https://www.duolingo.com/profile/bumbleflowers

Does anyone else get REALLY SLEEPY after spending about 15-20 minutes learning?

I've been experiencing this often for maybe the last few months. It's not like I get bored or anything, I just start nodding off, and suddenly I'm fighting to keep awake. Thankfully, if I just close my eyes for a couple minutes, the sleepiness wears off, but it's just so weird and it makes studying really hard.

August 24, 2019

38 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Gh0stwheel
  • Do you wear glasses?
    Could it be time to check if your number changed?
    Or if you need glasses to begin with?

My brother recently felt the same as you.
After reading for a while he'd get tired,
which passed after closing his eyes for a few minutes.

Turns out he needed a very small number eyeglasses,
barely noticeable, just for reading and screens.
(His eyesight is great otherwise.)

  • Another option, if you do not use a dark mode,
    maybe Duolingo has become too bright for you
    after its last visual update a few months ago.
    Lots of people have complained about it.

An add-on that allows for dark mode on all websites, Duo included:
Firefox:
Dark Reader
Chrome :
Dark Reader
Safari :
Dark Reader
Because, "why limit yourself to a just one site add-on..."

August 24, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/SHT3z2e4

Checking vision is a great idea! Also, screen fatigue is real - the stuff gh0stwheel mentioned but also font size, screen motion, the lighting in the room around the device, etc, can affect your eyes. I have learned this for myself after far too many years of working and playing in front of computers.

The American Optometric Association has some great info on computer vision syndrome, even a diagram! https://www.aoa.org/patients-and-public/caring-for-your-vision/protecting-your-vision/computer-vision-syndrome

August 25, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/KateVinee

A screenwarmer/blue light filter can be really helpful. I use f.lux https://justgetflux.com/ on my laptop and Twilight http://twilight.urbandroid.org/ on my phone, but there are lots and lots of other options.

August 27, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/AlexBelche3

i second this, windows 10 actually has one built on, you go into settings, click the System tile, and under Display, there should be a toggle switch that says "night light". turn that on, click night light settings and schedule night light for whatever hours you need it, or just go sunset to sunrise, and windows will pull the time for your timezone and schedule the night light automatically.

August 28, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Dutchesse722

Yeah, I suffer from daytime sleepiness when I sit around too much. Besides the other commenters' suggestions, it may be better for you to break up your learning, if that's possible. Do a couple of lessons for 15-20 minutes, then take a break to do something else, like exercise, cleaning, cooking, whatever, as long as it involves some physical activity. As far as I know, studying in "chunks" helps you retain the material better, and it works for me. Good luck!

August 24, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/uphilldweller

"studying in "chunks" helps you retain the material better"

My current tactic is to spread lessons evenly across the day starting as early and finishing as late as possible. I don't know about retention yet; though I think my understanding has been helped.

August 24, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/HeyMarlana

I used to feel like this when I was young and had to study in highschool and college. It might have just been from overload of learning all the time and keeping a job and a social life. I was a busy girl between the ages of 16-21 when my learning and social life were at their peak. After that, my professional life took over and it left me room to relax and learn normally. When I was about 24 I took German in a nightschool course and I felt fine -- however it was also a classroom setting.

Being online might be a bit of a drag, staring at a screen for a long time. But if you also have more going on with school, work, and keeping social, then staring at a screen at any time of day is going to wear you out.

August 24, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/_M_M_.

If you get enough sleep at night, you may still get sleepy depending on what time of day and how soon after a meal you're studying.

But even if aren't getting sleepy, you should take at least a short break after every 20 minutes or so of learning. Otherwise you'll naturally lose focus and have a less productive time studying. If you're running sprints or lifting weights you learn to take a short break in between sprints or sets; your muscles need that break to recuperate and be more productive. Your brain isn't that much different when it comes to learning.

August 24, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/holdredial

It's normal. Your brain literally needs calories in order to think, and it burns more energy for anything that requires lots of effort and concentration.

I know one language well enough to understand nearly every word of ordinary podcasts or YouTube videos if I concentrate. But I never listen late in the evening because I don't just get sleepy, I conk out after just a few minutes.

August 25, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Judit294350

It is a good idea to take a break every 15-20 minutes anyway. Doesn't have to be much just get up and walk around the room. If you are concentrating really hard you brain needs a break. It also helps make the new info stick better.

August 24, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/b05aplmun.ca

You might try changing the time of day you study, if you can. Especially if you're now trying to work just before bedtime or during the early afternoon lull some of us experience,

August 24, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/uphilldweller

Why not take mid lesson breaks? Duolingo won't mind.

