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Dozing Off? Here’s How to Stay Awake

Last Updated on January 24, 2024

Written by Jill Zwarensteyn

Many people struggle to stay awake throughout the entire day. Sometimes environmental factors may be impacting their energy levels. Other times, poor sleep quality during the night can cause someone to doze off in the middle of the day as their bodies try to catch up on rest. While it would be nice to go back to bed, sometimes our busy schedules simply won’t allow it.

Read on for some of the top tips and tricks to learn how to stop falling asleep. You can employ these tips to combat daytime sleepiness and make it through your work or school day.

Written by Jill Zwarensteyn, Editor

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Struggling to stay awake? Our experts dive into why this might be the case and some tips and tricks to help you through this.

How To Stay Awake Naturally

Go for a brisk walk.

If you need a quick energy boost, consider going for a walk outside. A study 1 conducted by Robert Thayer, P.h.D., found that walking briskly, even for just 10 minutes, could provide more energy and less tension than a candy bar. So, while you may think a sugary snack could energize you, a brisk walk is a better — and healthier — alternative.

Take a Quick Nap

Depending on your daily schedule, you might be able to fit in a quick power nap. If your body is tired, sometimes just catching up on 20 minutes of shut-eye is exactly what you need to keep going. To make the most of your nap, there are several tips you should follow. First, make sure you avoid napping too late in the day as this could affect your ability to fall asleep at night. Second, limit the time you spend napping to only 30 minutes or less. If you sleep too long, you risk waking up groggy, which could make things worse. Plus, sleeping too long could make it harder for you to sleep later on.

Find Out More: Benefits of Power Nap

Rest Your Eyes

Eye strain 2 can make it difficult for some people to keep their eyes open, which in turn could cause you to feel tired. To help alleviate eye strain, take a break from staring at computer screens, cell phones, or spreadsheets, and allow yourself some time to close your eyes and recharge. If you’re regularly on computers or other technological devices, consider investing in blue light-blocking glasses , which are known to help reduce eye strain.

Eat a Healthy Snack

Low blood sugar could cause some people to feel exhausted at random times. Therefore, eating a healthy snack could help regulate blood sugar level s 3 , which should aid in increasing energy and eliminating sugar crashes. Examples of good foods for an afternoon snack include nuts, low-fat dairy products like cheese or yogurt, or fruits and vegetables.

how to stop sleep from homework

Start a Conversation With Someone

Find ways to energize the mind, which may also increase physical energy and alertness. Start a conversation about an engaging topic such as your favorite shows or something mentally stimulating like politics or career projects. Having another person to turn your attention to could help keep the sleepiness at bay.

Keep the Lights on

People generally sleep better in dark rooms because light can interfere with our circadian rhythms . Light tells the body it’s time to be awake, whereas darkness signals the body it’s time for sleep. Therefore, you can use light to your advantage to help you stay alert. Try adding a brighter light source to give you more energy. We also mentioned earlier that a brisk walk could help keep you from falling asleep. This is especially true on a sunny day, with the sunlight providing even more of an energy boost.

Practice Deep Breathing

Deep breathing 4 is another technique that could keep you alert. These breathing exercises increase the levels of oxygen and nutrients in the body, and according to experts, this allows your organs to function at their best, giving you more energy in the process. Taking deep breaths has other benefits as well, including reduced stress, a stronger immune system, and better circulation.

Switch Tasks

Monotony could cause someone to feel bored and eventually sleepy during the day. Instead, try switching things up to keep your mind sharp and focused.

Start by noting the time of day when you have the most energy. Is it the morning? If this is the case, reserve the tasks that require the most attention to detail during this time when you’re naturally at your peak performance.

Then, if you regularly experience an afternoon lull, try mixing up your routine to get your mind and body stimulated. This would be an excellent time for a walk, deep breathing exercises, a healthy snack, or even a workout class if your schedule permits it. Once you get some energy back in your system, you’ll be ready to return to your work or school assignments.

Hydrate Yourself

We normally look to coffee to keep us alert, but you might consider reaching for a water bottle instead. One of the symptoms of dehydration 5 is feeling tired, so consuming more water is an excellent way to help revitalize you during the day.

how to stop sleep from homework

Exercise can help wake the body and mind by releasing endorphins and getting the heart rate up. Like deep breathing, physical activity helps get more oxygen and nutrients to your body, which creates more energy. Go for a quick jog, do some light cardio like jumping jacks, or keep a pedal bike under your desk.

Go to Bed Early

If you usually feel sleepy throughout the day, you may not be getting enough shut-eye during the night. Experts say adults should you between 7 and 9 hours of sleep each night.

However, if you’re staying up until Midnight and waking up at 6:00 a.m., this means you’re likely sleep-deprived. In some cases, you might be getting 7 hours a night, but your body may be better off with 8 or 9 hours. Try going to bed earlier and seeing if the extra time asleep has you feeling better during the day.

Drink Coffee

Many coffee drinkers rely on a good cup of Joe to get them going in the morning. However, that doesn’t mean you should be sipping coffee all throughout the day. Caffeine 6 can stay in your system for up to 6 hours, which means if you have coffee too late in the day, it may be harder for you to sleep at night. Generally, it’s okay to sip coffee in the morning and early afternoon, but 3:00 p.m. is a good time to cut off your caffeine intake for the day.

how to stop sleep from homework

Give Yourself A Massage

A quick massage can boost circulation 7 , promoting energy and alertness. Experts recommend rubbing between the thumb and forefinger or massaging up the back of the neck to the scalp. Gently massaging the earlobes may also help stave off that sleepy feeling.

How to Stay Awake at Work or in a Meeting

Maintain eye contact.

Being around other people should provide stimulation that can increase your energy levels. Find someone to talk to, preferably in person so that you can look them directly in the eye. This should bring the focus to them and away from your tired state.

Keep Scented Products Around

Scents can be a great way to feel more invigorated and improve your overall mood. Keep a small bottle of peppermint oil or a favorite citrus scent in your desk or bag and inhale deeply for a quick pick-me-up. Rosemary, eucalyptus, and lemongrass scents have also been known to increase energy.

how to stop sleep from homework

Mind Your Posture While Seated

A study from Health Psychology 8 points to posture as a surprising factor in energy levels. Those who sat up straight at their desks reported an increase in energy and interest. If you find yourself slumping over in your exhaustion, try sitting up straight as an arrow and see if you notice a positive change.

Splash Water on Your Face

Throwing cold water on your face should give you a much-needed mid-day jolt, helping you to stay awake. This may also be a good way to cool off if it’s a hot day since the heat could make you feel even more sleepy.

Chew a Piece of Gum

Chewing gum is another easy way to wake yourself up. Researchers found that gum chewing 9 can boost energy levels. Earlier, we recommend peppermint as an energy-promoting scent, so consider getting some peppermint-flavored gum specifically.

How to Stay Awake in Class

As kids reach adolescence, their biological clocks shift 10 , which means they’re more inclined to stay up late. Of course, this can be a problem if your school day still starts early, which is why many teens may need help trying to stay awake in class.

Many of the suggestions we provided above can also work for students, such as drinking more water, splashing cold water on your face, and doing deep breathing exercises. While you may not be able to start up a conversation in the middle of class, use the time in between classes to say a quick hello to a friend rather than looking at your phone. Speaking with a friend can give you a quick energy boost before the next class begins.

Another thing teens will have to be mindful of is all-nighters , which is when someone stays up all night, usually to study for a test or finish an assignment. In some cases, you may just be restless before a big exam and have trouble going to sleep. All-nighters aren’t ideal, but if they happen, you can help yourself to stay awake throughout the day.

Your brain should increase activity in certain areas to help make up for your lack of sleep. However, you should avoid multitasking since you won’t be able to focus as well, yet another reason why these aren’t ideal for students.

Exercise, energy-boosting foods, or a splash of cold water could help keep you going. Your body may also naturally adjust your level of sleepiness to keep your circadian rhythm on track. You may feel most tired in the early morning before this adjustment period takes place.

If you’re a junior or senior in high school and are now driving, find a ride to school. You should avoid getting behind the wheel because drowsy driving increases your risk of an accident.

By the time you get home, you may be anxious to get to bed. However, this could throw off your sleep schedule. Instead, try to stay awake until your regular bedtime so that you can get back on schedule.

When to Seek a Doctor’s Advice

Any time you feel that your exhaustion or sleep deprivation is interfering with your health, safety, or daily activities, it’s time to consult a medical professional. If home remedies cause any negative side effects, stop using them immediately and ask your doctor for advice on how to care for your sleep cycle. You may just have a sleep disorder .

Nodding off at odd hours can happen to anyone for a variety of reasons. The good news is that you can find different ways to address this issue and should strive to find the healthiest options that work best for you.

Try healthy activities like energy-boosting snacks, exercise, or a quick nap to get you through your most sluggish times, and these don’t do the trick, reach out to a medical professional for help.


  • Thayer, Robert E. “Energy, tiredness, and tension effects of a sugar snack versus moderate exercise”. American Psychological Association. 1987.
  • Wilson, Shayla. “Eye Strain”. Kellogg Eye Center, University of Michigan Health System. Last modified April 2015.
  • “Healthy eating for blood sugar control”. Harvard Health. 2021.
  • Riehl, Megan. “An Easy Way to Beat Stress — and Build a Healthier Life”. University of Michigan Health.,function%20at%20an%20optimal%20level. 2016.
  • “Dehydration”. National Health Service. Last modified August 9, 2024.
  • Drake Ph.D. F.A.A.S.M., Christopher., Roehrs, Ph.D., F.A.A.S.M., Timothy., Shambroom, B.S., John., Roth, Ph.D., Thomas. “Caffeine Effects on Sleep Taken 0, 3, or 6 Hours before Going to Bed”. Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine Volume 9, Issue 11. 2013.
  • “Massage therapy improves circulation, eases muscle soreness”. University of Illinois Chicago. 2014.
  • Nair, S., Sagar, M., Sollers, J. III, Consedine, N., & Broadbent, E. “Do slumped and upright postures affect stress responses? A randomized trial”. American Psychological Association. 2015.
  • “Chewing Gum Can Reduce Calorie Intake, Increase Energy Expenditure, Nutritionist Finds”. University of Rhode Island. 2009.
  • “Sleep and Your Teen”. Nemours Kids Health.,up%20later%20in%20the%20morning. 2021.

Jill Zwarensteyn

About author.

Jill Zwarensteyn is the Editor for Sleep Advisor and a Certified Sleep Science Coach. She is enthusiastic about providing helpful and engaging information on all things sleep and wellness.

Combination Sleeper

How to stop being TIRED and study NOW

Sometimes it seems impossible to stay awake to study. But with the right tips and tricks, you'll feel energized to get all your studying done ... and perhaps more!

How to stop being TIRED and study NOW

You need to know how to stay awake to study.

We’ve all been in that situation. We know it’s time to study. It’s marked on our calendar, we KNOW that the test is coming up and we’re not prepared. But when that hour actually rolls around, the thought of doing anything that requires brainpower, or even anything that requires being vertical instead of napping peacefully on the couch, seems impossible.

So we put it off to tomorrow when we’ll have “more energy.” But then we binge a few too many episodes of our favorite show before bed, or we go a little harder than usual at the gym that morning. Before you know it, you’re sitting there staring at a closed textbook, somehow MORE tired than the day before, if that’s possible.

Luckily, there are ways to escape this Groundhog-Day style time loop of being unproductive. Some are basic things you can change, others can take a little willpower. But you can motivate and energize yourself to get things DONE even when you’re not in tip-top physical condition. If Michael Jordan can score 38 points with the flu, after all, what’s stopping you from reviewing Chapter 3 even though you didn’t sleep great?

BEFORE we get into these tips, however, we need a disclaimer: We’re not doctors, and these tips are intended to help you motivate yourself through fatigue. You shouldn’t be working on 3 hours of sleep a night, or if you’re constantly tired despite sleeping 12 hours, those are problems for a medical professional, not an online blog! Productivity is a goal, but health should always be your number one priority.

That said, here's how to stay awake to study. Let’s get into it, sleepyheads.

1. Trick yourself into studying actively

Hand hovering below the drawing of a brain; How to stay awake to study

There’s a reason why you find yourself too tired to study often, while it’s much rarer that you’ll be “too tired” to boot up your PS5 or watch a movie. This is because studying is often considered to be what behavioral scientists call “boring.” We’ll be the first to admit most textbooks aren’t exactly page-turners, but the WAY you’re studying can also be affecting how compelling and interesting it feels to you.

So try this hack: When you actually do have some energy, spend time preparing your study materials into an easier format for the later times when you won't have as much energy . That way, even if you are tired later, studying won't feel like such a schlep (and you can maybe even commit the mortal sin of studying while watching TV).

One great way to do this is to find or make flashcards using Brainscape or another flashcard app (if you must). This way, you are chopping your content into bite-sized chunks that you can mentally retrieve using active recall .

Digital flashcards will:

  • Keep you more engaged by "gamifying" your studies.
  • Enable shorter study sessions (e.g. on the bus, on the porcelain throne, or during a commercial break).
  • Double your learning effectiveness versus the typical process of just re-reading chapters and notes (which is actually one of the biggest study mistakes you can make ).

Think of it as a simple way to turn studying into something with constant mental reward and dopamine hits, instead of a constant slog with no real end in sight.

Implementing useful and interesting study methods can serve to make it more engaging, and dare we say, even fun? Imagine one of those small basketball hoops you can buy for a trashcan, but instead of tossing balled up papers into a waste bin, you’re tucking away nuggets of needed information into your brain with every 3 from downtown.

2. Exercise your body to jumpstart your brain

How to stay awake to study with weightlifting

Now, this may sound a little counterintuitive. Working out when you’re already tired is going to give you MORE energy? Don’t worry, we’re not reading a chart upside down over here. We also aren’t telling you to go try to break your bench press record or finally break a 7-minute mile. Studies do show that brief, light physical activity can help you wake up and increase alertness.

Why? Well, for one thing, when you push your body with exercise, it sends oxygen and nutrients to your heart and lungs, improving the efficiency of your cardiovascular system. Most of us don’t wake up raring to pop out of bed and get things done but instead are locked in first gear. Even just some light calisthenics or yoga poses can help you shift your body into gear and start operating at peak performance.

In fact, a 2019 study from the British Journal of Sports Medicine found that even quick morning exercise made noticeable differences in the attention span, visual learning, and decision making of the subjects involved. Knowing that, why should you handicap yourself by operating at a lower gear than you could be?

This extends beyond just jumping jacks. There are lots of things you can do to take care of your body that will benefit your mind. That’s where your brain lives, after all. Make sure it’s a nice place. Here are some other quick tips to boost your energy naturally:

  • Practice good posture and high-power poses. Good posture won’t only save you back and shoulder pain, but research has found that posture can actually affect hormone levels inside your body, specifically the production of testosterone versus cortisol (a.k.a. the stress hormone.) As for high-power poses, though it may sound like something from a Dragon Ball Z episode, these poses are a real thing that again, have been shown to encourage more confident and dominant behavior subconsciously. For a deep dive into how posture can affect your brain, check out this fantastic TED talk by Amy Cuddy.
  • On the topic of posture, some people find that using a standing desk, whether it’s purpose-made or simply an impromptu set-up, can similarly help them stay active and focused, instead of slipping closer to nap time in that cushy office chair.
  • Make sure you’re drinking enough water! It can be easy to forget to drink enough water, but the symptoms of even mild dehydration include things like the inability to focus on tasks, tiredness, and lethargy … which is a pretty devastating trio to try to study through. You’ve heard it a lot, and it’s not for no reason: try to drink 6-8 cups of water throughout the day. Chugging a full Nalgene at 7 pm because you forgot to drink water earlier in the day isn’t what we mean, either. There are even helpful phone apps to track your water intake !
  • On the subject of diet, also try to avoid sugar as well. Sure, sugar might be known to boost energy, as anyone who’s interacted with a toddler can attest, but also remember when that same toddler crashes for a nap in the middle of the floor an hour later. Trying to control and boost your energy with sugar is just begging to go on a mental roller-coaster ride with peaks of activity, but also deep valleys of fatigue. Better to save the sugar for a reward when you’re done, and stick with things like coffee and water. Though coffee can include its own dangers, which leads me to the final tip:

[Looking to boost motivation to study? Check out our guide to how to get motivated and stop procrastinating .]

