How to Study in The Morning Without Feeling Sleepy (9 Tips)
I love to study at 4 AM!
Said no one ever…
But waking up early is essential for success, and if you want to tackle your goals head on, you have to put in the work.
There's only one problem:
Waking up early sucks, but sometimes, you have to get sh*t done.
To make your life suck a lot less - and help you (hopefully) pass your next exam - you're about to learn how to study in the morning without falling asleep.
We're going to share nine actionable tips that'll help you study bright and early without waking up face first on your now drool-covered notebook.
Been there, done that…
And at the end of this post, you're going to learn the three secrets to effortlessly wake up early.
Let's dive in!
How to Avoid Sleeping in The Morning When You Should Be Studying
There are many reasons why you feel sleepy in the morning - likewise, there are plenty of ways to combat the situation and kick your morning's ass.
1. Hydrate, Hydrate, Hydrate!
You lose a ton of water at night by merely breathing - in fact, most people wake up one pound lighter than they were the night before.
Yep, that's why it feels like you just crossed the Sahara Desert without any water in the morning.
Waking up dehydrated is a recipe for disaster, especially if you want to study early without hitting snooze.
Leave a glass of water on your nightstand next to your alarm before bed. After being left out all night, the water will be room temperature, which is absorbed far faster than cold water.
Before you hit snooze, down the water. It makes a huge difference.
You'll almost instantly feel more awake than before.
Drinking water first thing is awesome… but we discovered something else that supercharges hydration... More on that in a bit.
2. Sit at Your Desk, Not in Bed
I know lounging in bed sounds appealing, especially in your pajamas, tucked under the covers.
But studying in bed is, more or less, a death sentence when it comes to studying without feeling sleepy.
Our unconscious brains make a ton of associations that you're probably not aware of most of the time.
Fire → Hot
Lamborghini → Fast
Gym → Exercise
Desk → Work
Bed → Sleep
We're programmed to fall asleep when we lay in bed.
Trying to study in bed without falling asleep sets you up to fail from the beginning.
I can tell you from personal experience, this is a terrible idea.
At the end of my freshman year of college, I woke up before my Calculus final to study as any good student would.
Well, a good student probably wouldn't have waited for the morning of the exam to study, but that's beside the point.
I laid in bed with my textbook and pencil in hand. Things were going well until I woke up an hour after my exam started with the textbook covered in drool.
Next thing I knew, I was sprinting across campus in my pajamas.
But I still got a B on the exam and passed the class - subtle flex.
Anyway, here's the bottom line:
Your desk is meant for work, and your bed is meant for sleep.
Study at your desk, not in your bed!
Discover the "Cheat Code" to Waking Up Early
The EarlyBird Morning Cocktail
3. While You're At It, Leave The Bedroom Entirely
Studying at a desk is better than in your bed, but even being in your bedroom will trick your brain into thinking it's time to sleep.
Instead, move to an environment associated with work.
If you're in a dorm room, move to the study lounge.
If you're in an apartment or living at home with your parents, set up a dedicated place to study out of the bedroom.
This way, you won't be tempted to crawl back under the covers, and it'll be harder to doze off.
When you move to that location to study, your brain will go into work mode, rather than relaxation mode.
4. Don't Sit Still for Too Long
Sitting still is a great way to fall asleep - it's why falling asleep in a chair is way easier than when you're running a marathon or fighting a lion with your bare hands.
I'm not saying you need to run a marathon with your textbook… that's a horrible idea.
But getting up once in a while will keep your blood pumping so you don't fall asleep.
And if you get creative with it, you can actually make studying fun and active.
Back in high school, my Spanish teacher had us play charades to memorize new vocabulary.
The class was split in two, and we had to compete against each other.
I used to stay up all night and sleep through all of my classes in high school, but I was always wide awake during Spanish class, and now I can speak Spanish.
At this point, you can probably tell I wasn't the best student...
Anyway, studying with flashcards or turning your study session into a game will keep you awake and focused, rather than tired and falling asleep.
If 'active studying' is too much for you, that's fine also.
Even taking breaks once in a while to walk around is helpful.
5. Make Sure You're Well Rested
Look, no matter what you do, there's no substitute for a good night's sleep.
If there's one thing we can't live without, it's sleep.
You can last longer without water than you can without sleep.
Three hours and a cup of coffee (or even a serving of EarlyBird) aren't going to cut it.
Go to bed early, so you're well-rested in the morning.
I've always had trouble going to bed early, but I've learned a few reliable tricks that have helped me out a ton.
First, don't use your phone in bed.
Remember that association thing? When you use your phone in bed, it's no longer associated with sleeping - instead, it's replaced with a comfy pad where you endlessly scroll on Instagram and watch YouTube videos.
Before you know it, it's three in the morning. Whoops.
Binge on social media all you want before bed, but do so in another room. When it's time for bed, turn your phone off and go to bed.
Your brain will start to associate your bed with sleeping again, and you'll pass out nice and early.
Seriously, you'd be surprised how fast you pass out after hitting the pillow this way.
If you still can't seem to fall asleep before bed, pick up a book, and read.
Not only will you be smarter, but books are also super dull compared to phones, which are basically an endless supply of dopamine.
Reading a chapter of a good book before bed is a great way to unwind - and since they're free of blue light from phone screens that keep you awake, you'll be tired before you know what hit you.
6. Get a Study Buddy
If you're in college, it's probably safe to assume you're living with a roommate, either in a dorm or an apartment.
It might be hard to convince them to wake up early with you, but if possible, a study buddy will keep you awake when they see you dozing off and vise versa.
