The 20 Best Tips For Optimizing Your Energy as a College Student

According to an article published by Schiffert Health Center, college students tend to lose energy based on two parameters: psychological and physical. It is said that energy loss that lasts one month or less could be interrelated with physiologic or physical exhaustion. On the flip side, if your energy is depleted for three months or more, this could already be considered psychological fatigue caused by mixed factors.

A similar study found that nearly 30 percent of college students reported feeling tired or sleepy every day for a week. This data proves how college students are consequently suffering from stress and sleep deprivation.

college students - having fun together

Many college students suffer from daytime sleepiness and disrupted sleep patterns, with 50% reporting daytime sleepiness and 70% reporting inadequate sleep. In turn, college students suffer from consequences of not having enough sleep at night, and these are:

  • Lower GPA scores
  • Increased probabilities of failing academically
  • Compromised learning
  • Mood swings
  • High risks of vehicle accidents

The majority of college students, like many Americans overall, are sleep-deprived! During their college years, the average college students sleep 6 to 6 and a half hours per night, and sleep deprivation become more prominent because of the overwhelming amount of activities. It becomes more difficult for them to prioritize getting enough sleep when they’re overwhelmed with too many to-dos. 

The current generation of college students needs to juggle school, projects, family obligations, extra-curricular activities, and sports. All these events demand some of your time, resulting in some students compromising their sleeping time, resulting in excessive tiredness or fatigue. Add to that the examinations and tests students need to have, and they’re in for the long ride of stress and sleepiness throughout the school year.

You could probably relate if you’re a college student and you’re out here reading this blog in the hopes of finding some tips to optimize your energy. You’ve come to the right place; this blog post will be tackling tips for you to become reenergized and proactive as a college student. 

Here are 20 tips to optimize your energy as a college student:

1. Get 8 Hours of Sleep Everyday

Studying for long hours and consuming caffeine to pull an all-nighter is not a good long-term plan for succeeding in school. The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) says that adolescents up to 18 should sleep eight to 10 hours daily and seven to eight hours for adults. It might seem unrealistic for some students to get a solid eight hours of sleep on a weeknight, but the body and brain need a certain amount of sleep for fundamental reasons. Here’s why:

  • It keeps your circadian rhythm balanced.

A big part of sleep regulation is your Circadian rhythm affected by light and darkness in your environment. Additionally, any changes in your health have a significant impact on other aspects of your life. Circadian rhythms influence cycles in the sleep-wake cycle, hormone release, body temperatures, eating habits, digestion, and other essential body functions.

  • It allows you to have an excellent rapid eye movement (REM) cycle.

The brain stores newly acquired information in long-term memory as you sleep. American Psychological Association (APA) experts said this occurs most often during rapid eye movement (REM), about 6 to 8 hours into your slumber phase. You need to sleep a certain amount to reach the REM state and retain what you learned during your studies.

  • It allows you to function all day the next day.

You will feel better prepared for getting through whatever you face tomorrow by getting a good night’s rest. Studying or working long hours can leave students lacking in sleep. This may make them drowsy, restless, and tired during the day and have difficulty concentrating, taking examinations, or making decisions.

READ: Tips to Keep You Awake For Your College Exam

Sleep for energy

2. Develop Time Management Skills

Students with effective time management can accomplish more in less time since they are less distracted and focus on the tasks rather than wasting time doing something irrelevant. As students cross items off their things or homework to do, stress is also reduced. Feeling accomplished from fulfilling goals can contribute to psychological well-being. For example, learners might target to finish an assignment before or by Friday to hang out with friends on the weekend.

Additionally, a student can accomplish more by using time efficiently and be more engaged with their learning by keeping track of their schedules and finding more time for other interests like sports, music, and other hobbies. They can also find time for their loved ones and friends. 

Here are some quick tips to help you manage your time:

  • Get rid of time-wasters by prioritizing tasks and setting goals.
  • Prepare a to-do list.
  • Establish routines.
  • Don’t multitask.
  • Take a break but spend it wisely.
  • Delegate tasks and ask for help when necessary.

