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  #1  
Old 04-14-2005, 08:42 PM
PigBoy PigBoy is offline
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Tell me how to read books without falling asleep

I've always been one of those students that other hard-working students hate, the kind that can spend only 20 minutes studying for an exam and still get an A. But studying for exams aside, I do need to spend time simply reading books that have been assigned, especially if they've been assigned for writing a paper. However, try as I might, I cannot sit down and read a single book for more than half an hour (often less) without falling asleep! It never fails, no matter how interested in the material I am nor how wide awake I'd be if engaged in some other activity.

I'm tired of having to spread out the reading so much because I can get through so little at a time. Does anyone have good suggestions for me? Should I start drinking gallon upon gallon of coffee or something?
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  #2  
Old 04-14-2005, 10:32 PM
Lissa Lissa is offline
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Where are you reading? If you're too comfortable, that might be part of the problem.

Try reading in short bursts. Read for ten minutes, then get up and walk around. Think about what you read. In a while, go back to it and read a little more. Gradually work up the time that you're reading and slowly decrease the amount of breaks you take.
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  #3  
Old 04-14-2005, 10:41 PM
Kuizelemartz Kuizelemartz is offline
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I wish I had your problem. True, I wouldn't get much reading done, but, I wouldn't have to take a pill every night to sleep. I've never fallen asleep in my whole life doing anything like watching tv or reading a book.

Do you fall asleep while reading on the computer also? Or are you reading in a very comfy spot letting you sleep like a cozy chair or a couch? Can you read while sitting in a wood chair at a desk and still fall alseep? /gasp

If you figure out what makes you sleep, let me know, I want to try getting what you have.

Come on Ambien, please kick in, its 11:34 pm and I gotta go to sleep now.
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  #4  
Old 04-14-2005, 10:52 PM
Lakai Lakai is online now
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I wish I had could stay awake more, I hate being drowsy all the time. I envy Ravenous Lady.

I have had this problem ever since I started college. Here are all the things I have tried to do:

Drink water- While this did make me feel better it could not make me stay awake while reading anything I had no interest in.

Sugar water- This is no good because it kept me awake for a short while and then made me really tired. For this to work you would need a constant supply, which is unhealthy and habit forming.

Coffee- Gods gift to mankind. It works best without sugar. It might not taste good at first but you can get used to it. Problems include stained teeth and that it might reach the point that you will not be able to function without it.

Lollipops- A constant supply of continuos sugar. If you can handle so much sugar it will keep you vivid during your reading. The problems are that I was taking in too much sugar and not even the chocolate related sugar, which allowed my body to increase endorphin flow, but the sugar that just made me feel bad. Headaches and depression from lack of sugar formed all in the second day of continuos lollipop sucking.

Sugarless chewing gum- This is what I found works best. The movement of your mouth will keep your mind awake and focus. Some people find gum chewers to be disrespectful, so a small social stigma might follow with this tactic. Other than that it works pretty well.
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  #5  
Old 04-15-2005, 08:03 AM
js_africanus js_africanus is offline
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Read standing up. If you fall asleep, you'll find out quickly; if you don't find out quickly, you'll have mastered the Standing Nap!
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  #6  
Old 04-15-2005, 08:17 AM
Revtim Revtim is offline
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I'm exactly like the OP, but this only started later in life. I think I got "trained" to fall asleep reading because the past years I stopped reading for pleasure except in bed.
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  #7  
Old 04-15-2005, 12:29 PM
PigBoy PigBoy is offline
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In response to the first couple of replies, no, I don't have to be some place comfortable to fall asleep. The only requirement is reading a book and only reading a book; that is, going back and forth between a book and my own notes, or reading short sections of several books, will not generally put me to sleep. Actually, an exception to this seems to be reading between about 10 AM and noon--during this time I tend not to fall asleep so much.

Thanks for the several suggestions offered. I'll have to try them, except maybe the sleeping while standing one.
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  #8  
Old 04-15-2005, 12:40 PM
js_africanus js_africanus is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PigBoy
I'll have to try them, except maybe the sleeping while standing one.


Wear a helmet; you'll be fine.
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  #9  
Old 04-15-2005, 12:57 PM
Shirley Ujest Shirley Ujest is offline
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Open a big fat text book to the middle and slam your penis shut into it.

The endorphins released should keep you up for hours.


Hope this helps.
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  #10  
Old 04-15-2005, 01:34 PM
Colophon Colophon is offline
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My girlfriend has the same problem; I have the reverse - if I start reading late at night I will usually end up staying up until the early hours until I have finished the book

My brain just won't shut off. What's really annoying is that if I lie on the bed watching TV or listening to music (especially music) I can drop off in moments. But the instant I get out of my clothes, brush my teeth etc and go to bed properly, I'm wide awake again. Gah!

So, no tips from me I suppose.
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  #11  
Old 04-15-2005, 05:47 PM
Typically Sunday Typically Sunday is offline
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You could try listening to loud music while you read, or turning the TV on. The TV thing will only work if you have it on a fairly boring channel, otherwise you end up watching TV and not reading. I'd recommend watching an all-news channel: you probably won't feel the need to watch it constantly like regular shows, and it creates a nice monotone noise to keep you awake.
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  #12  
Old 04-15-2005, 11:21 PM
partlycloudy partlycloudy is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Typically Sunday
You could try listening to loud music while you read, or turning the TV on. The TV thing will only work if you have it on a fairly boring channel, otherwise you end up watching TV and not reading. I'd recommend watching an all-news channel: you probably won't feel the need to watch it constantly like regular shows, and it creates a nice monotone noise to keep you awake.
I swear by the Weather Channel.
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  #13  
Old 04-15-2005, 11:53 PM
InternetLegend InternetLegend is offline
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Are you getting enough sleep in general? If you drop off at inopportune times, you might just be sleep-deprived.
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  #14  
Old 04-16-2005, 07:33 AM
PigBoy PigBoy is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by InternetLegend
Are you getting enough sleep in general? If you drop off at inopportune times, you might just be sleep-deprived.
I do get enough sleep in general. It's pretty much just reading that causes me to fall asleep during the day.

Of course, after checking this thread yesterday, you know what I did. (No, I did not immediately go follow Shirley Ujest's advice, as wise as it is.) I went to read something--finished one chapter and then was out.
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  #15  
Old 04-16-2005, 07:42 AM
Go You Big Red Fire Engine Go You Big Red Fire Engine is offline
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I have the same problem. Start reading a book, 30 minutes later, out like a light. Having something sugary or fatty beforehand makes it happen faster.
Doesn't work when I want to go to sleep at night for some reason
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  #16  
Old 04-18-2005, 07:40 AM
js_africanus js_africanus is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PigBoy
I went to read something--finished one chapter and then was out.


Why do you think palace guards don't get chairs to sit on? And why did charcoal burners sit on one-legged stools?
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