3. Drink coffee the right way

A spilled cup filled with coffee beans

You’re probably drinking coffee wrong.

If you’re reading an article on how to stop being tired, odds are you’ve got a mug of coffee, a frappuccino, or a Red Bull beside you right now. Maybe you even go the hardcore long-haul trucker route with caffeine pills.

And none of this is surprising. America, especially, is a coffee culture. Tell someone from Boston you hate Dunkin’ Donuts if you need any more proof. However, this has developed and dovetailed with another tenet of American culture: bigger is better. The result is that it’s not uncommon to see someone who starts every day with a 24 oz cold brew … and ends it with another.

Caffeine is often treated as a panacea to any and all tired feelings, but like any other chemical, it has upsides, downsides, and specific use cases. So before you slam another iced latte, here are a couple of things you may not know about caffeine, and how it ideally SHOULD be consumed.

This one may surprise you: the best time to drink coffee is NOT first thing in the morning. This is because your body is naturally making cortisol as part of its boot-up process each morning, and stacking the cortisol that caffeine can cause your body to produce can just make you crash harder when you run out. Save your first dose of the day for after you’ve been up for a half-hour to an hour when your cortisol is starting to drop anyways.

Coffee canister and mug

This interaction between caffeine and cortisol levels is the basis of much of where you can go wrong with caffeine. Cortisol is referred to as the “stress hormone,” but this occurs when you have TOO MUCH of it. Ideally, you want to keep your cortisol levels consistent and controlled, to make sure you have energy without rocketing yourself into anxiety attack levels. Also know that caffeine sticks around much longer than you’d think! For some people, caffeine can stay in their system for 6-12 hours.

You can see where this strategy butts heads with the common practice of a massive coffee in the morning. In fact, the best way to drink coffee, backed up by a 2004 study published in Sleep , the best way to keep yourself alert is small, frequent doses of caffeine: around 25 mg every hour. Which, for reference, is about a quarter of a standard cup of coffee. As for those Starbucks Ventis? They clock in at 415mg of caffeine, a dose that’s less likely to help you focus than to give you heart palpitations.

Caffeine reaches its peak levels in the bloodstream in 30 to 60 minutes and can stick around for 3-5 hours before you start feeling the crash. So use this knowledge to plan out your caffeine consumption to be a marathon, not a sprint. You’ll be better off with a couple of small cups as you go about your day instead of a caffeinated monolith at sunrise that you spend the next 18 hours coming down from. If you simply must be knocking back hot liquids all day to feel productive, you could also consider working something like Earl Grey tea (at half the caffeine of coffee) for those afternoon lulls.

So get to it!

Man working at a desk; How to stay awake to study

Now you should not only have a better general knowledge of HOW your body handles fatigue, and WHY you feel tired but also HOW to stay awake to study and be better able to effectively combat that fatigue feeling. Next time your eyelids start to droop, ask yourself these quick questions and swat those Z’s out of the air before they ever appear:

  • Am I stimulating my brain or just going through the motions? What can I do that might be more interesting while achieving the same study goals?
  • Have I done any physical activity today? If not, maybe it’s time to get the blood flowing with a quick light exercise break.
  • Do I feel dehydrated? When did I last drink water?
  • Am I relying on sugar for quick unreliable energy boosts? Am I crashing because of that Milky Way from 60 minutes ago?
  • If I’m drinking caffeine, am I drinking it in a way to maximize its upsides and minimize its downsides? Or am I chugging it like it’s some sort of magic wake-up potion?

Hopefully, once you’ve made it down that checklist, you might be able to isolate just WHY you feel so tired at the moment, and what you can do to reset your energy levels.

Of course, in the long term, it’s always going to be beneficial to make sure you’re getting enough sleep (check out our guide on how to fight insomnia without drugs ), improving your study habits , and boosting your willpower to avoid procrastination . So feel free to check those articles out, along with the rest of our extensive library of study and lifestyle tips. Just make sure you’re reading them with good posture and a cool, refreshing glass of water next to you :)

Flory, J. D., & Holmes, D. S. (1991). Effects of an acute bout of aerobic exercise on cardiovascular and subjective responses during subsequent cognitive work. Journal of Psychosomatic Research , 35 (2-3), 225-230.

LeDuc, P. A., Caldwell Jr, J. A., & Ruyak, P. S. (2000). The effects of exercise as a countermeasure for fatigue in sleep-deprived aviators. Military Psychology , 12 (4), 249-266.

Riebl, S. K. & Davy, B. M. (2013). The hydration equation: Update on water balance and cognitive performance. ACSM's Health & Fitness Journal , 17 (6), 21.

Wheeler, M. J., Green, D. J., Ellis, K. A., Cerin, E., Heinonen, I., Naylor, L. H., ... & Eikelis, N. (2020). Distinct effects of acute exercise and breaks in sitting on working memory and executive function in older adults: A three-arm, randomised cross-over trial to evaluate the effects of exercise with and without breaks in sitting on cognition. British Journal of Sports Medicine , 54 (13), 776-781.

Wyatt, J. K., Cajochen, C., Cecco, A. R. D., Czeisler, C. A., & Dijk, D. J. (2004). Low-dose repeated caffeine administration for circadian-phase-dependent performance degradation during extended wakefulness. Sleep , 27 (3), 374-381.

Flashcards for serious learners .

  • EXPLORE Random Article

How to Avoid Homework Stress

Last Updated: March 28, 2019 References

This article was co-authored by Emily Listmann, MA . Emily Listmann is a private tutor in San Carlos, California. She has worked as a Social Studies Teacher, Curriculum Coordinator, and an SAT Prep Teacher. She received her MA in Education from the Stanford Graduate School of Education in 2014. There are 10 references cited in this article, which can be found at the bottom of the page. This article has been viewed 133,057 times.

Students of all kinds are often faced with what can seem like an overwhelming amount of homework. Although homework can be a source of stress, completing it can be a very rewarding and even relaxing experience if done in an organized and timely manner. Remember, homework is not intended as punishment, but is used to reinforce everything you’ve learned in class. Try to view it as a chance to sharpen your skills and understanding.

Managing Your Time

Step 1 Pick a time of day to do your homework.

  • Try to work earlier, rather than later, if possible. This way, you won’t be rushing to finish your work before bedtime.
  • Find a time of day during which you can concentrate well. Some people work best in the afternoon, while others can concentrate better on a full stomach after dinner.
  • Choose a time when you will have relatively few distractions. Mealtimes, times during which you have standing engagements, or periods usually used for socializing are not the best choices.
  • Allow enough time to complete your work. Making sure the total time you allow yourself for homework is sufficient for you to complete all your assignments is crucial. [1] X Research source [2] X Research source

Step 2 Start large projects as early as possible.

  • Save an appropriate amount of time for projects considering your normal homework load.
  • Estimate how much time you will need each day, week, and month depending on your usual workload. Allow yourself at least this much time in your schedule, and consider allotting a fair amount more to compensate for unexpected complications or additional assignments.
  • Reserve plenty of time for bigger projects, as they are more involved, and it is harder to estimate how much time you might need to complete them.

Step 3 Make yourself a homework schedule.

  • Get a day planner or a notebook to write down your homework assignments, and assign an estimated amount of time to each assignment. Make sure to always give yourself more time than you think you’ll need.
  • Plan to finish daily homework every day, then divide up weekly homework over the course of the entire week.
  • Rank assignments in due-date order. Begin on those assignments due first, and work your way though. Finishing assignments according to due-date will help you avoid having to hurry through homework the night before it must be handed in.
  • Allow more time for more difficult subjects and difficult assignments. Each individual person will have their strong subjects—and those that come a little harder. Make sure you take into account which subjects are harder for you, and allow more time for them during your scheduling.

Working Hard at School and in Class

Step 1 Ask questions.

  • If you’re too shy to ask questions, or don’t feel it’s appropriate to do so during class, write them down in your notebook and then ask the teacher or professor after class.
  • If you don't understand a concept, ask your teacher to explain it again, with specifics.
  • If you're having trouble with a math problem, ask the teacher to demonstrate it again using a different example.
  • Remember, when it comes to learning and education, there are no bad questions.

Step 2 Take good notes...

  • Pay attention to important terms and ideas. Make sure to note things your teacher stresses, key terms, and other important concepts.
  • Write clearly and legibly. If you can’t read your handwriting, it’ll take you longer to reference your notes at home.
  • Keep your notebook organized with dividers and labels. This way, you’ll be able to locate helpful information in a pinch and finish your homework quicker. [4] X Research source

Step 3 Record the class or lecture.

  • Get permission.
  • Sit up front and close to the instructor.
  • Make sure to label your recordings so you don't lose track of them.
  • Try to listen to them that same day while everything is fresh in your mind.

Step 4 Use any available time at school to begin your homework.

  • Work in class. If you finish a class assignment early, review your notes or start your homework.
  • Study at lunch. If you have time at lunch, consider working on homework. You can do this leisurely by just reviewing what you’ll need to do at home, or you can just jump right into your work.
  • Don't waste time. If you get to class early, use that time for homework. In addition, many schools let students go to the library during this unplanned time, and it's a great place to finish uncompleted assignments.

Doing Your Homework

Step 1 Sit down and do your homework.

  • Get some fresh air
  • Go for a short run
  • Do push-ups
  • Walk your dog
  • Listen to music
  • Have a snack

Step 5 Stay positive.

  • Study groups break up the monotony of daily homework and make for a less stressful experience than trying to cram on your own.
  • Note that each person should turn in individualized assignments rather than collaborating to find the answers.

Balancing Homework with Life

Step 1 Avoid over committing yourself.

  • AP or IB classes often have 2 or 3 times the amount of reading and homework as regular courses.
  • Honors classes may have up to double the amount of work required as regular courses.
  • College students need to consider whether they want to take the recommended course load (often 4 classes) or more. More classes might help you finish your degree sooner, but if you are juggling work and extracurricular activities, you might be overwhelmed. [8] X Research source [9] X Research source

Step 2 Decide your priorities.

  • Rank your classes and activities in order of importance.
  • Estimate (realistically) how long your academic and extracurricular activities will take.
  • Figure out how much time you have overall.
  • If you’ve over committed, you need to drop your lowest ranked class or activity.

Step 3 Reserve time for your family and friends.

  • Make sure to reserve mealtimes for family, rather than working.
  • Try to set aside the weekend for family, and work only if you need to catch up or get ahead.
  • Don’t plan on working on holidays, even if you try, your productivity likely won’t be high.

Step 4 Make sure you get enough rest.

  • Pick a reasonable hour to go to sleep every night.
  • Try to do your morning prep work like ironing clothes and making your lunch at night.
  • Take a nap after school or after classes if you need. You’ll probably be able to do better work in less time if you are rested. [10] X Research source [11] X Research source
  • If you’re in middle or high school, talk to your parents and your teachers about the issue and ask them to help you figure out a solution.
  • If you’re a college student, reach out to your professors and advisor for help.
  • If it takes you much longer to finish your homework than it takes other students, it may be due to a learning difference. Ask your parents to schedule a meeting with a learning specialist.

Community Q&A

Community Answer

  • Ask for help when you need it. This is the biggest thing you should do. Don't worry if people think you're dumb, because chances are, you're making a higher grade than them. Thanks Helpful 2 Not Helpful 4
  • Actually pay attention to the teacher and ask if you don't know how to do the work. The stress can go away if you know exactly what to do. Thanks Helpful 2 Not Helpful 2
  • Recognize that some teachers get mad if you do separate homework assignments for different classes, so learn to be discreet about it. Thanks Helpful 3 Not Helpful 0

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Emily Listmann, MA

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how to stop sleep from homework

  • August 12, 2023

Managing Homework and Bedtime Routine: Striking a Balance for School-Aged Children

Managing homework and bedtime routines: striking a balance for school-aged children.

As the school year gets underway, balancing children’s homework and bedtime routine  can feel like a tightrope walk for parents. And the struggle is real—on one hand, it’s important for children to get enough sleep to support their cognitive development, memory consolidation, and learning. On the other hand, there’s a lot of homework to be done!

We’re here to guide you through the challenges of balancing homework and bedtime, so your young scholars can thrive in the classroom and under the covers.

The Importance of Sleep for School-Aged Children

Remember when naptime felt like a punishment? Turns out, sleep is the superhero of cognitive development . While our kids snooze, their brains are busy building memory bridges and sharpening their problem-solving skills. Adequate, quality sleep is the secret ingredient to their attention span, emotional resilience, and yes, even those pop quizzes.

Understanding the Challenges of Homework and Sleep

There are several challenges that can make it difficult for children to get enough sleep . First, there’s the nightly battle of sitting down to tackle homework. And then, the dreaded dilemma of: stay up to finish this assignment or prioritize sleep and go to bed? It’s a conundrum every parent faces.

Too Much Homework

Many school-aged children come home with a stack of homework that feels like more than they can complete in one night, which commonly leads to late nights and possibly sleep deprivation.

Screen Time

From TVs to smartphones, computers to tablets, many children spend hours each day using electronic devices. This screen time can stimulate the brain, interfering with their sleep and making it difficult for them to fall asleep.

Kids can experience stressors from a number of sources, including academic pressure, social demands, and even family problems at home. This stress can make it difficult not only to focus on homework but also to fall asleep and stay asleep.

Crafting a Homework Schedule that Respects Sleep Needs

Picture this: a homework schedule that respects both learning and essential snooze time. Dreamy, right? Here are a few things that parents can do to help your children create a homework management schedule that respects their sleep needs:

  • Set limits on homework hours. The National Sleep Foundation recommends that children ages 9-13 should ideally get 9-11 hours of sleep per night, but sometimes it can feel like their homework workload can eat into those precious sleep hours. That’s why healthy time management habits are essential. Teaching your child how to prioritize tasks and set achievable goals can significantly impact the number of hours they spend on homework each night. Ultimately, helping them manage their workload effectively not only supports their learning journey but also ensures they have ample time for the quality sleep they need.
  • Prioritize tasks. Help your child to prioritize their homework tasks so that they can focus on the most important assignments first and prevent feeling overwhelmed or stressed.
  • Take breaks. Encourage your child to take breaks every 20-30 minutes while they’re working on homework. Regular breaks will help them stay focused and avoid getting burned out.
  • Set a bedtime schedule and stick to it. Even on weekends, it’s important to stick to a regular bedtime schedule to regulate your child’s body clock and make it easier for them to fall asleep and stay asleep at night.
  • Set a “no screen” rule for one hour before bed. The blue light emitted from screens can interfere with the production of melatonin, a hormone that helps to regulate sleep. Limiting screen time before bed will give your child’s eyes a break from the blue light emitted from screens and help them to wind down after a long day. If your child needs to use a screen before bed, finishing up homework or reading on a tablet, make sure their devices are scheduled to regularly shift into “night mode” a couple hours before bedtime.