7. Study in Light if Possible
This one may be a luxury you can't afford if you're rising before the sun, but if at all possible, study outside (or by a window).
Studies have shown that daylight makes you less drowsy and more alert.
In the study, Mirjam Muench and his team had two groups exposed to either artificial light or sunlight for six hours each.
"Compared to the afternoon, people who had DL (Daylight) were significantly more alert at the beginning of the evening, and subjects who were exposed to AL (Artificial light) were significantly sleepier at the end of the evening."
I'm not a scientist, but it makes sense - our bodies evolved to react to the sun, not balls of glass filled with tungsten and electricity (light bulbs).
If you have to wake up before the sun rises, try drawing a picture of the sun and taping it to the wall - it'll work the same.
Jokes aside, studying in a well-lit room is better than a poorly lit environment, even if you can't soak up the sun.
8. Try Meditation Before Studying
Meditation might seem a bit far out, but it's a great way to clear your mind and get in the zone before a study session.
I was never big on meditation myself until I tried it.
I'm not a monk who meditates 24/7, but five minutes after my morning shower clears my mind, gets me focused, and ready to start the day.
It's especially helpful before studying in the morning - after you first wake up, your mind is foggy and crowded. It's easy to succumb to a flurry of distracting thoughts when you're trying to focus.
One minute you're studying, and the next, you're daydreaming about getting your next tub of EarlyBird.
Here's an easy way to meditate:
Sit down - either on the floor, in your bed, or even a chair - and get comfortable.
You don't have to sit cross-legged as most people do in pictures.
Getting comfy is the most important thing because you'll be in that position for a while.
From there, set a timer for five minutes and close your eyes.
Breathe in and out, focusing on your breathing.
I like to think "inhale… exhale… inhale… exhale…" over and over again.
Focusing on nothing but your breath is the idea, but thoughts will pop into your mind repeatedly. You won't notice them at first, but when you do, let the thought pass and return to your breathing.
You'll probably find it hard to stay focused at first, but that's okay.
Meditation is all about being present and letting your thoughts come and go freely.
If a solo meditation is too hard for you, there are a ton of awesome (and free) guided meditation apps like Headspace that'll walk you through the process.
There are many other benefits to meditation that you can read about here, but I've found it sets me up for a productive study session.
Without a cluttered mind full of jumbled thoughts, focusing on your work is more natural.
9. Nourish Your Brain and Body First Thing in the Morning
After a long night's sleep, your body has been deprived of essential nutrients for hours.
If you went that long without a glass of water or a bite to eat during the day, you'd hate your life.
On top of that, your body shut down overnight, and your brain was in sleep mode.
Needless to say, shocking your mind awake in the morning isn't a great idea…
You need to nourish your brain and body ASAP, or that groggy, sluggish feeling you get in the morning (you know what I mean) will continue all day long.
Drinking a morning cocktail with everything you need to jumpstart your day and feel great is the best (and easiest) way to get sh*t done in the morning.
You see, there are three reasons why you hate waking up early. If you can solve these three issues, you're good to go.
The 3 Secrets to Easily Wake Up Early
After months of tireless research, testing, and experimenting, we discovered the three secrets to waking up early without feeling tired and groggy.
As we mentioned above, making sure your body is hydrated first thing in the morning is essential.
Drinking water is a good start, but giving your body electrolytes is the best way to nourish your body with 'supercharged hydration' when it needs it most.
2. Fast-absorbing, Long-lasting Energy
When your car is left out in the freezing cold, it needs a jump start to get going. Your body is the same way.
Your brain goes into sleep mode overnight, and your muscles relax.
That's why giving your body a fast-absorbing source of energy is crucial. Otherwise, you'll be stuck feeling groggy, sluggish, and tired.
But you don't just want a quick boost followed by a crash - the fast-absorbing energy also needs to be long-lasting, so you can get sh*t done all day without hitting a wall.
3. Mood Enhancement
Your morning mood has been proven to affect the rest of your day - waking up hydrated and energized is excellent, but it won't help if you're pissed off and angry before you even get out of bed.
Next time you wake up, bang your head against the wall as hard as you can and let me know how the rest of your day goes…
If you can wake up feeling hydrated, energized, and in a great mood, you'll set yourself up to kick ass in the morning and the rest of your day as well.
Enter a morning cocktail:
The Perfect Morning Cocktail for Productive Study Sessions
Healthline recommends 15 different drinks to turbocharge your morning.
Here are some of them:
- Drink water with lemon juice or apple cider vinegar
- Green tea
- Bulletproof coffee to boost your metabolism
- Vegetable juice for energy
- Settle your stomach with ginger tea
The list goes on…
You could experiment for months, trying every morning cocktail on the net in an attempt to make mornings suck less.
Trust me, I understand how you feel. I felt the same way.
That's why I spent months experimenting like a mad scientist, trying to find the perfect morning cocktail to help me wake up in the morning.
After a ton of trial and error, I've made a breakthrough discovery that makes it EASY to Wake Up Early and Get Sh*t Done (which is now the EarlyBird mantra).
EarlyBird makes use of the perfect combo of 3 Nootropic Blends that gives your body energy, motivation, and everything else you need to have a kick-ass study session (and day).
The powerful blend of electrolytes hydrates you insanely fast - it's essentially supercharged water.
EarlyBird also has a ton of natural, clean energy ingredients from fruit and veggie extracts, which make the snooze button a thing of the past.
So yeah, you can spend many more months hating your mornings, or you can check out EarlyBird by clicking here, wake up early, and get sh*t done.