ALSO READ: The 8 Best Time Management Apps for College Students

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3. Exercise Daily

Improve your mental and emotional well-being by exercising! Studies have revealed that students can reduce their daily stress by 20 percent through physical activity. A daily routine for exercise that is consistent is most likely to work for you! In addition, exercising in the morning can get you in the right frame of mind for the rest of the day. So, if you’re a morning person, add this to your morning ritual. 

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Understand the following benefits of exercising:

  • Helps you to stay fit and avoid weight gain.
  • Makes you sleep better at night.
  • Boosts your academic rigor and performance.
  • It can be continued as a routine even after college.
  • Makes you healthy and stabilizes your immune system.
  • Decreases your stress. 
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4. Get Some Sun (even during winter)

A student’s health, well-being, and academic performance intensely rely on natural light cycles daily.  The blue light you get during the day boosts your disposition, concentration, focus, and energy levels. Researchers have found that students’ exam scores, attendance, and demeanor increase when exposed to natural light.  School lights and most other indoor lighting are optimized only for visual objectives and fail to consider any biological effects of light. Consecutively, a healthy sleep cycle also requires exposure to bright light during daytime and darkness at night.  

Vitamin D can be increased, and mood can be elevated when exposed to the sun’s rays. Ten to fifteen minutes of being exposed to the sun can be beneficial to most people. Wearing broad-spectrum sunscreen daily, with a minimum SPF of 30, will prevent sun damage and reduce health risks. Even during winter, when the air is cool, and it’s harder to tolerate getting some sun in this season, it’s still imperative for college students to go out and enjoy the colder temperatures. Whatever the season is, make it a habit to get some sun and see how it can optimize your energy levels.

Sunshine for energy

5. Use Red Light Therapy

Red light therapy is designed to increase energy production by increasing the body’s ability to utilize food as an energy source. Red light can strengthen the mitochondria in the cell, which is the source of cellular energy. Hence, energy levels increase by this procedure. Thyroid function also improves with red light therapy.

Red Light Therapy also benefits you in these ways:

  • Improves skin health
  • Clears out acne
  • Heals wounds
  • Improves hair density
  • Alleviates pain
  • Helps in bone recovery
  • Contains anti-inflammatory benefits
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6. Take 30-60 minute walks daily

Walking at any time of day, either alone or with friends, classmates, or loved ones, can positively impact your health and energy! This walk could range from 30 to 60 minutes daily. The experience is fun, and you may not even realize that you’re exercising and shedding off weight and fats while you’re exploring your campus or the surroundings. You can share a genuine and fun conversation with your walking buddy as you do brisk walking together. A walk in the fresh air can even increase alertness and make it a more constructive conversation.

Walking every day helps people: maintain a healthy weight, build a stronger spine, improve their balance and coordination, and maintain a healthy weight, says the Mayo Clinic. Further, as the Mayo Clinic stated, these benefits will be more significant if you walk more often, faster, and farther. Simply wearing supportive shoes and maintaining good posture can make your daily walks more effective.


7. Break up your Studying and Stay Active with Your Body in Between Study Sessions

Students often overlook the importance of study breaks. You should take a break from doing your homework to relax because this gives your brain a chance to recharge, leading to gains in your productivity and refreshing your mind. A break where you can do something fun, like cooking, listening to music, or conversing with friends, provides energy and motivates you to finish your study task.

Being too focused on studies may lead to burnout. Breaking up your study time can prevent this dangerous possibility and help you stay focused. One way to spend your study breaks is to keep active with your body in between study sessions. This means you can go outside of your room or study place to breathe into a different environment, go for a stroll, and appreciate the trees or greenery around you. You can also insert some simple exercises like stretching, planking, sit-ups, or crunches while you pause from studying. 

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8. Meditate

By focusing on the present, meditation can help you relax. Meditation enables you to listen and feel deeply, revealing the little miracles encountered throughout the day. Accepting what happens and being in the moment will allow you to become more purposeful and less anxious. Moreover, your memory can be sharpened, and your patience can be developed. Meditating gives you that inner peace, allowing you to save your energy and not sweat the small stuff that happened with your day.