Establishing a Consistent Bedtime Routine

A consistent bedtime routine isn’t just a calming ritual; it’s a sleep-inducing magic spell. Winding down with calming activities helps encourage sleep. Here are some healthy sleep habits to add to a nightly routine for a seamless transition to dreamland:

  • Reading. Not only can reading help improve your child’s literacy skills, but it is also a great way for them to relax and unwind before bed. 
  • Taking a bath. A warm bath can help to soothe the body and mind, making it easier to fall asleep.
  • Listening to calming music. Create a relaxing atmosphere and promote sleep with some quiet, calming music.
  • Stretching. Gentle stretching can help relax the body and mind, making it easier to fall asleep.
  • Meditation. Similar to stretching, meditation can help calm the mind and body and promote relaxation before bed.

Collaborative Communication Between Parents and Children

Striking a balance between homework and bedtime can feel like a science experiment—tinkering to figure out the right ratio between enforcing the rules and going with the flow or prioritizing wellness and completing tasks. But the truth is, there is no magical equation or one-size-fits-all solution to strike the right balance between homework management and bedtime. 

In fact, a 2018 Better Sleep Council study found that homework-related stress is a significant concern for high school students, with more than three-fourths (75%) citing it as a source of stress. The study also found that students spending excessive time on homework (39% spending 3+ hours) may experience increased stress without proportional academic benefits, further underscoring the need for a more thoughtful approach to homework and its impact on sleep.

One way to help find the right balance for your kids? Keeping a line of open communication. Talk to your kids about their schoolwork and sleep needs . Our advice?

  • Get their insight. Ask them about how much homework they have each night and how long they think it might take them to finish.
  • Organize their workload. Get a homework planner to help them to prioritize their tasks and set achievable goals.
  • Encourage participation. Involve them in crafting their routines, empowering them to take charge of their education and sleep.
  • Work together. If they’re feeling overwhelmed or stressed, work together to find solutions.

This isn’t just about bedtime routine; it’s about fostering responsibility and finding balance.

Explore more sleep-related resources, tips, and research at .

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Explore the role of circadian rhythm in regulating sleep-wake cycles and learn how prioritizing sleep regularity can improve overall health and well-being.

About A Day: Circadian Rhythm and Sleep, Two easy starting points to improve regularity 

Technology and Sleep: How to Find Balance for Better Rest

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how to stop sleep from homework

How to stop falling asleep while studying: 17 tips to keep you awake for board exam preparation

If you are wondering how to stop falling while studying, look no further these 17 practical tips will help keep you awake during board exam preparation..

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How to stop falling asleep while studying: 17 tips to keep you awake for board exam preparation

The biggest question that arises during board exams or competitive exams is how to stop falling asleep while studying. Over the years, most of us have heard of top students boasting about their capacity to study long hours at a stretch or studying throughout the night with no sleep at all. But you should NEVER try to force yourself to stay awake all through the night before your exams as it is deep sleep or REM sleep that turns what you studied into long-term memory.

1. Stick to a healthy diet

If you want to boost your sugar levels, don't eat cakes and chocolates; rather, go for fruits rich in sugar such as apples, oranges and bananas.

2. Sleep well

The main cause of feeling sleepy while studying is not getting enough sleep at night. Sleeping 7 to 8 hours every night is mandatory to keep in good health.

how to stop sleep from homework

"So I am done with this bit, now I can study ____"

Affirmative sentences like the following can even boost your self confidence and make you more focussed -

"I am going to ace the test tomorrow!"

12. Guard your eyes

Gone are the days when we only studied from books and notebooks. This is the digital era and many students spend hours staring at their computer screen to study whether it is looking at lectures online or reading notes.

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Associations of time spent on homework or studying with nocturnal sleep behavior and depression symptoms in adolescents from Singapore

  • Sing Chen Yeo, MSc Sing Chen Yeo Affiliations Center for Cognitive Neuroscience, Program in Neuroscience and Behavioral Disorders, Duke-NUS Medical School, Singapore Search for articles by this author
  • Jacinda Tan, BSc Jacinda Tan Affiliations Center for Cognitive Neuroscience, Program in Neuroscience and Behavioral Disorders, Duke-NUS Medical School, Singapore Search for articles by this author
  • Joshua J. Gooley, PhD Joshua J. Gooley Correspondence Corresponding author: Joshua J. Gooley, Center for Cognitive Neuroscience, Neuroscience and Behavioral Disorders Program, Duke-NUS Medical School Singapore, 8 College Road, Singapore 117549, Singapore Contact Affiliations Center for Cognitive Neuroscience, Program in Neuroscience and Behavioral Disorders, Duke-NUS Medical School, Singapore Search for articles by this author


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Six Ways To End the Tyranny of Homework


E very evening, after a full day of classes, usually followed by a two-hour basketball practice, my son, Nathaniel, climbs the stairs to his room lugging a heavy backpack and disappears into a black hole. As a 10th-grader in an academically rigorous Los Angeles high school, this is his nightly homework routine: three to four hours of English, history, Spanish, science and math.

Besides a short break for family dinner—a nightly ritual that my husband and I insist on, lest we risk never seeing him during the week—Nathaniel pretty much keeps his head down until at least 11 pm, when he and I start to tussle over bedtime.

Given this relentless reality, it is not surprising that a recent study about homework from Stanford University caught my eye. The researchers sampled 4,317 students from 10 high performing high schools—both private and public—in upper-middle-class California communities and found that they averaged more than three hours of homework each night, just like my boy.

They also found that students with such heavy homework loads experienced high stress; health issues like stomach aches, exhaustion, headaches, weight loss, weight gain and sleep deprivation; and less time for friends, family and extracurricular activities. (Full disclosure: Nathaniel, who certainly feels the stress, attends one of the schools that participated in the study.)

Depending on his basketball schedule, Nathaniel typically leaves the house at 7:30 a.m. and gets home 10 hours later, sometime around 6 p.m. With a little downtime “to chill,” a quick shower and dinner, he often doesn’t even start his homework until 8 p.m.

“Some kids are putting in adult loads, and they’re not adults,” says Denise Pope, a senior lecturer at Stanford’s Graduate School of Education, who led the research. “It’s exhausting to be in school for eight hours—always being on, listening, being engaged and then coming home to face hours of homework.”

To be sure, not all kids struggle to keep up with this nightly crush. In fact, most don’t. A new report from the Brookings Institution points out that, overall, homework loads haven’t changed much in three decades, with the majority of high school students doing just an hour per night. Citing a 2007 MetLife survey, the Brookings scholars noted that there are more U.S. parents who think their kids have too little homework rather than too much—25% compared with 15%.

All of which got me thinking: What is that Goldilocks-like sweet spot when it comes to how much homework a kid should have? And what is homework really meant to accomplish in the first place?

For some answers, I turned to Pope, who is the co-founder of Challenge Success , a nonprofit out of Stanford that works with schools and families to create a more balanced and academically fulfilling life for kids. Here are some principles she suggests for creating an ideal homework environment:

1. Give high school students two hours of homework a night. Like most experts, Pope believes that this is just the right amount. After that, the link between homework and achievement drops, stress increases and learning declines.

2. Just because a lot of homework is assigned doesn’t necessarily mean it is intellectually demanding. “There is a lot of confusion between rigor and load on the part of teachers, administrators and parents,” Pope says.

With this in mind, she advises teachers to always ask themselves a list of questions before assigning homework: What is the purpose of the assignment? How long will it take an average student to do it? Is it clear? Is the homework valuable and meaningful to students? What is the quality of the homework being assigned? In other words, does it serve to engage students more deeply with the material—or is it just busy work?

3. Homework should be tailored to each individual’s needs, whenever possible. Although this can be challenging, especially for public school teachers with large classes, Pope says customization is essential for maximizing learning. For example, rather than give an entire class 25 math problems to complete, students with a good grasp of the concepts might get fewer but more challenging problems; kids who are struggling could be assigned problems specifically designed to help them master the basics.

4. In preparing kids for what will happen in class, homework should concentrate on tasks that can’t be done effectively during the school day. This includes things like reading chapters from a book, collecting specimens in the backyard for a science experiment or interviewing someone from the community for an oral history project.

5. Rethink giving points for homework . Assigning points for completed homework may give kids a chance to improve their overall grade in a particular class—showing their organizational skills, ability to follow directions and work ethic—but Pope says it does little to demonstrate their actual command of a subject.

6. Parents shouldn’t help with homework or be the homework police. They can advocate for smart homework policies at their children’s school. But “let teachers intervene if the student isn’t doing homework correctly or regularly,” Pope says.

Parents can help, she adds, by respecting their children’s working style—some need a quiet space, others like to listen to music while doing calculus. They can also make sure their kids aren’t overscheduled and that they get enough sleep; research indicates that teenagers need more than nine hours of sleep each night, but that most get about seven.

Hmm. It looks like Nathaniel’s light is still on as I type this. Time for him to trade the books for bed.

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More than two hours of homework may be counterproductive, research suggests.

Education scholar Denise Pope has found that too much homework has negative impacts on student well-being and behavioral engagement (Shutterstock)

A Stanford education researcher found that too much homework can negatively affect kids, especially their lives away from school, where family, friends and activities matter.   "Our findings on the effects of homework challenge the traditional assumption that homework is inherently good," wrote Denise Pope , a senior lecturer at the Stanford Graduate School of Education and a co-author of a study published in the Journal of Experimental Education .   The researchers used survey data to examine perceptions about homework, student well-being and behavioral engagement in a sample of 4,317 students from 10 high-performing high schools in upper-middle-class California communities. Along with the survey data, Pope and her colleagues used open-ended answers to explore the students' views on homework.   Median household income exceeded $90,000 in these communities, and 93 percent of the students went on to college, either two-year or four-year.   Students in these schools average about 3.1 hours of homework each night.   "The findings address how current homework practices in privileged, high-performing schools sustain students' advantage in competitive climates yet hinder learning, full engagement and well-being," Pope wrote.   Pope and her colleagues found that too much homework can diminish its effectiveness and even be counterproductive. They cite prior research indicating that homework benefits plateau at about two hours per night, and that 90 minutes to two and a half hours is optimal for high school.   Their study found that too much homework is associated with:   • Greater stress : 56 percent of the students considered homework a primary source of stress, according to the survey data. Forty-three percent viewed tests as a primary stressor, while 33 percent put the pressure to get good grades in that category. Less than 1 percent of the students said homework was not a stressor.   • Reductions in health : In their open-ended answers, many students said their homework load led to sleep deprivation and other health problems. The researchers asked students whether they experienced health issues such as headaches, exhaustion, sleep deprivation, weight loss and stomach problems.   • Less time for friends, family and extracurricular pursuits : Both the survey data and student responses indicate that spending too much time on homework meant that students were "not meeting their developmental needs or cultivating other critical life skills," according to the researchers. Students were more likely to drop activities, not see friends or family, and not pursue hobbies they enjoy.   A balancing act   The results offer empirical evidence that many students struggle to find balance between homework, extracurricular activities and social time, the researchers said. Many students felt forced or obligated to choose homework over developing other talents or skills.   Also, there was no relationship between the time spent on homework and how much the student enjoyed it. The research quoted students as saying they often do homework they see as "pointless" or "mindless" in order to keep their grades up.   "This kind of busy work, by its very nature, discourages learning and instead promotes doing homework simply to get points," said Pope, who is also a co-founder of Challenge Success , a nonprofit organization affiliated with the GSE that conducts research and works with schools and parents to improve students' educational experiences..   Pope said the research calls into question the value of assigning large amounts of homework in high-performing schools. Homework should not be simply assigned as a routine practice, she said.   "Rather, any homework assigned should have a purpose and benefit, and it should be designed to cultivate learning and development," wrote Pope.   High-performing paradox   In places where students attend high-performing schools, too much homework can reduce their time to foster skills in the area of personal responsibility, the researchers concluded. "Young people are spending more time alone," they wrote, "which means less time for family and fewer opportunities to engage in their communities."   Student perspectives   The researchers say that while their open-ended or "self-reporting" methodology to gauge student concerns about homework may have limitations – some might regard it as an opportunity for "typical adolescent complaining" – it was important to learn firsthand what the students believe.   The paper was co-authored by Mollie Galloway from Lewis and Clark College and Jerusha Conner from Villanova University.

Clifton B. Parker is a writer at the Stanford News Service .

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How Does Homework Affect Students Sleep?

Published: June 21st, 2023

Exploring how homework affects students' sleep is an essential part of understanding the overall health and academic performance of our youth. The correlation between heavy workload from assignments and sleep deprivation has been a subject of multiple studies, with compelling findings.

Understanding the correlation between homework and teenage stress

Exploring the impact on quality sleep due to excessive homework, how late-night study impacts the circadian rhythm, the link between disturbed sleep patterns and academic performance, unpacking research findings linking heavy homework load with mental health issues, implications for future educational policies regarding home-based tasks, evaluating pros & cons related to assigning extensive workloads at elementary levels, suggesting alternatives for effective learning without compromising children's wellbeing, alfie kohn's perspective on education system practices, proposing changes toward balanced school schedules, assessing potential benefits shifting school start times based upon nsf recommendations, effective time management strategies, the impact of sleep deprivation on students, does homework affect sleep schedules, what percentage of students lose sleep due to homework, why does school cause sleep deprivation, why is sleep more important than homework.

This blog post delves into the impact that excessive homework can have on high school students' quality sleep, and how it might disrupt their natural circadian rhythm or sleep cycle. We will also explore its implications on mental health issues among younger kids who are often encouraged to go to bed earlier but struggle due to late-night study sessions.

The role of American education system practices in contributing to student's lack of adequate rest will be examined along with Alfie Kohn’s perspective about current education policies. Additionally, we'll discuss early school start times as another potential burden leading towards disturbed sleeping patterns.

Finally, we aim at proposing some changes for more balanced school schedules and providing tips for effectively managing time amidst academic responsibilities and extracurricular activities without being sleep deprived.


The Impact of Homework on Teenage Stress and Sleep

Homework is a major source of stress for teenagers, affecting their sleep patterns. According to studies, about 75% of high school students report grades and homework as significant stressors. This anxiety can lead to sleep deprivation, with over 50% of students reporting insufficient rest.

A heavy workload not only affects academic performance but also disrupts the normal sleep cycle. The pressure to excel academically leads many students into a vicious cycle where they stay up late completing tasks, wake up early for school, and end up being sleep deprived.

This lack of rest impairs cognitive functions like memory retention and problem-solving skills - both crucial for academic success. Furthermore, inadequate sleep may lead to ailments such as reduced immunity or persistent tiredness.

Sleep experts recommend that younger kids should go to bed earlier than teens because their biological clock naturally prompts them to feel sleepy around 8-9 PM. However, this becomes challenging when burdened with loads of assignments which extend their screen time significantly beyond recommended limits.

The blue light emitted by electronic devices used for studying suppresses melatonin production - a hormone that regulates our body's internal clock determining when we feel sleepy or awake (National Sleep Foundation). Consequently, these factors combined make falling asleep more difficult leading towards disrupted sleeping patterns ultimately affecting overall well-being including mental health status alongside academic performance negatively.

In conclusion, there needs to be an urgent reevaluation of how much work is assigned outside class hours considering potential adverse effects upon student's health, especially concerning adequate rest necessary for optimal functioning throughout day-to-day activities, whether within academia or other extracurricular responsibilities undertaken during leisure periods post-school schedules.

