyone is susceptible to post-lunch drowsiness. To combat the pervasive slumber, take a break from studying with a quick physical activity. Professor David Kahan, program coordinator for physical education at San Diego State, said, “Sitting in lecture is a great way to fall asleep. Changing focus to something other than school can rejuvenate your thinking.”
Shelly Buono of the exercise and nutritional sciences department has students take an exercise break in her after-lunch classes to diminish the sleeping potency of her lecture.
To cure a weary mind, mid to late afternoon is an ideal time to take a stroll outdoors. Walking is Kahan’s favorite method for maintaining energy in the afternoon. “Walking outside provides fresh stimuli,” Kahan said. “If you are in a very stimulating environment doing stimulating activities, it’s almost impossible to be sleepy.”
San Diego’s optimal weather makes it an ideal place to lighten the eyelids with an afternoon saunter.
Drop a line to an old pal. Sometimes all that is needed to recharge the battery is a friendly voice. Reconnecting with distant friends triggers excitement, one of nature’s best energy supplements. “A friendly voice or a light conversation does magic for my mood,” SDSU senior Jessica Shamash said. “It instantly takes my mind out of the sleep mode.”
If a friend isn’t available, try a stranger. Often times the most stimulating conversations are the least expected.
Do not prolong bedtime with hours of mind-numbing television. “The sleep wake is cyclical,” Kahan said. “One late night is enough to throw your body off for days.”
Instead of flopping down for a random episode of Jersey Shore, lay down in bed, read a book (for pleasure, not for class) and gradually drift off. The energy accumulated during sleep will be there waiting in the morning.