How do I stop feeling crappy after studying?
December 28, 2009 12:38 PM   Subscribe

What tactics can I employ to stop feeling zombie/crappy/zapped out after studying/reading?

After I have been studying, or even just reading, I feel so exhausted afterwards. It's not the kind of exhausted feeling "this sucks" to study, but the kind where I my eyes are bugged out, I feel like a zombie, I have some type of slower reaction time to my surroundings, I feel like I get up and have to focus on things slowly, it's like I'm in a daze. And this sensation applies not just to when I'm studying but just reading the newspaper or things online for short periods of time (20 minutes). The thing is that I will want to take a nap after studying/reading and that gets me out of this funk. But this nap turns into sometimes HOURS. I don't feel as though as I am sleep deprived because even when I've had enough sleep, I'll study/read and then have to take something like a THREE HOUR NAP afterwards. Even recently reading this book at the book store for an hour or so (light reading) made me stare blankly at the wall for a while before I had the energy to get up out of my chair and put the book away.I hate this feeling and am wondering if there is something wrong with me.

Do other people get like this? And what tactics have other employed to stop this craptastic feeling? I mean, it's not even for long reading periods either, sometimes just reading google news just gets me in this bugged out/zapped out feeling. I just want to overcome this and keep going while I have to concentrate because sleeping HOURS screws myself up inside.
posted by anonymous to Education (10 answers total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
Sounds like a fairly intense reaction for reading the newspaper for 20 minutes...can't say I have ever experienced anything like even after hours of studying. Have you had your eyes checked - needing glasses and not wearing them could make reading more tiring. But honestly, talk to your doctor - 20 minutes of reading shouldn't make you as tired as you say it does.
posted by koahiatamadl at 12:48 PM on December 28, 2009

I'm reading and writing all day at work right now and know just how you feel. Even though you feel sluggish and it's the last thing that appeals, go for a walk or do some brisk exercise. I'm lucky in that I have a twenty minute walk home, so I just go a bit faster and let the movement and air clear my head. It doesn't need to be a big deal. Get your heart rate up a little to get the blood moving (hard out cardio isn't necessary) and, if possible, get outside to see the world and have a change in environment. This all helps me stay awake during the day then sleep better in the evening too since I'm a little more physically tired as well as mentally.
posted by shelleycat at 12:49 PM on December 28, 2009

Oh yeah, and needing my contact prescription adjusted makes this much worse, particularly when using a computer, so definitely get an eye exam too.
posted by shelleycat at 12:51 PM on December 28, 2009

I get this way all the time just now. Like shellycat says, doing the counterintuitive and forcing some activity seems to help in all but the worst cases. Regarding the worst cases - when it's so bad I actually feel hollow inside and breathing is an effort it means that I've either a) let my blood sugar get too low, b) am having a reaction to something I ate, or c) am having something I characterise as a migraine (even with no headache).

For non-pathological ennervating lassitude, get up and walk/do dishes/whatever (and think about using a timer to force a 10 minute break to do something like this every hour). For the pathological comatose thing, the fastest way over it is through it - losing consciousness seems to push a reset button for me, but it's really an unpleasant time-suck, so I try to avoid getting in that situation to begin with.
posted by magdalenstreetladies at 1:33 PM on December 28, 2009

Does your breathing rate slow down, perchance? Perhaps you need to set a timer and take a few deep breaths every 5 or 10 minutes. A doctor visit is definitely in order.
posted by Piscean at 2:00 PM on December 28, 2009

Do you read yourself to sleep at night? I do, and I often feel like that triggers a sleep cycle when I read, even during the day when I'm not tired.

I suppose I should just stop reading at night, but it's so much better than lying there waiting for sleep. (As I typed that, I realized how silly it is. I believe I will try to stop reading until I pass out.)
posted by nosila at 3:07 PM on December 28, 2009

It's all about breathing. You kind of hold your breath when you read. Just sort of pay attention to your breathing while you read.
posted by callmejay at 5:23 PM on December 28, 2009

I second the eye exam. In my case, it made all the difference. I never wore glasses before last fall and found myself falling asleep in my lecture class in the evening. The constant back and forth from my computer to the board was doing crazy things to my head.
posted by tmt at 7:18 PM on December 28, 2009

You need to breathe. Big. Deep. Much more than you think you need to.
If you're not sure how to breathe deeply, every once in a while, try holding your breath for as long as you can.
posted by Paris Elk at 11:43 AM on December 29, 2009

When was the last time you had a vision exam?
posted by Jacqueline at 12:12 PM on December 29, 2009

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