Analyzing Sleep Patterns Among Stressed Students

High schoolers are particularly vulnerable to the adverse effects of sleep deprivation due to the demands of juggling academics and extracurriculars. The pressure of balancing academics with extracurricular activities can lead to late nights and early mornings, leaving them feeling perpetually tired and impacting their academic performance.

The human body operates on a 24-hour internal clock known as the circadian rhythm. This biological process regulates our sleep-wake cycle, among other things. When students stay up late studying or completing homework, they disrupt this natural rhythm which can result in a range of health issues including chronic fatigue and weakened immunity.

Screen time is another factor that exacerbates this issue. Many students use electronic devices for research or writing assignments before bed, exposing themselves to blue light which further interferes with their circadian rhythms.

Regular slumber is a must for cognitive functions, such as memory consolidation and problem-solving aptitude - fundamental aspects of learning. Multiple studies have shown that when these patterns are disturbed due to excessive homework or late-night study sessions, it can negatively affect academic performance.

  • Poor Concentration: Lack of adequate rest makes focusing on tasks more difficult, leading to decreased productivity during study hours.
  • Inability To Retain Information: During deep stages of sleep, information from short-term memory gets transferred into long-term storage enabling better recall later; deprived individuals miss out on this critical process.
  • Deteriorating Mental Health: Chronic lack of rest has been linked with increased levels of anxiety and depression amongst teenagers, impacting overall wellbeing and indirectly affecting grades too.

A report by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) suggests there's an urgent need for schools to address these concerns seriously, considering the potential repercussions over students' physical and mental health alongside scholastic achievements. Making sure they get enough quality rest each night is essential for optimal functioning throughout the day, both inside and outside the classroom environments.

Investigating Time Spent on Homework and Its Effects on Mental Health

The amount of time spent on homework and studying significantly affects students' mental health. Multiple studies have shown that an excessive workload can lead to depression, stress, and sleep deprivation .

A comprehensive study involving 2386 adolescents assessed various aspects, including self-rated health, overweight status, and depression symptoms, alongside time spent on homework/studying. The researchers used ten different multiple linear regression models to test the association with the global Kutcher Adolescent Depression Scale score. This approach allowed them to analyze how each aspect correlates with the others.

The results were revealing: there was a clear correlation between increased hours dedicated to home-based tasks and higher levels of depressive tendencies among high school students . These effects weren't limited only to academic performance but extended into their personal lives as well, affecting relationships, participation rates in extracurricular activities , and more.

This data suggests that we need a more balanced approach when it comes to assigning workloads at schools. Instead of piling up assignments indiscriminately, educators should aim for an optimal balance where learning is enhanced rather than hindered by excessive amounts of homework.

In light of this information, some countries are already taking steps towards reducing screen time requirements, especially during after-school hours. This allows younger kids to go to bed earlier, improving their sleep cycle quality significantly, which ultimately leads to better cognitive functioning the next day at school or other engagements they might have outside the academic context, like part-time jobs or family duties.

To sum up, a healthy balance between academic and other life obligations is essential to avoid potential repercussions in all aspects of a student's life. Neglecting to strike a balance between academic and other responsibilities can have severe repercussions, not only in terms of grades but also emotionally, socially, and mentally. Therefore, it is imperative to address this issue promptly and effectively with all stakeholders involved in the education sector worldwide today, tomorrow, and onwards too.

Excessive Workload Strain from Assignments in Younger Kids

The ongoing discussion about the implications of homework for younger students has drawn attention from educators, parents, and researchers. While assignments can reinforce what students learn during school hours, evidence supporting benefits from home-based tasks remains scarce before high-school levels. This is concerning considering the potential adverse effects an excessive workload can have on young minds.

On one hand, homework can instill discipline and help develop good study habits. On the other hand, too much of it could lead to sleep deprivation among younger kids who should ideally be going to bed earlier. The AAP suggests that 6-12 year olds should have 9-12 hours of rest, however this can be hard to attain when they are inundated with assignments.

Besides affecting their sleep cycle, overburdening them with academic responsibilities also leaves little room for extracurricular activities which play a crucial role in their overall development. It may even result in screen time replacing physical activity as children turn towards digital platforms to complete their assignments.

Rather than piling up work indiscriminately, schools could consider adopting strategies aimed at enhancing learning while ensuring the well-being of students. For instance, project-based learning could be an effective alternative where students actively explore real-world problems and challenges, thereby gaining deeper knowledge.

In addition to this approach would be limiting daily homework duration per grade level or introducing "homework-free" days during weekends or holidays providing ample rest periods essential for growth development amongst younger kids.

This shift not only ensures that our future generations aren't sleep deprived due to unnecessary academic pressure but also fosters a love for lifelong learning - something far more valuable than mere grades obtained through rote memorization.

American Education's Role In Student Sleep Deprivation

It's common for students in the US to be sleep deprived , not just because of academic pressures but also due to extracurricular activities . Late nights and early mornings disrupt a healthy sleep cycle , affecting student wellbeing.

Educational critic Alfie Kohn argues that the American education system emphasizes homework without considering its impact on student wellbeing. Many tasks assigned do not enhance learning but rather contribute towards stress and sleep deprivation among students. You can read more about his thoughts in his article titled " The Truth About Homework: Needless Assignments Persist Because of Widespread Misconceptions About Learning. "

Kohn suggests a shift towards assigning work aimed at enhancing learning rather than piling it up indiscriminately. Schools should recognize the importance of adequate rest for optimal functioning.

  • Reduce homework loads: Lightening the load could help alleviate some of the pressure students feel, allowing them time to relax and get enough sleep each night.
  • Consider late start times: Multiple studies suggest that starting school later in the morning could have numerous benefits including improved attendance rates and higher alertness, reducing instances of depressive tendencies significantly. (National Sleep Foundation (NSF))
  • Promote good sleep hygiene: Schools can educate students about good sleep habits such as maintaining consistent bedtimes and wake-up times, limiting screen time before bedtime, and creating quiet, dark sleeping environments.

The key takeaway here is balance - between academics, extracurricular activities, family responsibilities, and personal downtime - which includes getting sufficient restful sleep every night.

Early School Start Times - An Additional Burden

Many adolescents in the US are finding that having to get up at sunrise is more of an encumbrance than a blessing. Parents and educators alike have reported that these early start times are inhibiting productivity throughout daytime schedules.

The National Sleep Foundation (NSF), an organization dedicated to improving health and well-being through sleep education and advocacy, suggests shifting school timings as one possible solution. This adjustment could result in improved attendance rates along with higher alertness among students during class hours.

The NSF study indicated that adjusting the school start time from 7:30 AM to 8:30 AM produced tangible improvements in student performance. The extra hour allowed teenagers' natural sleep cycle to align better with their academic schedule leading them to feel less sleep deprived.

  • Better Attendance: Schools noted fewer tardies and absences after implementing later start times.
  • Increase In Grades: Students showed improvement in core subjects like Math and English.
  • Mental Health Benefits: A decrease was observed in instances of depressive tendencies significantly among students.

This shift not only helped improve academic outcomes but also had positive effects on mental health as teens were able to get adequate rest without having to sacrifice extracurricular activities or family duties.

The idea of starting schools later isn't new; however, its implementation has been slow due largely because changing such ingrained societal norms takes time. But if we want our younger kids performing optimally while avoiding unnecessary strain caused by excessive workload or screen time then we need to rethink how we structure our day-to-day lives. Research has demonstrated that inadequate rest can detrimentally affect our health and wellness, so it is essential to ensure we are getting enough sleep by retiring earlier and limiting screen time before bed.

Balancing Academic Responsibilities With Other Duties

As a student, you're expected to juggle academic responsibilities with other duties. Yet, it can be a challenge to effectively manage such a hectic schedule. Homework alone can take up to four hours a day, and that's not counting extracurricular activities or part-time jobs. So, how can you manage your time effectively amidst these multifarious responsibilities?

The key to managing your diverse obligations lies in effective time management strategies . Here are some tips that could help:

  • Prioritize tasks: Not all assignments are created equal. Some require more effort and attention than others. Prioritizing your work can help you focus on what's most important first.
  • Create a schedule: Having a set routine for studying can make it easier to stick to your commitments and avoid procrastination.
  • Leverage technology: There are numerous apps available designed specifically for helping students manage their workload efficiently.
  • Avoid multitasking: Multitasking often leads to mistakes and decreased productivity. Rather than attempting to juggle multiple tasks, give your full attention to one task until it is finished before progressing onto the next.

Sleep deprivation among high school students is a serious issue that needs urgent addressing. Multiple studies reveal that the majority of teenagers receive only six to eight hours of sleep per night despite needing more for optimal functioning. This lack of sleep not only affects academic performance but also overall health and wellbeing.

In addition, extracurricular activities and screen time can also affect younger kids' sleep cycle. The American education system has been criticized for promoting this unhealthy trend by assigning excessive amounts of homework without considering individual capacities or needs.

To combat this problem, parents need support from schools in ensuring children go to bed earlier while limiting their exposure to electronic devices during evening hours. This can significantly improve the quality of rest received each night, reducing instances of depressive tendencies associated with inadequate slumber patterns amongst adolescents today.

FAQs in Relation to How Does Homework Affect Students Sleep

Yes, excessive homework can lead to late-night studying, causing students to have inadequate sleep.

Around 56% of students reported losing sleep over schoolwork according to a Stanford study .

Schools may contribute to students' sleep deprivation through early start times and heavy academic loads.

Sleep is crucial for cognitive functions , including memory consolidation which aids in learning; overworking could hinder these processes.

Is Homework Ruining Your Sleep?

Excessive homework can negatively impact students' mental and physical health, leading to stress and lack of sleep.

Teachers can help by coordinating assignment deadlines and exploring alternatives like home-based tasks for younger children.

It's important for educators to recognize the effects of heavy academic loads on student productivity and well-being.

According to a study by the National Sleep Foundation, teenagers need 8-10 hours of sleep per night to function at their best.

Don't let homework rob you of your Z's - prioritize your health and well-being!

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August 16, 2021

Is it time to get rid of homework? Mental health experts weigh in

by Sara M Moniuszko


It's no secret that kids hate homework. And as students grapple with an ongoing pandemic that has had a wide-range of mental health impacts, is it time schools start listening to their pleas over workloads?

Some teachers are turning to social media to take a stand against homework .

Tiktok user @misguided.teacher says he doesn't assign it because the "whole premise of homework is flawed."

For starters, he says he can't grade work on "even playing fields" when students' home environments can be vastly different.

"Even students who go home to a peaceful house, do they really want to spend their time on busy work? Because typically that's what a lot of homework is, it's busy work," he says in the video that has garnered 1.6 million likes. "You only get one year to be 7, you only got one year to be 10, you only get one year to be 16, 18."

Mental health experts agree heavy work loads have the potential do more harm than good for students, especially when taking into account the impacts of the pandemic. But they also say the answer may not be to eliminate homework altogether.

Emmy Kang, mental health counselor at Humantold, says studies have shown heavy workloads can be "detrimental" for students and cause a "big impact on their mental, physical and emotional health."

"More than half of students say that homework is their primary source of stress, and we know what stress can do on our bodies," she says, adding that staying up late to finish assignments also leads to disrupted sleep and exhaustion.

Cynthia Catchings, a licensed clinical social worker and therapist at Talkspace, says heavy workloads can also cause serious mental health problems in the long run, like anxiety and depression.

And for all the distress homework causes, it's not as useful as many may think, says Dr. Nicholas Kardaras, a psychologist and CEO of Omega Recovery treatment center.

"The research shows that there's really limited benefit of homework for elementary age students, that really the school work should be contained in the classroom," he says.

For older students, Kang says homework benefits plateau at about two hours per night.

"Most students, especially at these high-achieving schools, they're doing a minimum of three hours, and it's taking away time from their friends from their families, their extracurricular activities. And these are all very important things for a person's mental and emotional health."

Catchings, who also taught third to 12th graders for 12 years, says she's seen the positive effects of a no homework policy while working with students abroad.

"Not having homework was something that I always admired from the French students (and) the French schools, because that was helping the students to really have the time off and really disconnect from school ," she says.

The answer may not be to eliminate homework completely, but to be more mindful of the type of work students go home with, suggests Kang, who was a high-school teacher for 10 years.

"I don't think (we) should scrap homework, I think we should scrap meaningless, purposeless busy work-type homework. That's something that needs to be scrapped entirely," she says, encouraging teachers to be thoughtful and consider the amount of time it would take for students to complete assignments.

The pandemic made the conversation around homework more crucial

Mindfulness surrounding homework is especially important in the context of the last two years. Many students will be struggling with mental health issues that were brought on or worsened by the pandemic, making heavy workloads even harder to balance.

"COVID was just a disaster in terms of the lack of structure. Everything just deteriorated," Kardaras says, pointing to an increase in cognitive issues and decrease in attention spans among students. "School acts as an anchor for a lot of children, as a stabilizing force, and that disappeared."

But even if students transition back to the structure of in-person classes, Kardaras suspects students may still struggle after two school years of shifted schedules and disrupted sleeping habits.

"We've seen adults struggling to go back to in-person work environments from remote work environments. That effect is amplified with children because children have less resources to be able to cope with those transitions than adults do," he explains.

'Get organized' ahead of back-to-school

In order to make the transition back to in-person school easier, Kang encourages students to "get good sleep, exercise regularly (and) eat a healthy diet."

To help manage workloads, she suggests students "get organized."

"There's so much mental clutter up there when you're disorganized... sitting down and planning out their study schedules can really help manage their time," she says.

Breaking assignments up can also make things easier to tackle.

"I know that heavy workloads can be stressful, but if you sit down and you break down that studying into smaller chunks, they're much more manageable."

If workloads are still too much, Kang encourages students to advocate for themselves.

"They should tell their teachers when a homework assignment just took too much time or if it was too difficult for them to do on their own," she says. "It's good to speak up and ask those questions. Respectfully, of course, because these are your teachers. But still, I think sometimes teachers themselves need this feedback from their students."

©2021 USA Today Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

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Daniel Wong

30 Tips to Stop Procrastinating and Find Motivation to Do Homework

Updated on June 6, 2023 By Daniel Wong 44 Comments


To stop procrastinating on homework, you need to find motivation to do the homework in the first place.

But first, you have to overcome feeling too overwhelmed to even start.

You know what it feels like when everything hits you at once, right?

You have three tests to study for and a math assignment due tomorrow.

And you’ve got a history report due the day after.

You tell yourself to get down to work. But with so much to do, you feel overwhelmed.

So you procrastinate.

You check your social media feed, watch a few videos, and get yourself a drink. But you know that none of this is bringing you closer to getting the work done.

Does this sound familiar?

Don’t worry – you are not alone. Procrastination is a problem that everyone faces, but there are ways around it.

By following the tips in this article, you’ll be able to overcome procrastination and consistently find the motivation to do the homework .

So read on to discover 30 powerful tips to help you stop procrastinating on your homework.

Enter your email below to download a PDF summary of this article. The PDF contains all the tips found here, plus  3 exclusive bonus tips that you’ll only find in the PDF.

How to stop procrastinating and motivate yourself to do your homework.

Procrastination when it comes to homework isn’t just an issue of laziness or a lack of motivation .

The following tips will help you to first address the root cause of your procrastination and then implement strategies to keep your motivation levels high.

1. Take a quiz to see how much you procrastinate.

The first step to changing your behavior is to become more self-aware.

How often do you procrastinate? What kinds of tasks do you tend to put off? Is procrastination a small or big problem for you?

To answer these questions, I suggest that you take this online quiz designed by Psychology Today .

2. Figure out why you’re procrastinating.

Procrastination is a complex issue that involves multiple factors.

