There are times when we just can't help it. The room is warm, the lecture is boring, or we just don't understand what the heck people are talking about in a meeting. We begin to zone out, we slouch back in our chairs, our eyes start to droop down. But we persevere! We fight the valiant fight against the temptation of public dormancy, and manage to stay alert (sort of). But even if you manage to miraculously win the battle, you've already lost the war.
Have you seen yourself when you're fighting for survival against you indecently exposed stupor? It's not pretty to say the least. Your eyes are visibly blank, sputtering and closing shop. Your spine is limp, exuding your lack of attention. Your mouth lacks the definition of a conscious mind, and your cheeks droop down like a sack of potatoes hitting the floor. You're a mess.
Even if you avoid the inevitable and manage to maintain some semblance of your mental alacrity, the damage is done. Everyone knows that your mind is in the tenth dimension and completely out of touch with reality. You've already blown it. Better luck next time.
So it's not enough to "stay awake" in these situations. Sleeping in a college lecture might have no consequences, but if you're in high school or an office setting, you're essentially out of luck. If the people around you realize that your mind is nowhere to be found, then the exact medical condition of your attentiveness isn't particularly pertinent. Those people are going to form the same opinions about you regardless of whether you truly lost consciousness or not.
So your goal shouldn't be to avoid sleeping in these public settings, but to avoid drowsiness altogether. One more reason to get ample shuteye, right?
Crossposted from my main blog