Feeling sleepy while studying is normal for many school children. After a long day at school, doing revisions or coping with school homework at home in the late afternoon or night time can be tiring. Keeping the eyes open can be challenging. Have you seen your children dozing off while studying? Or you, a college or university student trying to stay awake to finish your load of assignments or bulk of homework.
I’ve seen my children eating snacks while studying. No doubt, it helps keep them awake but is it healthy? If not, what snacks to eat while studying? For your children or yourself, let’s find some healthy snacks for studying. Not only that, these snacks can keep you focused too. Read on…
In the first place, why are you sleepy
First thing first, snacking should never be the first option you take to avoid falling asleep while studying. You need to know the cause of feeling sleepy.
Are you getting enough sleep
Not getting enough sleep is always the main reason. Sleep is important for attention, memory, mood and motivation. Simply put, sleep affects learning.
In general, sleeping 7 to 8 hours every night is imperative for good health but I know not many children, adult alike achieve 7 hours’ sleep, not to mention 8 hours.
If you can’t achieve 7 hours’ sleep at night and feel sleepy while studying, the best thing to do is take a power nap, specifically 20 to 30 minutes at maximum. More than 30 minutes, you’ll be back to square one if not worse – feeling groggy, a headache even.
Are you feeling bored
Another reason for sleepiness could be as simple as feeling bored. It may be your disliked but compulsory subject hence the boredom and leads to sleepiness. In this case, you’ll just have to make it a fun subject to study. Try reading out loud while studying or walk around your room.
Writing or drawing them out can overcome boredom too. Have you tried mind mapping? The mind map is an effective learning technique. If you have not heard of it, read here – Students Guide to Mind Mapping.
Are you eating correctly
Food matters, yes. You are bound to feel heavy and sleepy after a heavy meal. Why is that? After a meal, your digestive system kicks into action. The blood flow to your stomach and intestines increases and this causes a decrease of oxygen to your brain. The reduced supply of oxygen makes you feel sleepy after eating especially a heavy meal.
Processed food plays a part too. So are sugary foods. For example, sausages, canned pasta sauces and salad dressings, instant noodles, cakes, cookies and fritters.
Forget about the pisang goreng (banana fritter – a Malaysian favourite food snack). For sure you’ll fall asleep after.
You should feed your body natural and nutritious food that’s well balanced with protein, carbohydrates and healthy fats for sustained energy throughout the day. Healthy body, healthy mind.
So, what type of food or snacks are good for you while studying?
Healthy Snacks for Studying & to Keep You Focused
Not only do you need healthy snacks but those that actually help keep you focused. While you may not feel sleepy while munching along, do you register what you’re learning? Understanding and interpreting the topics you’re studying is important.
When reading your textbooks or reference materials, the goal is to gather and understand all the information in order to interpret and answer assignment questions. Ultimately, do well in answering all exam questions or other type of assessments.
For this reason, you’ll need healthy brain food. Here are 5 snacks ideas to keep you awake and focused while studying and they are fairly affordable.
1. Nuts & Seeds
It’s time to go nuts. No! Yes, nuts and seeds are packed with nutrients that are essential for brain health. For instance, Vitamin E an antioxidant and the mineral zinc (1, 2).
Additionally, nuts and seeds are good sources of healthy fat, protein, and fibre. These help keep you energised throughout your long stretch of studying.
Nuts, such as almonds and cashews, not forgetting seeds, pumpkin seeds, are versatile and can be easily carried to where you study at.
I am a huge fan of roasted almonds, lightly salted and this can be very addictive. If you don’t like almonds, walnuts and cashews are good options.
You can buy roasted nuts on the snacks aisle at your local hypermarket. However, you may want to look out for the sodium content. Choose lightly salted or go with plain roasted ones.
If you like to read more about walnuts, almonds, cashews and pumpkin seeds, I’ve left links at the end of this article.
2. Dark Chocolate
Chocoholics will love this! Dark chocolate has made it to be included as a healthy snack for studying.