Stop thinking of excuses for not doing your homework , and figure out what’s keeping you from getting started.

Are you procrastinating because:

  • You’re not sure you’ll be able to solve all the homework problems?
  • You’re subconsciously rebelling against your teachers or parents?
  • You’re not interested in the subject or topic?
  • You’re physically or mentally tired?
  • You’re waiting for the perfect time to start?
  • You don’t know where to start?

Once you’ve identified exactly why you’re procrastinating, you can pick out the tips in this article that will get to the root of the problem.

3. Write down what you’re procrastinating on.

Students tend to procrastinate when they’re feeling stressed and overwhelmed.

But you might be surprised to discover that simply by writing down the specific tasks you’re putting off, the situation will feel more manageable.

It’s a quick solution, and it makes a real difference.

Give it a try and you’ll be less likely to procrastinate.

4. Put your homework on your desk.


Here’s an even simpler idea.

Many times, the hardest part of getting your homework done is getting started.

It doesn’t require a lot of willpower to take out your homework and put it on your desk.

But once it’s sitting there in front of you, you’ll be much closer to actually getting down to work.

5. Break down the task into smaller steps.

This one trick will make any task seem more manageable.

For example, if you have a history report to write, you could break it down into the following steps:

  • Read the history textbook
  • Do online research
  • Organize the information
  • Create an outline
  • Write the introduction
  • Write the body paragraphs
  • Write the conclusion
  • Edit and proofread the report

Focus on just one step at a time. This way, you won’t need to motivate yourself to write the whole report at one go.

This is an important technique to use if you want to study smart and get more done .

6. Create a detailed timeline with specific deadlines.

As a follow-up to Point #5, you can further combat procrastination by creating a timeline with specific deadlines.

Using the same example above, I’ve added deadlines to each of the steps:

  • Jan 30 th : Read the history textbook
  • Feb 2 nd : Do online research
  • Feb 3 rd : Organize the information
  • Feb 5 th : Create an outline
  • Feb 8 th : Write the introduction
  • Feb 12 th : Write the body paragraphs
  • Feb 14 th : Write the conclusion
  • Feb 16 th : Edit and proofread the report

Assigning specific dates creates a sense of urgency, which makes it more likely that you’ll keep to the deadlines.

7. Spend time with people who are focused and hardworking.

Jim Rohn famously said that you’re the average of the five people you spend the most time with.

If you hang out with people who are motivated and hardworking, you’ll become more like them.

Likewise, if you hang out with people who continually procrastinate, you’ll become more like them too.

Motivation to do homework naturally increases when you surround yourself with the right people.

So choose your friends wisely. Find homework buddies who will influence you positively to become a straight-A student who leads a balanced life.

That doesn’t mean you can’t have any fun! It just means that you and your friends know when it’s time to get down to work and when it’s time to enjoy yourselves.

8. Tell at least two or three people about the tasks you plan to complete.

Group of students

When you tell others about the tasks you intend to finish, you’ll be more likely to follow through with your plans.

This is called “accountability,” and it kicks in because you want to be seen as someone who keeps your word.

So if you know about this principle, why not use it to your advantage?

You could even ask a friend to be your accountability buddy. At the beginning of each day, you could text each other what you plan to work on that day.

Then at the end of the day, you could check in with each other to see if things went according to plan.

9. Change your environment .

Maybe it’s your environment that’s making you feel sluggish.

When you’re doing your homework, is your super-comfortable bed just two steps away? Or is your distracting computer within easy reach?

If your environment is part of your procrastination problem, then change it.

Sometimes all you need is a simple change of scenery. Bring your work to the dining room table and get it done there. Or head to a nearby café to complete your report.

10. Talk to people who have overcome their procrastination problem.

If you have friends who consistently win the battle with procrastination, learn from their experience.

What was the turning point for them? What tips and strategies do they use? What keeps them motivated?

Find all this out, and then apply the information to your own situation.

11. Decide on a reward to give yourself after you complete your task.

“Planned” rewards are a great way to motivate yourself to do your homework.

The reward doesn’t have to be something huge.

For instance, you might decide that after you finish 10 questions of your math homework, you get to watch your favorite TV show.

Or you might decide that after reading one chapter of your history textbook, you get to spend 10 minutes on Facebook.

By giving yourself a reward, you’ll feel more motivated to get through the task at hand.

12. Decide on a consequence you’ll impose on yourself if you don’t meet the deadline.


It’s important that you decide on what the consequence will be before you start working toward your goal.

As an example, you could tell your younger brother that you’ll give him $1 for every deadline you don’t meet (see Point #6).

Or you could decide that you’ll delete one game from your phone for every late homework submission.

Those consequences would probably be painful enough to help you get down to work, right?

13. Visualize success.

Take 30 seconds and imagine how you’ll feel when you finish your work.

What positive emotions will you experience?

Will you feel a sense of satisfaction from getting all your work done?

Will you relish the extra time on your hands when you get your homework done fast and ahead of time?

This simple exercise of visualizing success may be enough to inspire you to start doing your assignment.

14. Visualize the process it will take to achieve that success.

Even more important than visualizing the outcome is visualizing the process it will take to achieve that outcome.

Research shows that focusing on the process is critical to success. If you’re procrastinating on a task, take a few moments to think about what you’ll need to do to complete it.

Visualize the following:

  • What resources you’ll need
  • Who you can turn to for help
  • How long the task will take
  • Where you’ll work on the task
  • The joy you’ll experience as you make progress

This kind of visualization is like practice for your mind.

Once you understand what’s necessary to achieve your goal, you’ll find that it’s much easier to get down to work with real focus. This is key to doing well in school .

15. Write down why you want to complete the task.


You’ll be more motivated when you’re clear about why you want to accomplish something.

To motivate yourself to do your homework, think about all the ways in which it’s a meaningful task.

So take a couple of minutes to write down the reasons. Here are some possible ones:

  • Learn useful information
  • Master the topic
  • Enjoy a sense of accomplishment when you’ve completed the task
  • Become a more focused student
  • Learn to embrace challenges
  • Fulfill your responsibility as a student
  • Get a good grade on the assignment

16. Write down the negative feelings you’ll have if you don’t complete the task.

If you don’t complete the assignment, you might feel disappointed or discouraged. You might even feel as if you’ve let your parents or your teacher – or even yourself – down.

It isn’t wise to dwell on these negative emotions for too long. But by imagining how you’ll feel if you don’t finish the task, you’ll realize how important it is that you get to work.

17. Do the hardest task first.

Most students will choose to do the easiest task first, rather than the hardest one. But this approach isn’t effective because it leaves the worst for last.

It’s more difficult to find motivation to do homework in less enjoyable subjects.

As Brian Tracy says , “Eat that frog!” By this, he means that you should always get your most difficult task out of the way at the beginning of the day.

If math is your least favorite subject, force yourself to complete your math homework first.

After doing so, you’ll feel a surge of motivation from knowing it’s finished. And you won’t procrastinate on your other homework because it will seem easier in comparison.

(On a separate note, check out these tips on how to get better at math if you’re struggling.)

18. Set a timer when doing your homework.

I recommend that you use a stopwatch for every homework session. (If you prefer, you could also use this online stopwatch or the Tomato Timer .)

Start the timer at the beginning of the session, and work in 30- to 45-minute blocks.

Using a timer creates a sense of urgency, which will help you fight off your urge to procrastinate.

When you know you only have to work for a short session, it will be easier to find motivation to complete your homework.

Tell yourself that you need to work hard until the timer goes off, and then you can take a break. (And then be sure to take that break!)

19. Eliminate distractions.

Here are some suggestions on how you can do this:

  • Delete all the games and social media apps on your phone
  • Turn off all notifications on your phone
  • Mute your group chats
  • Archive your inactive chats
  • Turn off your phone, or put it on airplane mode
  • Put your phone at least 10 feet away from you
  • Turn off the Internet access on your computer
  • Use an app like Freedom to restrict your Internet usage
  • Put any other distractions (like food, magazines and books unrelated to your homework) at the other end of the room
  • Unplug the TV
  • Use earplugs if your surroundings are noisy

20. At the start of each day, write down the two to three Most Important Tasks (MITs) you want to accomplish.

Writing a list

This will enable you to prioritize your tasks. As Josh Kaufman explains , a Most Important Task (MIT) is a critical task that will help you to get significant results down the road.

Not all tasks are equally important. That’s why it’s vital that you identify your MITs, so that you can complete those as early in the day as possible.

What do you most need to get done today? That’s an MIT.

Get to work on it, then feel the satisfaction that comes from knowing it’s out of the way.

21. Focus on progress instead of perfection.

Perfectionism can destroy your motivation to do homework and keep you from starting important assignments.

Some students procrastinate because they’re waiting for the perfect time to start.

Others do so because they want to get their homework done perfectly. But they know this isn’t really possible – so they put off even getting started.

What’s the solution?

To focus on progress instead of perfection.

There’s never a perfect time for anything. Nor will you ever be able to complete your homework perfectly. But you can do your best, and that’s enough.

So concentrate on learning and improving, and turn this into a habit that you implement whenever you study .

22. Get organized.

Procrastination is common among students who are disorganized.

When you can’t remember which assignment is due when or which tests you have coming up, you’ll naturally feel confused. You’ll experience school- and test-related stress .

This, in turn, will lead to procrastination.

That’s why it’s crucial that you get organized. Here are some tips for doing this:

  • Don’t rely on your memory ; write everything down
  • Keep a to-do list
  • Use a student planner
  • Use a calendar and take note of important dates like exams, project due dates, school holidays , birthdays, and family events
  • At the end of each day, plan for the following day
  • Use one binder or folder for each subject or course
  • Do weekly filing of your loose papers, notes, and old homework
  • Throw away all the papers and notes you no longer need

23. Stop saying “I have to” and start saying “I choose to.”

When you say things like “I have to write my essay” or “I have to finish my science assignment,” you’ll probably feel annoyed. You might be tempted to complain about your teachers or your school .

What’s the alternative?

To use the phrase “I choose to.”

The truth is, you don’t “have” to do anything.

You can choose not to write your essay; you’ll just run the risk of failing the class.

You can choose not to do your science assignment; you’ll just need to deal with your angry teacher.

When you say “I choose to do my homework,” you’ll feel empowered. This means you’ll be more motivated to study and to do what you ought to.

24. Clear your desk once a week.

Organized desk

Clutter can be demotivating. It also causes stress , which is often at the root of procrastination.

Hard to believe? Give it a try and see for yourself.

By clearing your desk, you’ll reduce stress and make your workspace more organized.

So set a recurring appointment to organize your workspace once a week for just 10 minutes. You’ll receive huge benefits in the long run!

25. If a task takes two minutes or less to complete, do it now.

This is a principle from David Allen’s bestselling book, Getting Things Done .

You may notice that you tend to procrastinate when many tasks pile up. The way to prevent this from happening is to take care of the small but important tasks as soon as you have time.

Here are some examples of small two-minute tasks that you should do once you have a chance:

  • Replying to your project group member’s email
  • Picking up anything on the floor that doesn’t belong there
  • Asking your parents to sign a consent form
  • Filing a graded assignment
  • Making a quick phone call
  • Writing a checklist
  • Sending a text to schedule a meeting
  • Making an online purchase that doesn’t require further research

26. Finish one task before starting on the next.

You aren’t being productive when you switch between working on your literature essay, social studies report, and physics problem set – while also intermittently checking your phone.

Research shows that multitasking is less effective than doing one thing at a time. Multitasking may even damage your brain !

When it comes to overcoming procrastination, it’s better to stick with one task all the way through before starting on the next one.

You’ll get a sense of accomplishment when you finish the first assignment, which will give you a boost of inspiration as you move on to the next one.

27. Build your focus gradually.

You can’t win the battle against procrastination overnight; it takes time. This means that you need to build your focus progressively.

If you can only focus for 10 minutes at once, that’s fine. Start with three sessions of 10 minutes a day. After a week, increase it to three sessions of 15 minutes a day, and so on.

As the weeks go by, you’ll become far more focused than when you first started. And you’ll soon see how great that makes you feel.

28. Before you start work, write down three things you’re thankful for.


Gratitude improves your psychological health and increases your mental strength .

These factors are linked to motivation. The more you practice gratitude, the easier it will be to find motivation to do your homework. As such, it’s less likely that you’ll be a serial procrastinator.

Before you get down to work for the day, write down three things you’re thankful for. These could be simple things like good health, fine weather, or a loving family.

You could even do this in a “gratitude journal,” which you can then look back on whenever you need a shot of fresh appreciation for the good things in your life.

Either way, this short exercise will get you in the right mindset to be productive.

29. Get enough sleep.

For most people, this means getting 7 to 9 hours of sleep every night. And teenagers need 8 to 10 hours of sleep a night to function optimally.

What does sleep have to do with procrastination?

More than you might realize.

It’s almost impossible to feel motivated when you’re tired. And when you’re low on energy, your willpower is depleted too.

That’s why you give in to the temptation of Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube videos more easily when you’re sleep-deprived.

Here are ways to get more sleep , and sleep better too:

  • Create a bedtime routine
  • Go to sleep at around the same time every night
  • Set a daily alarm as a reminder to go to bed
  • Exercise regularly (but not within a few hours of bedtime)
  • Make your bedroom as dark as possible
  • Remove or switch off all electronic devices before bedtime
  • Avoid caffeine at least six hours before bedtime
  • Use an eye mask and earplugs

30. Schedule appointments with yourself to complete your homework.

These appointments are specific blocks of time reserved for working on a report, assignment, or project. Scheduling appointments is effective because it makes the task more “official,” so you’re more likely to keep the appointment.

For example, you could schedule appointments such as:

  • Jan 25 th , 4:00 pm – 5:30 pm: Math assignment
  • Jan 27 th , 3:00 pm – 4:00 pm: Online research for social studies project
  • Jan 28 th , 4:30 pm – 5:00 pm: Write introduction for English essay

Transform homework procrastination into homework motivation

Procrastination is a problem we all face.

But given that you’ve read all the way to here, I know you’re committed to overcoming this problem.

And now that you’re armed with these tips, you have all the tools you need to become more disciplined and focused .

By the way, please don’t feel as if you need to implement all the tips at once, because that would be too overwhelming.

Instead, I recommend that you focus on just a couple of tips a week, and make gradual progress. No rush!

Over time, you’ll realize that your habit of procrastination has been replaced by the habit of getting things done.

Now’s the time to get started on that process of transformation. 🙂

Like this article? Please share it with your friends.

Images: Student and books , Homework , Group of students , Consequences , Why , Writing a list , Organized desk , Gratitude

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January 19, 2016 at 11:53 am

Ur tips are rlly helpful. Thnkyou ! 🙂

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January 19, 2016 at 1:43 pm

You’re welcome 🙂

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August 29, 2018 at 11:21 am

Thanks very much

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February 19, 2019 at 1:38 pm

The funny thing is while I was reading the first few steps of this article I was procrastinating on my homework….

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November 12, 2019 at 12:44 pm

same here! but now I actually want to get my stuff done… huh

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December 4, 2022 at 11:35 pm

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May 30, 2023 at 6:26 am

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October 25, 2023 at 11:35 am

fr tho i totally was but now I’m actually going to get started haha

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June 6, 2020 at 6:04 am

I love your articles

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January 21, 2016 at 7:07 pm

Thanks soo much. It’s almost like you could read my mind- when I felt so overwhelmed with the workload heap I had created for myself by procrastination, I know feel very motivated to tackle it out completely and replace that bad habit with the wonderful tips mentioned here! 🙂

January 21, 2016 at 8:04 pm

I’m glad to help 🙂

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January 25, 2016 at 3:09 pm

You have shared great tips here. I especially like the point “Write down why you want to complete the task” because it is helpful to make us more motivated when we are clear about our goals

January 25, 2016 at 4:51 pm

Glad that you found the tips useful, John!