Meditation can impact your personal and professional life. Performing this self-activity can help students study more efficiently, remember information better during tests, and reduce stress in challenging situations. This does not require so much effort, yet their benefits are optimal!

Meditation college health

9. Listen to Calming Music

Music is listened to in large part by students worldwide because it supposedly helps students focus better on their studies. Some say music is essential to revising a paper or studying, as, without it, the silence could be too deafening. Some, however, argue that music is distracting during work and study and need silence to perform best. Thus, in conclusion, this will have to depend on individual preferences and personal habits.

Get familiar with the pros of music in your life as a college student:

  • Besides releasing pleasurable emotions, music can also increase your levels of dopamine, which makes you happier.
  • Research proves that listening to music causes the brain to release dopamine. In addition to promoting happiness and excitement, dopamine is also a neurotransmitter that regulates learning.
  • Scientists have discovered that people with a positive outlook may solve problems more efficiently than those in a negative or neutral frame of mind. Music has become an effective mood booster for some people.
  • Students also study better with calming music that can help reduce their stress and anxiety.

Studies reveal that when you enjoy music, you lower the level of cortisol in your body. Feelings of stress and anxiety are produced by cortisol, a hormone produced by the adrenal glands.

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10. Selective Use of Caffeine

Energy drinks are very popular on college campuses. However, they can be abused and disrupt your sleep. Most energy drinks like Bang include caffeine plus other energy or mood-enhancing ingredients like B vitamins and Taurine. But plan it out. If you’re going to have a 9-11 pm study session with a midnight bedtime, take your caffeinated drink at least 3-4 hours before bed. Depending on the dosage, you may want to push that back to 6 hours. 300mg of caffeine is a lot and could keep you up past your desire bedtime. Our rule of thumb is to reserve about 1 hour for over 50mg of caffeine. So, if you’re only drinking 100mg of caffeine, it’s fine to have it only an hour or two before bed.  But if you’re drinking 300mg as you find in the most popular energy drinks, you’re talking 5-7 hours.,

Optimizing Student Energy Fact - Caffeine Consumption

If you really want to feel amazing for a late-night study session, here’s how to douse yourself in caffeinated endorphins:  do an intense 20 minute HIIT workout fueled by a caffeinated pre-workout drink with mood enhancers. If you go completely balls to the wall 20 minutes after having your pre-workout, then you will come out of your HIIT workout feeling energized and blissful, and that will last a good 2-3 hours before you may or may not hit a brick wall and fall soundly asleep, with some much deserving rest.

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11. Listen to Energizing Music

Some students love to listen to groovy music while studying as it keeps them awake, alert and focused. A blank space might be even more captivating if it is filled with music. A pair of headphones can be an effective remedy in a student lounge filled with students busy with chitchats and overly loud voices. The proper album at a moderate volume could help drown out your roommate’s incessant SMS messaging. You can listen to your favorite rock, pop, or dance music artists or bands. 

However, that’s not all there is to it. Music is a defense against what could be defined as weapons of mass distraction: it may have significant evolutionary importance in how humankind comes to digest and anticipate patterns and events in a chaotic world.

Healthy food for school

12. Eat Healthily

According to research, a healthy emotional and physical state of being is usually associated with better academic performance. It leads to fewer absences, decreased risk of antisocial behavior, increased concentration, and higher test scores. Unfortunately, though, most of those students who attend class are not in optimal health.

It is difficult for busy college students to eat healthy meals and prepare them to hop from one task to another. This is why a quick list of healthy eating ideas is helpful.

The following suggestions will inspire you.

  • Balance your meals:

To achieve proper nutrition, you should consume foods from at least three food groups. It is crucial to consume various dairy foods, fruits, grains, healthy proteins, and vegetables every day. Moreover, diets high in fat, sugar, and salt should be severely modified. In addition, fatty meats such as bacon, hot dogs should be avoided or toned down for consumption. You may also avoid using vegetable oils like soybean or canola because they junk up your cellular metabolism.

  • Drink water: 

Your body should be adequately hydrated for optimum health. Do not disregard the need for water regardless of your thirst level. Waiting for thirst means you’ve already begun to dehydrate.

