Studying while others are asleep is no joke. But it’s a major part of being in medical school and your way of life as a med student. Staying awake is just an additional struggle you face, along with making sense of the case study in front of you.
We have six tips to help medical students stay awake while cracking those textbooks open. You need to pass USMLEs and other US medical exams and certifications to become a doctor someday.
6 Ways to Stay Sharp and Study While Others Sleep
Use these six tips for med students who need to stay up late studying. Your goal should be more than just becoming a doctor. You need to become a healthy physician, so you’re a role model to your patients. But much like other future doctors, to stay sharp, you have to study while others sleep.
1. Limit Caffeine Consumption
A cup of coffee is pretty effective at waking you up when you’re burning the candle at both ends while your roommate is sleeping like a baby. Coffee, however, may not always be the answer. Sure, it may help get you through a study session as you study to become a doctor. But the side effects of crashing from caffeine are not worth it at all. So, limit your caffeine intake.
2. Study at Your Desk
It’s so much easier to focus if you’re sitting up straight at your desk with your work laid out in front of you. If you try studying in your bed, chances are you are going to get too cozy and fall asleep. Not a great use of your time as a med student studying for USMLEs or BLS and ACLS certifications.
3. Drink Plenty Water
It’s vital to your health and wellness as a med school student to drink plenty of water, preferably ice-cold water. It’s always great to keep hydrated. Cold water gives you a little kick to keep you up, like a caffeine surge. Staying hydrated helps you concentrate on your medical goals better.
4. Indulge in Healthy Snacks
There is nothing more motivating than having something nice to snack on while you study. Your brain needs fuel to function. Try some mixed nuts or dehydrated fruits for convenience. A hearty meal may leave you feeling sluggish during class time or clinical rotations. So, keep some healthy snacks in your white coat to chomp on throughout the day.
5. Take Regular Breaks
Make sure you take regular breaks. Try to take a break for 5-10 minutes every 60 minutes to refresh your brain. Go for a quick walk, stretch your legs or even play with a fidget toy or squishy ball to help stretch your hands. You can only concentrate on medical stuff for so long before burning out during the day.
6. Wash Your Face
Splashing your face with cold water is effective at boosting you awake. It helps your feel instantly refreshed and revived, so you get through your busy day as a medical student. As long as it’s not freezing cold water (do NOT it), it will help you keep your mind focused on your medical tasks at hand.
Just remember, never overdo it. You need to study to pass those US medical exams and certification tests. That’s the only way you’ll succeed at becoming a doctor someday. And remember, you’ll probably have to study while others sleep.
Preparing to take the ACLS, BLS or USMLEs?
MedSmarter offers US medical exam tutoring services in the Atlanta, Georgia area. Learn tips and tricks for passing these tests from industry experts. Click the link below for details.