Dark chocolate is made up of 50-90% cocoa solids. Cocoa contains a high amount of flavonoid which are powerful antioxidants.
Studies have shown that consuming cocoa may help reduce mental exhaustion and, boost memory and reaction time on mental tasks (1, 2).
Besides boosting your memory, chocolates are known to make you happier, yes. The happier you, study better!
Chocolate contains several compounds associated with mood-lifting chemicals in the brain.
Tryptophan, an amino acid found in chocolate, is linked to the production of serotonin, a neurotransmitter that makes you feel happy. Another compound, phenylethylamine, is a natural antidepressant and theobromine produces a relaxing effect and relieves stress. All combined, chocolates do the job of making you happy studying.
Just remember, when buying your dark chocolate always choose above 70% cocoa and take a closer look at the ingredients, the shorter it is, the better. My go-to is Ritter Sport 74% Intense Dark Chocolate (Affiliate link).
3. Fruits – Berries & Citruses
How can you not have fruits? You must.
Berries are rich in several compounds, namely anthocyanins, a flavonoid, and it was shown to improve mental performance by increasing blood flow to your brain. This helps promote nerve cell production and cellular processes involved in learning and memory (1).
Citrus fruits are notably rich in Vitamin C, needed to strengthen your immune system but how does it help with memory?
Similar to berries and chocolates, citrus fruits like oranges and grapefruit contain high flavonoids and help promote memory, learning and cognitive function (1).
A group of 40 young adults who participated in a study drank 500ml of 100% orange and grapefruit juice were found to have enhanced blood flow to the brain and notably improved performance on a test that involved matching symbols to numbers.
Even though fruit juices are more concentrated sources of flavonoids, whole citrus fruits also contain a good amount and can be eaten as a snack when studying. Or you rather have a glass of orange juice and a bowl of nuts and seeds with dark chocolate nibs.
4. Trail Mix
What is trail mix? A mixture of nuts, seeds, dried fruits and chocolates. This dried mix snack is meant to be taken on a hiking trip, giving hikers energy and nutrients during their trip. Trail mix was made popular in the 20th century by Horace Kephart, an outdoorsman, who recommended it in his popular camping guide.
Nowadays, many people, not hikers, consume trail mix as a healthy snack.
You know by now, nuts, seeds, chocolates and fruits are good for brain health. You can use these to make your own trail mix giving you more variations in taste and texture instead of just having almonds themselves or others.
A blend of almonds, cashews, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, dried cranberries or strawberries, raisins, cocoa nibs… you have endless combinations.
Mix them together and store them in an airtight container. It is easy enough for you to take along to where you want to study. Munching on trail mix will definitely keep you from dozing off while studying.
If you are not a DIY person, trail mixes are easily found in hypermarkets and health stores. Be careful though, store-bought may be loaded with salt and hydrogenated oils, and the dried fruits coated with added sugar. Also, the chocolates may not be dark chocolates. So, choose carefully.
For more nutty information on Trail Mix, the link at the end of this article.
Trail mix may be bland or boring for you. I understand what you mean and I have exactly what you’ll be interested in. The next snack is the addictive granola bites.
What’s granola? Granola is made up of rolled oats, nuts, seeds and dried fruits. It is then baked along with sweetener and oil to bind all ingredients together. Once baked, it gives you clusters of crispy goodness you can’t stop eating.
Similar to trail mix, granola has all the ingredients promoting brain health.
Would you agree with me granola is more enticing than trial mix? Tell us in the comments section below. I love to know.
There is one thing you should take note of. Dried fruits are high in sugar and calories. Coupled with the sweetener, you may be consuming more sugar. And the fact that granola is addictive, you may eat more thus consuming more sugar than you realised.
Do not let this stop you from eating granola as there are certain varieties that do not have dried fruits in them. You just have to look for it.
I prefer dried fruits in my granola and since I make my own, the portion is controlled.