  • Don’t forget dairy: 

Dairy products contain calcium and other nutrients essential to the human body. You can add milk or yogurt to your meal, and you can opt for the low-fat types. With your meal, try soy or almond milk if you don’t drink cow’s milk.

  • Keep a regular schedule: 

Eat three meals and snacks per day to keep your metabolism active and your energy levels sustained. You’ll remember to eat more quickly if you schedule mealtimes, especially breakfast. Fruit, nuts, and granola bars are good choices for portable snacks.

  • Read the Nutrition Facts label: 

You can find the Nutrition Facts in the Nutrition Facts label to see how many ingredients and nutrients each food contains. These figures will let you know how much salt and fat you are consuming, and they may give you some insight into what vitamins and supplements you’re feeding your body. This will make you understand how much energy is sustained, considering the calorie amounts too. 

  • Use smaller plates: 

You are likely to overeat on larger plates if you don’t follow this tip. By staying away from excess-sized bowls and glasses, you’ll be in a better position just to eat as much as your silverware could contain. 

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13. Take Vitamins and Supplements Regularly

The brain can be boosted with various vitamins and nutrients. In addition to zinc and iodine, minerals such as folate, vitamin B6 and B12 can contribute to normal brain cognition and help prevent fatigue, which is a common cause of procrastination among students. Essential fatty acids such as Omega-3 and DocosaHexaenoic Acid (DHA), which are part of Omega-3, can aid the brain to function adequately, making you learn more effectively.

Here are some foods that give your brain energy:

  • Zinc can be found in meat, fish, garlic, nuts, legumes, and dairy products
  • Iodine is present in bananas, strawberries, eggs, seaweed, seaweed, turkey, and yogurt.
  • Vitamin B6 is found in pork, duck, eggs, chicken, nuts, milk, fish, and cereals.
  • Vitamin B12 can be found in meat, cereals, and fish
  • Omega-3 is found in fish, egg yolks, and nuts.

While it may seem overwhelming to incorporate each of these vitamins into your ongoing diet, there are some natural supplements in the market these days to aid your body easier. If you add these supplements as quickly as you can, you will see benefits within a few weeks.

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14. Apply Better Studying Habits

Optimizing your entire life requires developing good habits. It doesn’t take much willpower to keep them going once they’re established, and they could be comparably similar to self-discipline.

Here are some quick ways to develop good studying habits for you as a college student:

  • Make sure you have a good reason to work on your study habits, such as receiving better grades, doing well on tests, or experiencing lesser stress from tight deadlines.
  • Put a routine in place that you intend to keep, such as studying in a specific location on schedule.
  • Put your plan into writing. Tell someone about it. This will keep you going as they will keep reminding and motivating you. 
  • Get as comfortable with that routine as much as you can and repeat it regularly until you are accustomed to it.
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15. Stay Hydrated

This tip applies not only to college students but to almost anyone who seeks to have a better and healthy lifestyle. Water therapy plays a significant role in ensuring your body systems work well every day. You may have probably heard your mom or elderly loved ones tell you to keep drinking water when you feel under the weather. This is because water heals and flushes down any harmful elements out of your body.

If you’ve been pulling an all-nighter due to some exams that you’ve been cramming for the entire night, you might result in drinking coffee or some beverages. You may have added coffee to your study session at some point. Drinking coffee or other drinks is understandable when you’re studying, and remember to stay hydrated with water.

Irritated skin, headaches, degraded mood, and poor concentration are just some of the symptoms of mild dehydration. Even one of these issues may significantly affect your ability to learn and retain information, so staying hydrated is an excellent way to keep your good condition and maintain enough energy for studying.

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16. Use Essential Oils To Boost Energy

A plant’s essential oils are extracted from its leaves, flowers, or roots according to several methods such as steam or water distillation or mechanical techniques. The use of essential oils in aromatherapy is most common. Inhaling them or applying diluted versions directly to the skin usually makes you feel calm, relaxed, and reenergized.