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January 29, 2016 at 1:22 am

Thank you very much for your wonderful tips!!! ☺☺☺

January 29, 2016 at 10:41 am

It’s my joy to help, Kabir 🙂

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February 3, 2016 at 12:57 pm

Always love your articles. Keep them up 🙂

February 3, 2016 at 1:21 pm

Thanks, Matthew 🙂

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February 4, 2016 at 1:40 pm

There are quite a lot of things that you need to do in order to come out with flying colors while studying in a university away from your homeland. Procrastinating on homework is one of the major mistakes committed by students and these tips will help you to avoid them all and make yourself more efficient during your student life.

February 4, 2016 at 1:58 pm

Completely agreed, Leong Siew.

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October 5, 2018 at 12:52 am

Wow! thank you very much, I love it .

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November 2, 2018 at 10:45 am

You are helping me a lot.. thank you very much….😊

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November 6, 2018 at 5:19 pm

I’m procrastinating by reading this

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November 29, 2018 at 10:21 am

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January 8, 2021 at 3:38 am

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March 3, 2019 at 9:12 am

Daniel, your amazing information and advice, has been very useful! Please keep up your excellent work!

' src=

April 12, 2019 at 11:12 am

We should stop procrastinating.

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September 28, 2019 at 5:19 pm

Thank you so much for the tips:) i’ve been procrastinating since i started high schools and my grades were really bad “F” but the tips have made me a straight A student again.

' src=

January 23, 2020 at 7:43 pm

Thanks for the tips, Daniel! They’re really useful! 😁

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April 10, 2020 at 2:15 pm

I have always stood first in my class. But procrastination has always been a very bad habit of mine which is why I lost marks for late submission .As an excuse for finding motivation for studying I would spend hours on the phone and I would eventually procrastinate. So I tried your tips and tricks today and they really worked.i am so glad and thankful for your help. 🇮🇳Love from India🇮🇳

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April 15, 2020 at 11:16 am

Well I’m gonna give this a shot it looks and sounds very helpful thank you guys I really needed this

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April 16, 2020 at 9:48 pm

Daniel, your amazing information and advice, has been very useful! keep up your excellent work! May you give more useful content to us.

' src=

May 6, 2020 at 5:03 pm

nice article thanks for your sharing.

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May 20, 2020 at 4:49 am

Thank you so much this helped me so much but I was wondering about like what if you just like being lazy and stuff and don’t feel like doing anything and you don’t want to tell anyone because you might annoy them and you just don’t want to add your problems and put another burden on theirs

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July 12, 2020 at 1:55 am

I’ve read many short procrastination tip articles and always thought they were stupid or overlooking the actual problem. ‘do this and this’ or that and that, and I sit there thinking I CAN’T. This article had some nice original tips that I actually followed and really did make me feel a bit better. Cheers, diving into what will probably be a 3 hour case study.

' src=

August 22, 2020 at 10:14 pm

Nicely explain each tips and those are practical thanks for sharing. Dr.Achyut More

' src=

November 11, 2020 at 12:34 pm

Thanks a lot! It was very helpful!

' src=

November 15, 2020 at 9:11 am

I keep catching myself procrastinating today. I started reading this yesterday, but then I realized I was procrastinating, so I stopped to finish it today. Thank you for all the great tips.

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November 30, 2020 at 5:15 pm

Woow this is so great. Thanks so much Daniel

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December 3, 2020 at 3:13 am

These tips were very helpful!

' src=

December 18, 2020 at 11:54 am

Procrastination is a major problem of mine, and this, this is very helpful. It is very motivational, now I think I can complete my work.

' src=

December 28, 2020 at 2:44 pm

Daniel Wong: When you’re doing your homework, is your super-comfortable bed just two steps away? Me: Nope, my super-comfortable bed is one step away. (But I seriously can’t study anywhere else. If I go to the dining table, my mum would be right in front of me talking loudly on the phone with colleagues and other rooms is an absolute no. My mum doesn’t allow me to go outside. Please give me some suggestions. )

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September 19, 2022 at 12:14 pm

I would try and find some noise cancelling headphones to play some classical music or get some earbuds to ignore you mum lol

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March 1, 2021 at 5:46 pm

Thank you very much. I highly appreciate it.

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May 12, 2023 at 3:38 am

This is great advice. My little niece is now six years old and I like to use those nice cheap child friendly workbooks with her. This is done in order to help her to learn things completely on her own. I however prefer to test her on her own knowledge however. After a rather quick demonstration in the lesson I then tend to give her two simple questions to start off with. And it works a treat. Seriously. I love it. She loves it. The exam questions are for her to answer on her own on a notepad. If she can, she will receive a gold medal and a box of sweets. If not she only gets a plastic toy. We do this all the time to help her understand. Once a week we spend up to thirty minutes in a math lesson on this technique for recalling the basic facts. I have had a lot of great success with this new age technique. So I’m going to carry on with it for now.

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Our advice is expert-vetted and based on independent research, analysis and hands-on testing from our team of Certified Sleep Coaches. If you buy through our links, we may get a commission. Reviews ethics statement

Ditch the Melatonin and Try These 7 All-Natural Sleep Aid Alternatives Instead

From herbal tea to CBD, these natural remedies can help you beat insomnia and achieve deep, restful sleep.

how to stop sleep from homework

  • Carl R. Greer/Andrew D. Hepburn Award for Best Nonfiction Essay (Miami University, 2020)

how to stop sleep from homework

These natural solutions may help you achieve that coveted REM sleep. 

It's no secret how vital sleep is to your day-to-day functioning. Sleep strengthens your immune system, boosts  heart health , repairs muscle tissue, promotes memory and even bolsters your  mental health . Despite sleep being essential to our overall well-being,  one-third of adults have insomnia symptoms . And if you're one of them, getting that all-important shut-eye may seem impossible at times. Even  the classic tricks , such as reading in a room other than your bedroom and avoiding blue light, can prove ineffective. Before you know it, sleep deprivation turns you into a cranky, dazed, unhealthy version of yourself. 

When you search the internet for natural remedies for sleep disturbance,  melatonin  supplements are usually the first recommendation. However, if you're  skeptical about sleep supplements , experience  the side effects  or would just rather not take any pills that may leave you groggy in the morning, here are seven natural sleep aids and techniques to try to help ease your insomnia.

For more tips on better sleep, check out the best food to eat before bed , how to take a coffee nap and how to create the perfect sleep playlist . 

how to stop sleep from homework

Use CBD oils, gummies or creams

Health Tips Logo

CBD, also known as cannabidiol, is derived from hemp plants. CBD is a  safe and effective   treatment for insomnia  that contains almost no THC, the substance in marijuana that alters one's mental state. Many studies suggest that CBD is very  effective in promoting sleep  and  decreasing anxiety . It comes in many forms, such as oils and lotions. Use before bed to promote sleepiness and relaxation.

Brew a hot cup of herbal tea

Brewing tea is an ancient practice. Chamomile , valerian root and magnolia tea are all natural remedies for anxiety, stress and insomnia. Drink a cup of one of these herbal teas at least an hour to two before bed -- this gives you time to relax, enjoy the tea and use the bathroom before lights off. Be sure to look at the nutrition label to make sure no caffeine has been added to the ingredients.

Put a drop of lavender oil on your pillow

One of the more popular household remedies -- essential oils. If tea is not your favorite way to relax before bedtime, floral and herbal fragrances are good ways to aid sleep . Some popular essential oils for sleep are lavender, chamomile, and bergamot. Essential oils should never be ingested, but you can put a little drop on your pillow at night. You can also diffuse essential oils into the air or use dried lavender to make a tea. 

how to stop sleep from homework

Pro Sleep Tip

Put a few drops of this lavender essential oil in a diffuser to help you drift off. You can also dilute in water and spray a little on your pillow.

Drink tart cherry juice

Sour cherry juice from tart cherries can  increase melatonin production  in those who consume it before bedtime. In the same study, the group that drank the cherry juice spent more time in bed and asleep and achieved higher overall sleep efficiency. This suggests that tart cherry juice has the potential to aid insomnia. 

Try dried passionflower or extract oil

Not to be confused with passionfruit -- passionflower is a fast-growing vine that produces vibrant flowers. Not only is the plant beautiful, but it can even help you fall asleep through herbal tea or extract oil. A recent study concluded that passionflower has  the potential to treat insomnia . However, it isn't recommended for those who are pregnant. 

Make sure you're getting enough magnesium

Magnesium , a powerful nutrient, is responsible for regulating hundreds of processes in the body -- including sleep . Magnesium is found naturally in foods such as nuts and seeds, spinach, soy milk, yogurt and whole grains. Try lightly snacking on foods high in magnesium an hour or two before bed. If you believe that you aren't getting enough magnesium in your diet and suspect it could help your sleep, try adding a supplement . 


Focusing on your breathing can help you relax before bed. 

Practice yoga and meditation before bedtime

Strenuous exercise before bed is not always a good idea , but practicing light yoga or meditation before bed has been linked to decreased insomnia and better sleep. Go through simple yoga poses , such as cat-cow, forward fold or bridge, focusing on your breath and feeling the stretch. There are also many self-guided meditation apps available.

For more health tips, here's how to create the ideal environment for better sleep and how to sleep cooler without air conditioning .

Mattress Buying Guides

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Other Sleep Guides

  • Best Pillow
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  • Best Alarm Clock
  • Best Earplugs for Sleeping
  • Best White Noise Machines
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Breaking news, can’t sleep on a plane this psychologist says her 4-step ‘hack’ will help you drift off.

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No matter how weary, some travelers struggle to get ample shut-eye on airplanes.

The seats are narrow and uncomfortable, there’s barely any legroom and, not to mention, your head keeps bobbing from side to side as soon as you doze off .

But psychologist Erica Terblanche has revealed the tried and true way to drift to sleep at cruising altitude is a method known as “going over the alpha bridge” — which proves “counting sheep” isn’t just an old wives’ tale.

Blurred image of a tired blonde woman in a sporty hoodie napping on an airplane seat

The “simple” trick, Terblanche shared in a video posted to Instagram, entails four steps.

  • First, she advised viewers to lie down “comfortably” — or as comfortably as you can in an airline seat — and close your eyes while counting to 30.
  • “Then, open your eyes only a little sliver, like a little half moon, and count to five,” she continued.
  • After that, close your eyes again, count to 30, open a sliver once more and count to five.
  • Then close your eyes completely, focusing on your breathing.

While most people will likely fall asleep after the first try, she claimed, it may take more than one cycle through the steps to drift off entirely.

View this post on Instagram A post shared by Erica Terblanche (@erica_terblanche)

Erica Terblanche, a psychologist, holding up her hand, sharing sleeping hacks for a flight

It may not be as simple as popping a melatonin gummy or self-medicating in some other form, but Terblanche swears the hack works.

Research has shown that passengers have much more difficulty falling asleep on aircrafts than in a bed. According to a 2020 study cited by Travel and Leisure , ambient cabin noise — like the loud hum of the engines, intercom announcements or people talking — can disrupt sleep.

In addition, the uncomfortable seats and flight anxiety can contribute to a lack of slumber while flying.

Woman comfortably sleeping in a first-class airplane seat

Sleep experts have previously shared their tricks to sleeping better on flights , such as avoiding alcohol, taking a walk around the airport 30 minutes before boarding, listening to white noise and strategically picking a certain seat on the airplane.

The window seat , for one, has been touted as the easiest seat to fall asleep in due to the ability to lean your head on the wall.

Share this article:

Blurred image of a tired blonde woman in a sporty hoodie napping on an airplane seat


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How to Avoid Distractions While Studying

Last Updated: May 6, 2024 Fact Checked

This article was co-authored by Ashley Pritchard, MA . Ashley Pritchard is an Academic and School Counselor at Delaware Valley Regional High School in Frenchtown, New Jersey. Ashley has over 3 years of high school, college, and career counseling experience. She has an MA in School Counseling with a specialization in Mental Health from Caldwell University and is certified as an Independent Education Consultant through the University of California, Irvine. This article has been fact-checked, ensuring the accuracy of any cited facts and confirming the authority of its sources. This article has been viewed 822,051 times.

You know you really want to get good grades. Your parents have put the pressure on, or you promised yourself you would do better. But you keep getting distracted! If you work to find a focused mindset, establish a study schedule, and choose the right place to study, you can cut out the distractions you have control over and minimize the ones you can't stop completely.

Easy Tips for Better Focus

Step 1 Tune out specific distractions as you notice them.

  • For example, if you have a biology exam coming up that covers three chapters, you don't have to cram everything into one study session. Try focusing first on the parts that give you trouble, like that subsection on the Krebs cycle. Also try making notes and flashcards as it helps.

Step 4 Go off the grid.

  • Turn off notifications on your devices. (If your device has the “Do not disturb” mode, try using that.) Better still, turn them off completely.
  • Don't take calls or texts. Turn off your phone if you are able, or at least keep it on silent and away.
  • If you can't stop this distraction, look into apps or browser plugins that can block social media, certain websites, or any other specific outlets that pull you away from studying. [4] X Research source

Step 5 Work with your energy levels.

  • Moving around a bit, such as by taking a brief walk, will be most beneficial.

Step 7 Don't attempt to multitask.

  • If you do this consistently, you should find that you gradually spend less and less time being distracted.

Hacking Your Study Schedule

Step 1 Set a study schedule.

  • For example, you might decide to study biology for an hour on Monday night, followed by an hour of English. Then, on Tuesday afternoons, you study Math for two hours.
  • If you are studying around other people, post your schedule so they will know when it's not ok to distract you.

Step 2 Change subjects every two hours.

Creating the Perfect Study Space

Step 1 Find a place that makes you want to study.

  • Most people like a place that is neither too cold nor too warm.
  • A study space shouldn't be loud. Some people prefer a place that is absolutely quiet, others like a little background noise.
  • If you are often distracted by studying, choose a seat that faces a wall rather than a window, hallway, or other seats.

Step 2 Let others know if you're studying at home.

  • You can also message your friends, tell them when you're studying, and ask them not to disturb you during that time.
  • If your home environment is always too noisy and you can't study anywhere else, a pair of earplugs, ear defenders or noise-cancelling headphones should block most (if not all) of the noise out. Playing a calm "white noise" background track through headphones can help you to focus on your studies while also masking even more noise around you if you find music too distracting.

Step 3 Use music only if you're sure it helps you stay focused.

  • The music should be fairly quiet.
  • Choose music that has no lyrics so you'll be less likely to become distracted.
  • Consider listening to “white noise” tracks for background noise instead of music.

