Simon, a 14 year old high school freshman, shares his tips and tricks for staying alert and awake.

Sometimes school gets tiring and it’s almost impossible not to  zone out or even fall asleep during class. Especially if it’s the first class of the day or right after lunch, it can be hard to focus on what the teacher is talking about. Except that’s not an option—teachers want you to pay attention and they will not be happy if they sense otherwise. So how are you supposed to stay awake and focused? There are a number of ways that you can improve your energy and alertness.

First and foremost, get a good night’s sleep. Sleep is the number one way your body recharges, so if you don’t get enough of it, the next day you won’t be able to concentrate on anything. And no, sleeping until noon on the weekends does not mean you can go to bed really late on the weekdays.

Secondly, eat breakfast. Yes, you’re not hungry that early and mornings are rushed as it is, but eating a healthy breakfast more than makes up for waking up fifteen minutes earlier. What constitutes a “healthy breakfast”? Something with protein (eggs, yogurt, peanut butter) gives you more energy and is a lot better than something with carbohydrates (cereal, bagel, muffin). And caffeine alone is not sufficient—it may wake you up but it won’t give you energy.

Another tip is to do your homework and read up on the material. If you actually have some idea what the teacher is talking about, you will be more engaged and interested during class. You don’t have to know every detail, but as long as you have some idea what you’re learning, then you won’t automatically zone out because you have no idea what the teacher is saying. And, of course, if you’re focused during the lesson then you won’t flunk the test.

These tips may sound simple, but if you follow them, then you’d be surprised how much energy you have during the day.

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