Many essential oils can be used to enhance focus, motivation, and energy and improve overall health. There are approximately 100 commonly used essential oils. Here are some of the popular ones:

  • Peppermint essential oil

Peppermint essential oil was tested to prevent fatigue and increase exercise performance by a study conducted in 2013.

  • Sweet orange and spearmint essential oils

An inhalation of sweet orange essential oil (Citrus sinensis) and spearmint essential oil has improved athletic performance.

  • Rosemary essential oil

Researchers found in a 2012 study that rosemary oil presented stimulatory effects that impacted mood states, brain waves, and your body’s nervous system. Later on, a study conducted in 2018 on schoolchildren showed that rosemary might help improve concentration and memory, facilitating memorization.

  • Lemon essential oil

Based on a study published in 2008, lemon oil was shown to enhance moods reliably. Despite the need for further research on the effects of lemon essential oil, it has been traditionally believed that the scent of citrus fruits is refreshing and uplifting.

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17. Eat at Regular Time Intervals

Make sure you eat regularly – typically every 3-4 hours. A person’s hunger increases if they go too long without food, leading them to over-eating. In the evening, if you eat a snack, do so after dinner and before going to bed.

Eating on schedule prevents energy slumps and extreme starvation, which can trigger binge eating. A snack is recommended between meals, especially if they are more than four hours apart. Be prepared to have snacks anytime by loading the refrigerator, freezer, and cupboard with nutritious, easy-to-prepare foods. You can go for healthy food and easy meal options like whole-wheat bread, cereals, lentils, nuts, pasta, salads, eggs, soups, yogurts, fruits, vegetables, and milk.

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18. Take a Nap

The American Psychological Association (APA) says taking naps can be beneficial to student’s health. Taking a short nap can keep you alert, improve your immunity, decrease stress, and improve your immune system. Sleep debt can be rectified by taking a nap. Either way, you may want a nap for 20 minutes or a longer nap of 90 minutes. Dividing the difference can lead to increased sleepiness. Sleeping for more than an hour, you will be at your most profound slumber that time, making it difficult to wake up. However, sometimes a 90-minute nap is enough to make your brain feel refreshed after waking up.

Optimizing Student Energy Fact - Benefits of Taking a Nap

College students may experience sleep deprivation and “sleep debt” for several reasons, all related to their college, family, and personal life obligations. Hence, when night sleep is lacking, a nap could be a sustainable alternative.

Here are some significant advantages of taking naps:

  • Depletes stress levels
  • Boosts immune systems
  • Helps you sustain all-nighters
  • Sustains energy even for after-class parties
  • Aids memory (post-discussion and classes)Improves alertness (during lessons)
  • Balances moods
  • Makes you decide better and smarter
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19. Get a Massage

College students have a hectic lifestyle that can be very taxing. People in this age group seem always to have something to do, whether it’s meeting their classmates for their thesis or attending a birthday bash of a friend. Due to coursework intensity and coursework, many students may seek relief from their stress by engaging in harmful activities such as drinking alcohol or even smoking. This can cause students to fall behind in their studies, and they may feel stressed out from the activities even more. Even more time and effort are required for a full recovery from those activities.

These students might not realize there are other ways to de-stress, such as massage therapy, which is healthier and safer. Relax and enjoy a massage for as little as $25 if you are looking to find some time to decompress from your hectic life. The massage session is an opportunity for participants to release their daily stresses and take advantage of some leisure time at their disposal. While you undergo this process, you won’t ever need to think about anything else but stay in the moment. During your “me time,” you can get rid of all the strain from tests or projects and focus on yourself and your body.

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20. Spend Some Time in Nature

By being in nature or watching wilderness scenes, you can reduce anger, fear, and stress and experience a greater sense of well-being. By being outdoors, you not only feel better emotionally, but you also contribute to your physical well-being, reducing stress hormones, having normal blood pressure, healthy heart rate, and minimize muscle tension. According to research done in hospitals, workplaces, and schools, even a single houseplant in a room can affect stress and anxiety.

Here are some benefits of being with nature:

  • Improves vitality
  • Boosts immunity
  • Improved mood and increases happiness
  • It can be a spiritual practice
  • Inspires creativity
  • Improves memory and cognitive function