Study Schedule Template

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Ashley Pritchard, MA

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  • If you study at home and are constantly bothered by parents, pets, and siblings, move to a place that's away from them, but where you're still motivated to study. Thanks Helpful 21 Not Helpful 3
  • If you mostly get online distractions, consider using a site blocker Thanks Helpful 10 Not Helpful 1

Tips from our Readers

  • Set a timer for 20-30 minutes and work hard with no distractions for that time. When the timer goes off, get up and take a five minute break to check your phone, use the bathroom, etc. After the short break, set the timer again. Working in short increments keeps you motivated to continue working and helps you focus for short bursts rather than trying to exert yourself constantly.
  • According to a recent study, classical music is not the only type of music that helps you concentrate. Any type of music which you love will help bring about the focus you need while studying. Then again, you have to make sure the songs or tunes don't distract you.
  • Have a goal. Remind yourself about that goal and the hard work that you need to put in to get it.

how to stop sleep from homework

  • ↑ Ashley Pritchard, MA. School Counselor. Expert Interview. 4 November 2019.
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About This Article

Ashley Pritchard, MA

To avoid distractions while studying, start by prioritizing your to-do list and making a plan for your study session. Then, turn off your phone, close your emails, and use a browser extension to block websites that you frequently use to procrastinate. If you have a lot of studying to do, create a study schedule and stick to it. However, remember to switch between subjects every 2 hours, and take study breaks every 45-60 minutes to stay focused and energized. Try studying somewhere away from home, like a quiet library or a nearby coffee shop, which can help you stay on task. For tips on getting into and staying in a focused mindset, keep reading! Did this summary help you? Yes No

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The Best Mouth Tape for Sleep, According to Experts

With insights from dentists and physicians

Melanie Rud is a freelance beauty writer, editor, and expert living in Chicago.

how to stop sleep from homework

In This Article

  • Our Top Picks
  • How to Pick

Take Our Word For It

People / Brian Kopinski

A quick scroll through sleep-related TikTok videos and it quickly becomes apparent that seemingly everyone and their mother is mouth taping. 

The practice is exactly what it sounds like — using tape to close your mouth and encourage nasal breathing while you sleep. But, is that actually a good idea? The jury is still out.

Experts Say

“Try snoring with your mouth closed, and then open. You can see that it's harder to snore with the mouth closed. If you can’t breathe comfortably for three minutes with your lips sealed during the daytime, then it’s best not to try mouth taping, and you should seek out treatment from an ENT, airway dentist, or myofunctional therapist.” —Dr. Shereen Lim, a dentist specializing in dental sleep medicine

That said, it can improve sleep quality for many people, so if you want to give it a try (and have the okay from an expert to do so), which mouth tape you choose matters. Here, the nine mouth tapes PEOPLE considers the best of 2024.

Best Overall

3m micropore tape.

This is a favorite of Dr. Lim’s, who lauds it for being lightweight, breathable, and hypoallergenic, not to mention inexpensive. It’s just a general type of medical tape, so it's not specifically mouth tape. Still, you can feel confident that it won’t irritate your skin, and you can easily cut it into any size strips you’d like.

Size: 10 yards | Material: Hypoallergenic paper

Niveus Gentle Mouth Tape

This dentist-created option comes at an affordable price of just $10 for a month’s supply. The tape, which is actually a medical-grade, hypoallergenic silicone, also won’t pull or tug on skin — though it is quite sticky. Bonus: Micro-perforations allow you to easily rip the tape to your preferred size, no scissors required.

Size: 1.5 yards | Material: Medical-grade silicone

Best for Sensitive Skin

Nexcare sensitive skin tape.

Many Amazon reviewers love using this medical-grade tape for mouth taping purposes. One shopper even uses it in tandem with their CPAP machine and wrote that the tape “does not irritate my skin and removes fairly quickly.” Along with being hypoallergenic, the tape is also water-resistant, a nice attribute when it comes to using it on your lips and mouth.

Size: 4 yards | Material: Unlisted

Best for Versatility

Vio2 mouth tape.

These H-shaped tape strips are solely designed for mouth taping purposes: The brand actually calls them “a mouth trainer.” They can be applied either horizontally or vertically, making it easy to find your perfect fit. Happy reviewers rave about both how well they stay put all night, and how easy they are to remove as well. Plus, you can buy them as a one-time purchase or via a convenient subscription model.

Size: 48 strips | Material: Hypoallergenic medical-grade adhesive, cotton blend fabric

Best Tape Alternative

Myotape sleep strips.

“This is a stretchy elastic fabric that sticks around the ring of skin circling the lips to help encourage the jaws to stay closed,” says Dr. Lim of another one of her picks. “It’s most suitable for those who don’t like the idea of sticking tape on their actual lips,” she says, adding that these are also expert-developed. The cotton material is hypoallergenic, and we also appreciate that the strips come in different sizes. Just keep in mind they won’t work if you have any facial hair.

Size: 90 strips | Material: Cotton tape, hypoallergenic glue

Best Strips

Somnifix mouth strips.

These sticky strips are designed to cover your mouth entirely, like a lip mask would. That said, there is a small vent over the lip area that allows a bit of mouth breathing for anyone who might feel claustrophobic having their mouth completely sealed. The adhesive is also hypoallergenic and residue-free, further upping the comfort factor.

Size: 28 strips | Material: Specially-engineered hypoallergenic residue-free adhesive

Best for Complete Coverage

Pap md mouth tape.

These strips are larger than many others, ensuring total and complete coverage (even if you have a big mouth). They’re made from a medical-grade adhesive (latex-free) that’s supremely sticky; these will even grip onto facial hair. Plus, they’re stretchy, flexible, and move with your mouth.

Size: 30 count, 2- x 3.5-inch strips | Material: Medical-grade adhesive

Best for Snoring

Hostage mouth tape.

Hostage Tape

A popular option all over social media, Hostage Mouth Tape has a reputation for minimizing snoring. And while they’re definitely not a replacement for a CPAP machine, they can be used in tandem with one to help prevent dry mouth. They can be purchased as a one month’s supply, although there’s a convenient subscription model available, too.

Size: 30 | Material: Breathable fabric

Best for Comfort

Dream recovery dream mouth tape.

Dream Recovery

You may have heard of bamboo sheets and pajamas , but what about bamboo silk mouth tape? This option — available in vertical strips and full sheets — is made of a bamboo silk that’s not only comfortable but also naturally antibacterial and antimicrobial. Couple that with a medical-grade adhesive that sticks perfectly, and these provide maximum comfort. Pro tip: Pull downward when removing them, rather than sideways.

Size: 30 | Material: Bamboo silk

How to Pick the Right Mouth Tape


Certain adhesives can irritate the skin. Seeking out a tape that’s made from a hypoallergenic material, like the Nexcare Sensitive Skin Tape , is one easy way to help minimize this likelihood.

According to both experts we spoke with, this is a key quality to look for; the tape itself should be breathable, even though it is keeping your mouth sealed. The 3M Micropore Tape fits the bill.

Easy to Remove

“The mouth tape should be easy to remove, allowing the lips to part easily if there is any obstruction to normal airflow with the mouth closed,” advises Dr. Lim. (Plus, you also don’t want it to feel like you’re ripping the skin off when you remove it in the morning.) Our favorite value pick, the Niveus Gentle Mouth Tape , is made from a medical-grade silicone that comes off extremely easily. 

Frequently Asked Questions

First, it’s important to consider that the benefits of nasal breathing are legit. “Nasal breathing promotes better oral and jaw muscle tone,” Dr. Lim points out. “This tends to reduce collapsibility of the airway, and sleep becomes more restful.” Additionally, breathing through your nose allows you to filter, warm, and humidify the air, which can reduce irritation, adds sleep specialist Dr. Angela Holliday-Bell. “Breathing through your nose also aids in the elasticity of the lungs and leads to more oxygen absorption in your blood. All of these things help to improve your sleep quality,” she says. 

That said, while mouth taping has many benefits, there are exceptions. “Many people report fewer sleep disturbances and feeling more refreshed upon waking with mouth taping, but it’s not going to be beneficial if there’s severe structural narrowing of the airway, which could be related to things like severe congestion or enlarged adenoids and tonsils,” says Dr. Lim. At the end of the day, there is some research showing that mouth taping may be beneficial for select individuals, but it’s not enough to make it a more broad recommendation, adds Dr. Holliday-Bell.

The high level takeaway: Both experts we spoke with underscore the fact that it’s best not to try mouth taping without proper evaluation by a medical professional first. “If someone truly needs to breathe through their mouth while sleeping due to nasal obstruction or other reasons, mouth taping can lead to difficulty breathing at night,” cautions Dr. Holliday-Bell. “It can also lead to aspiration, where the contents of your stomach get into your lungs due to reflux or vomiting.”

“ It depends. Obstructive sleep apnea is a multifactorial problem, so there are multiple things that need to be addressed. In general, the airway will be less collapsible if we have our lips closed, but this won’t be optimal if there is restricted nasal airflow, or the jaws are too small and the base of the tongue is forced to rest in the throat,” explains Dr. Lim.

Dr. Holliday-Bell says there has been some evidence to show that it may be helpful in preventing grinding by keeping the mouth closed, but, again, underscores the importance of talking with a medical professional first. Dr. Lim disagrees, noting that teeth grinding is usually a red flag indicating obstructed airflow and that there are other things that need to be addressed (nasal obstruction, poor tongue space)  in order to help resolve grinding.

Melanie Rud is a beauty and lifestyle writer who covers a wide array of topics and has over 15 years of experience. For this story, she interviewed Dr. Shereen Lim , a dentist in Perth, Australia specializing in dental sleep medicine, and the author of Breathe, Sleep, Thrive. She also interviewed Dr. Angela Holliday-Bell , a physician, sleep specialist, and NEOM Organics certified sleep expert.

Our Expert Panel

  • Dr. Shereen Lim is a dentist in Perth, Australia specializing in dental sleep medicine, and the author of Breathe, Sleep, Thrive . 
  • Dr. Angela Holliday-Bell is a physician, sleep specialist, and NEOM Organics certified sleep expert.

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The blue light isn’t the only reason it’s a bad idea to look at screens at bedtime

FILE - James Walter uses a phone at home in the Queens borough of New York, on April 7, 2021. Sleep scientists long ago established that insufficient sleep is linked with poor health outcomes, anxiety, obesity and several other negative effects. The research is equally conclusive that smartphones are particularly disruptive to the circadian clock that regulates sleep and other hormones. (AP Photo/Jessie Wardarski, File)

FILE - James Walter uses a phone at home in the Queens borough of New York, on April 7, 2021. Sleep scientists long ago established that insufficient sleep is linked with poor health outcomes, anxiety, obesity and several other negative effects. The research is equally conclusive that smartphones are particularly disruptive to the circadian clock that regulates sleep and other hormones. (AP Photo/Jessie Wardarski, File)

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Like many of us, Jessica Peoples has heard the warnings about excessive screen time at night. Still, she estimates spending 30 to 60 minutes on her phone before going to sleep, mostly scrolling through social media.

“Recently, I’ve been trying to limit the amount,” says Peoples, a discrimination investigator with the state of New Jersey. “I do notice that how much time I spend affects how long it takes to fall asleep .”

Over half of Americans spend time on their phones within an hour of going to sleep, according to a survey by the National Sleep Foundation . That’s the very latest we should shut off devices, experts say.

The brain needs to wind down long before bedtime to get the restorative deep sleep that helps the body function, said Melissa Milanak, an associate professor at Medical University of South Carolina specializing in sleep health.

“You wouldn’t take a casserole out of the oven and stick it right in the fridge. It needs to cool down,” Milanak said. “Our brains need to do that too.”

Upending your bedtime routine may not be easy, but insufficient sleep has long been linked to anxiety , obesity and other negative outcomes . Research shows smartphones are particularly disruptive to the circadian clock that regulates sleep and other hormones.

CAPTION CORRECTS TITLE Dr. Roneil Malkani shows an example of pink noise being used to enhance slow brainwaves during deep sleep at the Center for Circadian & Sleep Medicine at Northwestern Medicine in Chicago on May 16, 2024. Pink noise has a frequency profile “very similar to the distribution of brain wave frequencies we see in slow-wave sleep because these are large, slow waves,” said Malkani, associate professor of neurology at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine. (AP Photo/Laura Bargfeld)

“There are a million and one ways screens create problems with sleep,” said Lisa Strauss, a licensed psychologist specializing in cognitive behavioral treatment of sleep disorders.

The brain, she said, processes electric light — not just a smartphone’s much-maligned blue light — as sunshine. That suppresses melatonin production, delaying deep sleep. Even very little bright-light exposure in bed has an impact.


Of course, doomscrolling through the news, checking emails or being tempted by ever more tailored videos on social media has its own consequences.

So-called “technostress” amps you up — possibly even triggering the brain’s flight or flight response. And algorithms designed to be engaging compel many social media users to scroll longer than they intended.

“Now it’s 30 minutes later, when you wanted to watch a couple videos and fall asleep,” Milanak said.

Though much of the scientific research on online media focuses on adolescents and young adults , Strauss said most of her clients struggling with insomnia are middle-aged. “People go down these rabbit holes of videos, and more and more people are getting hooked,” she said.


The issue is not just curtailing phone use in bed, but phone use at night. That means redesigning your routine, particularly if you use your phone as a way to decompress.

It helps to create replacement behaviors that are rewarding. An obvious contender is reading a physical book (e-readers are better than phones but still cast artificial light). Milanak also suggests using that hour before bed to take a warm bath, listen to a podcast, make school lunches for the next day, spend time with family or call a relative in another time zone.

“Make a list of things you like that never get done. That’s a great time to do stuff that doesn’t involve screens,” she said. Using a notepad to write down the to-do list for the next day helps keep you from ruminating in bed.

Do those activities in another room to train yourself to associate the bed with falling asleep. If there’s no other private refuge at home, “establish a distinct microenvironment for wakefulness and sleep,” Strauss said. That could mean sitting on the other side of the bed to read, or even just turning the other way around with your feet at the headboard.

Finally, sequester the phone in another room, or at least across the room. “Environmental control can work better than will power, especially when we’re tired,” she said.


There are ways to reduce the harm. Setting the phone on night mode at a scheduled time every day is better than nothing, as is reducing screen brightness every night. Hold the phone far from your face and at an oblique angle to minimize the strength of the light.

Minimize tempting notifications by putting the phone on do not disturb, which can be adjusted to allow calls and messages from certain people — say, an ailing parent or a kid off at university — to go through. But none of these measures give you carte blanche to look at whatever you want at night, Strauss said.

She also recommended asking yourself why checking social media has become your late-night reward.

“Think about the larger structure of the day,” she said. Everyone deserves solitary moments to relax, but “maybe be more self-indulgent earlier so you have what you need.”

EDITOR’S NOTE: Albert Stumm lives in Barcelona, Spain, and writes about food, travel and wellness. Find his work at

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How to Sleep With UTI Discomfort: Home Remedies and Treatments

How do you get a uti, uti symptoms, why uti pain happens at night.

  • Home Remedies
  • Medical Treatments
  • When to Seek Medical Care

Urinary tract infections (UTIs) are caused when bacteria enter the urethra and affect the bladder or kidneys . Common symptoms, like frequent urination and pain in the lower abdomen, are sometimes worse at night and can make it difficult to sleep.

UTIs are among the most common bacterial infections worldwide, affecting over 150 million people each year. If you have a UTI, there are treatment options to help you have a better night's sleep.

This article includes home remedies and medical treatments to help relieve nighttime UTI symptoms.

LaylaBird / Getty Images

UTIs occur when bacteria enter the urinary tract through the urethra. While all genders can get a UTI, they are more common in people with a vagina because their urethra is shorter than those with a penis.

The following can increase the likelihood of bacteria growth that could lead to a UTI:

  • Being dehydrated
  • Holding your urine
  • Injuries that make it difficult to empty your bladder or block the flow of urine fully
  • Having diabetes
  • Being immunocompromised (having an impaired immune system, often due to health conditions or medications)
  • Having a urinary catheter (a tube in the urethra that drains urine)
  • Being pregnant
  • Experiencing menopause (when the menstrual cycle ends for 12 straight months)

UTI symptoms involve localized pain, pain while urinating, and difficulty emptying the bladder.

