A Business Insider article written by Robert Frost briefly discusses data extracted from a book, where it was discovered that students are able to maintain focus for around ten minutes in a lecture unless the professor introduces variety into their teaching (ex. through activities).
Past that point, students are likely to doze off. It is not an outrageous proposition that professors may be knowledgeable on their topic, but a fraction of them could be oblivious to how to make the teaching process oblivious. Using Clickers between slides is an effective method in UCLA classrooms. Not only does this encourage students to consistently show up to lecture, it also ensures that students can switch between notetaking and application of the content. Some instructors implement a five to ten minute break in the middle of lecture for students to recollect themselves, but one break may not be enough to sustain the focus of all students.
Go Ask Alice online answers the query of a student who sleeps six hours per night and cannot maintain focus in class when he/she is subject to "minimal engagement". Alice presents several possibilities for the student's sleepiness.
One possibility is that the student is not getting enough sleep. Due to the varying needs of sleep between individuals, Alice recommends the student find time to keep a sleep diary of how many hours of sleep he/she needs, and strive to hit this goal every night. It may also be true that lecture halls may induce sleepiness due to the warm and comfortable environment. It's similar to falling asleep mid-movie. It's also possible that the student experiences boredom. But overall, the student's own diagnosis was correct: people are less likely to nod on and off when they are actively discussing or engaging in class. The automaton suggests following a regular sleep schedule on weekdays and weekends in addition to stop consuming coffee, drinking alcohol, eating snacks, or smoking right before bed.
Amanda Dash writes for the College Magazine, and she offers a few humorous tactics to staying awake in class. She suggests befriending a neighboring classmate to keep you in check, drinking cold water, or tapping a pencil.
Everyday Health contributes a few more methods to staying awake in lecture. Taking a 20-mintue nap earlier in the day before class, close to noon, may help you stay awake during lectures. However, similar to caffeine, it is important to not nap too late in the day.
Otherwise, you will disrupt your sleep schedule, setting yourself up for a sleep-deprived cycle.