Again, a reminder to always check the ingredients list when buying yours. Avoid those with a long list and unpronounceable ingredients.
In a Nutshell
There are reasons for feeling sleepy while studying. I would say not having enough sleep or simply feeling bored is the main reason. Other contributing factors may be the environment in which you’re studying in. Are you sitting on a comfy chair (too comfy) or studying on your bed? You’re bound to doze off, especially after a heavy meal.
Any of the above factors may be the reason(s) you or your school-going children find it hard to keep the eyes open and brain working. Many will then snack on food to keep themselves awake. Do you? Or your children? Mine certainly do.
Healthy snacking is possible if you choose wisely. Nuts and seeds are whole foods and contain numerous nutrients which help in many ways in regards to your well being including brain health. Munching on a blend of mixed nuts and seeds with dark chocolate and fruits will surely keep you awake and focused.
I hope these healthy snacks for studying helps you get going in your studies and leads to a good exam result. If a friend asks you what snacks to eat while studying, you know what to tell them. Bear in mind though, getting enough sleep is essential.
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Now, go study! Remember to bring along study-friendly healthy snacks to sustain your brainpower level and remain focused.
Would you try the above-mentioned healthy study snacks? What did you eat previously to avoid dozing off or what did you do besides snacking that keeps you awake while studying? Tell us in the comments section below.
Learn more: From me nuttylog
- What is trail mix
- Is cashews healthy
- How healthy is granola bars
- What is pumpkin seeds good for
- What health benefits do walnuts have
- What health benefits do almonds have
Now, Let’s Get Started:
For US Shoppers, Shop on Amazon => plenty of choices but choose carefully
Here are a few choices you may consider buying.
These are individually packed hence easily carried to where you want to be. And the controlled portion avoids overindulging.
Check this out on Amazon.
Power Up Trail Mix says it all.
Like the power? Take a look on Amazon.
If you love coconut, must try this delightful coconut bites.
Buy on Amazon.
Happy shopping and thanks for reading.
Me YourHealthy Corner – Healthy Snacking is Possible
Disclosure: This blog post may contain affiliate links as part of the Amazon.com Services LLC Associate Programs and other affiliate services. This means that meyourhealthycorner.com receives a small commission by linking to amazon.com and other sites at no extra cost to the readers.
Medical Disclaimer: I am not a doctor or medical professional, and this post should not be taken as medical advice. Please do your own research. The material on this blog is provided for informational purposes only. It is general information that may not apply to you as an individual and is not a substitute for your own doctor’s medical care or advice.
6 thoughts on “Sleepy While Studying, Eating Healthy Snacks Can Help”
You are right, feeling sleepy while studying is normal indeed. Even for us who are grown up. I am furthering my studies and being sleepy is a problem I have now. It is terrible. Most often time I resort to eating because I am trying to stay awake and my choice of food is not healthy at all. I am grateful to have come across your post because your list of healthy snacks will be of great help to me. I am trying to stay fit hence I will definitely choose your recommendations. Thank you
I am glad this article is of help, Boi. Wish you do well in your studies!
Hi Sharon. Thank you for very interesting article. Unfortunately Im long after the studies but your advices are still very helpful for me. With working all time from home now its sometimes difficult to fight with sleepiness (especially when Im spending 10 hours or more working on computer). I knew that dark chocolate but nuts and granola is something new for me. Definitely I will test your recommendations in practice.
These healthy snack ideas are not only for students but working adults alike. I snack on granola while working from home. Tell us how you like it after trying.
Hi, thanks for this awesome article, I did not at all know that eating nuts had the ability to keep you awake while you study. As a kid I never experienced feeling sleepy when I studied I think maybe because I always got a lot of sleep as you outlined. I am a big fan of nuts I am glad to learn that it has beneficial nutrients for my brains health!
Good to know you’ve had healthy student days. At all ages, we should aim to have at least 7 hours of quality sleep. Thanks for reading and commenting.