Urgent and Frequent Urination

While frequent urination is a symptom of a UTI, overactive bladder (OAB) is also a condition. OAB is a chronic condition, whereas UTIs are acute (short-lived). People with OAB may experience inflammation that increases the risk of a UTI.

UTIs differ in that OAB is accompanied by incontinence (urine leakage), while UTIs are accompanied by pelvic pain. A urine test can determine if a UTI is causing your frequent urination.

Burning or Pain During Urination

Researchers found painful urination ( dysuria ), compared to frequency and urgency, is more predictive of a UTI. People who experience pain during urination tend to have other urinary symptoms that are more severe.

Cloudy or Smelly Urine

Unusual urine color , odor, and appearance are some of the most common symptoms of a UTI. One study evaluated UTIs in participants and found that 41% had an unpleasant odor to their urine, and 31% experienced a change in urine color.

Plenty of other factors can cause cloudy or smelly urine, including not drinking enough water, certain foods, and medications. This symptom may be most predictive when accompanied by other symptoms.

Loss of Bladder Control

Urinary incontinence is the loss of bladder control that sometimes accompanies a UTI. There are many types of urinary incontinence, but urge incontinence (a strong need to urinate and some leakage before making it to the toilet) is most commonly associated with a UTI.

As with many health conditions, when you lie down at night without distractions, you may notice your pain more so than during the day.

In addition, other symptoms, like a frequent need to pee or feeling like you can't fully empty your bladder, might interrupt your ability to sleep, adding to your nighttime discomfort.

A Word From Verywell

Cranberry—in the form of cranberry juice or eating the fruit directly—has been linked with fewer UTIs because it may lessen bacteria's ability to adhere to the bladder wall. Probiotics may also increase the good bacteria and decrease the overgrowth of UTI-causing bacteria.

Home Remedies for UTI Pain Relief

The good news is there are plenty of measures you can take for UTI treatment at home.

Drink Plenty of Water

Drinking more water may help with a UTI. In one study, premenopausal people (those going through the transitional time before menopause) with recurrent UTIs were compared to those with low fluid intake and those with increased fluid intake. It found that those who increased their fluids had almost half as many UTIs after a year compared to the control group.

Use a Heating Pad

A heating pad can help relieve UTI pain. Heat therapy works in the following ways:

  • Relaxing muscles
  • Reducing muscle tension
  • Reducing muscle spasms
  • Increasing pelvic blood circulation
  • Eliminating fluid retention
  • Diminishing congestion and swelling
  • Enabling a reduction in pain caused by nerve compression

Empty the Bladder Fully

While you often don't feel like you can fully empty your bladder when you have a UTI, try to do so every time you use the bathroom. Here are some tips for fully emptying your bladder:

  • Use the bathroom often; don't hold your urine.
  • Sit in a relaxed position when peeing.
  • Take your time to empty your bladder.
  • Do pelvic floor exercises to strengthen your pelvic muscles.

An empty bladder right before bed can help you fall asleep with a urinary tract infection.

Avoid Caffeine

Caffeine , especially carbonated or acidic sources, is a bladder irritant. Caffeine dehydrates, the opposite of your body's needs when you have a UTI. Studies show reducing caffeine consumption may reduce UTI symptoms. Experts recommend avoiding caffeine when you have a UTI.

Try Sodium Bicarbonate

Sodium bicarbonate ( baking soda ) is another option for treating a UTI at home. In one study, participants received baking soda orally twice daily for four weeks. After treatment, urine pH values significantly increased, and a significant decrease occurred in the following:

  • Daily urination frequency
  • Nocturia (waking to urinate)
  • Urge incontinence

Use OTC Pain Relievers

Over-the-counter (OTC) pain relievers are another great way to soothe a UTI at night. There are various OTC pain relievers, including nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), like Advil or Motrin (ibuprofen), aspirin, Aleve (naproxen), or Tylenol (acetaminophen) .

AZO (phenazopyridine ) is an dye sold over the counter that works as a pain reliever and can help with other symptoms, including:

  • Urgent and frequent urination

It's important to note that phenazopyridine is not an antibiotic and does not cure an infection. However, it may relieve symptoms until you see a healthcare provider.

Medical Treatments for UTIs

In addition to at-home remedies, medical treatments can help relieve UTI pain at night. They will also help treat the infection, which will relieve other symptoms, like a burning sensation after urinating.

Stopping the Infection

While you can't fully resolve a UTI infection in a day, most people experience symptom relief within 24 to 48 hours of starting an antibiotic.

Since bacteria cause UTIs, antibiotics treat UTIs. Even if you start feeling better after starting antibiotics, it's still important to finish the entire course.

Relieving the Pain

To get the fastest pain relief, a healthcare provider may also prescribe a stronger form of phenazopyridine. They may also recommend taking OTC pain relievers like ibuprofen or Tylenol.

How to Prevent a UTI

Fortunately, there are steps you can take to reduce the likelihood of contracting a UTI . Prevention tips include:

  • Urinate after sex .
  • Drink plenty of water.
  • Shower rather than bathe in a tub.
  • Avoid douching.
  • Wipe from front to back.

When to Contact a Healthcare Provider

Since bacteria cause UTIs and require antibiotics to heal, it's important to see a healthcare provider if you suspect you may have a UTI.

The following are red flags that you need more urgent medical attention:

  • Rigors (chills and shivering accompanied by fever)
  • Flank pain (pain in the side of the lower back)
  • Significant nausea or vomiting

If you experience these symptoms, you should seek immediate medical care at the emergency room.

UTI pain is often worse at night because there are fewer distractions, and your symptoms may wake you to use the bathroom. Drinking plenty of water, heating pads, and OTC pain relievers are common ways of dealing with overnight UTI pain. Once you start antibiotics, your symptoms should resolve quickly.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Urinary tract infection . October 6, 2021.

Mansfield KJ, Chen Z, Moore KH, Grundy L. Urinary tract infection in overactive bladder: An update on pathophysiological mechanisms .  Front Physiol . 2022;13:886782. doi:10.3389/fphys.2022.886782

Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development. What causes UTIs and UI? May 5, 2022.

Dune TJ, Price TK, Hilt EE, et al. Urinary symptoms and their associations with urinary tract infections in urogynecologic patients .  Obstet Gynecol . 2017;130(4):718-725. doi:10.1097/AOG.0000000000002239

Alavinia SM, Omidvar M, Farahani F, et al. Enhancing quality practice for prevention and diagnosis of urinary tract infection during inpatient spinal cord rehabilitation .  J Spinal Cord Med . 2017;40(6):803-812. doi:10.1080/10790268.2017.1369216

Jump RL, Crnich CJ, Nace DA. Cloudy. Foul-smelling urine not a criteria for diagnosis of urinary tract infection in older adults .  J Am Med Dir Assoc . 2016;17(8):754. doi:10.1016/j.jamda.2016.04.009

MedlinePlus. Urinary incontinence . January 9, 2024.

McCollum BJ, Garigan T, Earwood J. PURL: Can drinking more water prevent urinary tract infections? .  J Fam Pract . 2020;69(3):E19-E20.

Jo J, Lee SH. Heat therapy for primary dysmenorrhea: A systematic review and meta-analysis of its effects on pain relief and quality of life .  Sci Rep . 2018;8(1):16252. doi:10.1038/s41598-018-34303-z

National Institute on Aging. 15 tips to keep your bladder healthy . January 24, 2022.

Miller JM, Garcia CE, Hortsch SB, et al. Does instruction to eliminate coffee, tea, alcohol, carbonated, and artificially sweetened beverages improve lower urinary tract symptoms? .  J Wound Ostomy Continence Nurs . 2016;43(1):69-79. doi:10.1097/WON.0000000000000197

Sönmez MG, Göğer YE, Ecer G, et al. Effects of urine alkalinization with sodium bicarbonate orally on lower urinary tract symptoms in female patients: a pilot study .  Int Urogynecol J . 2018;29(7):1029-1033. doi:10.1007/s00192-017-3492-3

MedlinePlus. Phenazopyridine . February 15, 2022.

Penn Medicine. Urinary tract infection (UTI) .

Beahm NP, Nicolle LE, Bursey A, et al. The assessment and management of urinary tract infections in adults: Guidelines for pharmacists .  Can Pharm J (Ott) . 2017;150(5):298-305. doi:10.1177/1715163517723036

By Kathi Valeii Valeii is a Michigan-based freelance writer with a bachelor's degree in communication from Purdue Global.


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    Getting enough sleep is essential for people's mental and physical wellbeing. However, there are times when a person needs to stay up all night for homework, studying, or work.

  5. 15 Ways to Stop Sleeping in Class

    Download Article. Keep your body active to prevent sleepiness from taking over. Tap your feet on the floor, pump your legs up and down, tap your fingers on the desk, twiddle your thumbs, or hold your pen in your fingers and twirl it around. Stay quiet with your movements so you don't distract any other students.

  6. How to stop being TIRED and study NOW

    Let's get into it, sleepyheads. 1. Trick yourself into studying actively. There's a reason why you find yourself too tired to study often, while it's much rarer that you'll be "too tired" to boot up your PS5 or watch a movie. This is because studying is often considered to be what behavioral scientists call "boring.".

  7. How to Stay Awake: 6 Life Hacks to Avoid Sleepiness

    Instead, try having balanced meals containing protein and vegetables to help you stay alert. Fruits, vegetables, yogurt, eggs, nuts, fish, beans, and lean meats are all healthy food choices. Finally, if you are trying to stay awake despite sleep loss, be sure to drink plenty of water. Dehydration can make you feel more tired.

  8. How to Avoid Homework Stress (with Pictures)

    Stay positive. Try to think about your homework as a good thing. Keeping this positive attitude will avoid creating more stress, and might even energize you to get it done. In fact, the more engaged and interested you are in your work, the quicker it will seem to pass. [7] 6.

  9. Managing Homework and Bedtime Routine: Striking a Balance for School

    Understanding the Challenges of Homework and Sleep. There are several challenges that can make it difficult for children to get enough sleep. First, there's the nightly battle of sitting down to tackle homework. ... Help your child to prioritize their homework tasks so that they can focus on the most important assignments first and prevent ...

  10. 9 Ways To Stay Awake Without Caffeine

    Speaking of managing your stress, meditation is one specific way to clear your brain so you're more aware and can think more clearly. "The goal of meditation is to be in a state of wakefulness ...

  11. Tips for Fighting Homework Fatigue in 4 Minutes

    Minutes 1 and 2: Stand up. Walk away from your computer. Shake out your arms and legs. Roll your shoulders backwards then forwards. Kick out your feet. Roll your wrists. Walk up and down stairs if you have them. I even encourage you to do a few jumping jacks. Whatever you do, just keep moving.

  12. How to stop falling asleep while studying: 17 tips to keep you awake

    To stop yourself from falling asleep during studies, eat a balanced and healthy diet rich in nutrients and fibre such as soups and salads, lentils and a lot of fruits and vegetables. If you want to boost your sugar levels, don't eat cakes and chocolates; rather, go for fruits rich in sugar such as apples, oranges and bananas.

  13. Associations of time spent on homework or studying with nocturnal sleep

    Additional studies are needed to evaluate the relative impact of homework/studying on sleep habits and mental health in pediatric populations with depression or anxiety. There is also a need for longitudinal studies to assess relationships between time use, sleep, and well-being, in order to understand the temporal development and interaction ...

  14. How to Stay Up All Night

    Drinking coffee, bright lighting, and keeping active are a few things that can help you stay up all night. This article explains how to stay up all night. It provides tips for keeping alert in the wee hours of the morning. It also details things you should not do when trying to stay up for 24 hours or more.

  15. Six Ways To Make Homework Less Painful for Students

    Here are some principles she suggests for creating an ideal homework environment: 1. Give high school students two hours of homework a night. Like most experts, Pope believes that this is just the ...

  16. More than two hours of homework may be counterproductive, research

    Forty-three percent viewed tests as a primary stressor, while 33 percent put the pressure to get good grades in that category. Less than 1 percent of the students said homework was not a stressor. • Reductions in health: In their open-ended answers, many students said their homework load led to sleep deprivation and other health problems. The ...

  17. How Does Homework Affect Students Sleep?

    The Impact of Homework on Teenage Stress and Sleep. Homework is a major source of stress for teenagers, affecting their sleep patterns. According to studies, about 75% of high school students report grades and homework as significant stressors. This anxiety can lead to sleep deprivation, with over 50% of students reporting insufficient rest.

  18. Is it time to get rid of homework? Mental health experts weigh in

    Emmy Kang, mental health counselor at Humantold, says studies have shown heavy workloads can be "detrimental" for students and cause a "big impact on their mental, physical and emotional health ...

  19. 30 Tips to Stop Procrastinating and Find Motivation to Do Homework

    Do weekly filing of your loose papers, notes, and old homework. Throw away all the papers and notes you no longer need. 23. Stop saying "I have to" and start saying "I choose to.". When you say things like "I have to write my essay" or "I have to finish my science assignment," you'll probably feel annoyed.

  20. Stop Accepting Bad Sleep. 42 Expert Ways to Take Charge of Your Sleep

    16. Eat the right foods. Prioritize foods that are known to help you sleep better such as kiwis, turkey, almonds, fatty fish, walnuts, white rice and protein. A University of Purdue study found ...

  21. Ditch the Melatonin and Try These 7 All-Natural Sleep Aid ...

    Details. $31 at Amazon. Drink tart cherry juice. Sour cherry juice from tart cherries can increase melatonin production in those who consume it before bedtime. In the same study, the group that ...

  22. Can't sleep on a plane? This psychologist says her 4-step 'hack' will

    After that, close your eyes again, count to 30, open a sliver once more and count to five. Then close your eyes completely, focusing on your breathing. While most people will likely fall asleep ...

  23. How to stop late-night doomscrolling in bed

    Using a notepad to write down the to-do list for the next day helps keep you from ruminating in bed. Do those activities in another room to train yourself to associate the bed with falling asleep ...

  24. 4 Ways to Avoid Distractions While Studying

    Playing a calm "white noise" background track through headphones can help you to focus on your studies while also masking even more noise around you if you find music too distracting. 3. Use music only if you're sure it helps you stay focused. Studies about whether or not music helps you focus when studying are mixed.

  25. Does Mouth Tape Work for Better Sleep? We Asked Sleep Specialists

    Dr. Shereen Lim is a dentist in Perth, Australia specializing in dental sleep medicine, and the author of Breathe, Sleep, Thrive . Dr. Angela Holliday-Bell is a physician, sleep specialist, and ...

  26. Rain Sounds for Sleeping FAST with BLACK Screen

    Sleep Fastest with Heavy Rain & Dark Screen to Sleep Deep and Stay Asleep. Rain Non-Stop all Night to Beat insomnia and Sleep Better. Rain Sounds for Studyin...

  27. How to stop doomscrolling in bed

    Using a notepad to write down the to-do list for the next day helps keep you from ruminating in bed. Do those activities in another room to train yourself to associate the bed with falling asleep. If there's no other private refuge at home, "establish a distinct microenvironment for wakefulness and sleep," Strauss said.

  28. Spring Commencement 2024

    Join us for this afternoon's commencement exercises for our graduating class of 2024. #ForeverToThee24

  29. How to Sleep With UTI Discomfort: Home Care & Treatment

    Use the bathroom often; don't hold your urine. Sit in a relaxed position when peeing. Take your time to empty your bladder. Do pelvic floor exercises to strengthen your pelvic muscles. An empty bladder right before bed can help you fall asleep with a urinary tract infection.