The eye test suggestion by the ghost makes sense as do HM and b05aplmun.ca's

August 24, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Hazeldite

This may seem like lame advice but do you ever try chocolate? It is delicious and helps me stay awake when I work at night. I also think it is good to work at different times throughout the day so that the material you are learning stays fresh on your mind.

August 24, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/hoges.110

Methinks the eyes have it. I can't bear looking at the screen for more than a few lessons. Otherwise I'd be spending much more time learning.

August 24, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Linda7Italian

You're so right, hoges. Even turned right down, that pure white glare just ain't fair, yo!

August 24, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/hoges.110

Totally, Linda! I actually thought there was something wrong with my phone. I had all the right settings enabled. Took it to the shop and they said, "It's all working fine!" Maybe they are supplied with light dimming, blue light reducing contact lenses or something. Sad.

August 25, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Judit294350

Actually, chocolate (or anything with lots of sugar) puts me to sleep :-)

August 24, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/GergelyTK

Chocolate mostly contains lactose (and/or fructose). Those are slow carbs. Did you tried glucose? If not, give it a chance.

August 25, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/b05aplmun.ca

The potential downside of using caffeine in any form too late in the day is that it can cause or aggravate insomnia. I'm not suggesting that you don't try it, but am suggesting that you be aware of the potential effects and ready to make changes in your caffeine consumption, if necessary.

August 25, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/GergelyTK

It is completely normal. It means that you are really focusing. Just like any other mentally challenging activity your brain turn on "beast mode" and burn as much energy as possible. (Hence you feel sleepy maybe experience even a slight dizziness.) After 15-20 minutes take a break and eat some carbs to refill your system.

August 25, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/EQKaspian

In my experience, how quickly I get tired is strongly correlated to how well I know the language. I'm relatively comfortable speaking/listening/reading/writing in German and Spanish, and I don't notice extra sleepiness when I'm working in those two languages anymore.

The first month of learning Turkish, however, I couldn't last more than 15 minutes without a break. I got so sleepy that my brain simply shut off... After 3-4 months, I'd still get tired, it just took a bit longer.

August 26, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/juliaithin

sometimes. it depends on the lighting tho.

August 25, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/DuyLuu8

I have the sleepiness problem when I have so much going on in my mind. When I can't focus on studying, and then get tired easily. If you get sleepy, try to find out if something is on your mind. If there is something, sort or resolve that in your mind first. For example, write that thought down on your to-do list to take care of later on your smartphone, then you get back to focusing on studying. A growing number of people suffer from depression and anxiety these days, which make studying super hard! I hope that helps!

August 25, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Martin239528

I've been saving Duo for the train home, when I expect to get tired from playing, it helps me sleep aha!

August 25, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Judy_Blue_Eyes

For me, it depends on how well I slept the night before. Afternoons are my study times so, about that time of day I begin to crash and burn.

August 24, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Michael704761

Happens to me a lot and after a few lessons I find myself nodding off especially when being a passenger in a vehicle doing my lessons I haven’t found a remedy for it either

August 25, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/acozybunny

Learning does that to you, especially if you're not used to it. Learning and using your brain literally burns calories. :3

August 26, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Dogtarget

I have this problem too, but I often study after eating and that is probably a big factor.

August 29, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Warren50434

I feel like that when I have been working long, hard hours for a few months. It usually happens after I've finished a big project and my body is now letting go and trying to rest, and more times than not, catch up on much-needed sleep.

August 26, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/LilacDaGenji

That's strange, I haven't had that occur to me

August 26, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Sikeryali

It's my last thing to do before going to sleep every night. Duolingo is my sleeping pill and I have really got addicted to it ;-)

August 26, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/JenniferH724468

I get that if I try and go longer than an hour. Get up and take a break, go make some tea, do a chore or two, try and break up your learning so that your brain gets a chance to digest what you have learned as it has to lay down new neural paths for every new word and sentence structure that you learn.

August 26, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/here2learnstuff_

Sometimes.

I take a break, have a coffee or walk around outside to help me snap out of it.

August 26, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Leslie725114

Yes, it happens to me every time I hit a new module but if I power through, by the end of the module I'm fine again!

August 26, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/BillTangren

Your brain runs on glucose. If you are learning something new, it burns a lot of glucose. It your blood can't supply it fast enough, you get sleepy. Kind of like exercising too hard for your muscles to burn fat, so they switch to glucose. After a workout like that, you can really crave carbs, because you ran out of glucose. Try carb loading before your lesson, or take breaks every fifteen minutes or so.

I have this problem too. The above is what my Dr. told me.

August 26, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Robert434576

It's very possible to have less to do with learning and more to do with staring at a computer screen ... Maybe it has to do with your ' Learning Style ' :: https://www.learning-styles-online.com/overview/

August 27, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ZakaryClar

fo sho!

August 27, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ArthurTeko

No

August 27, 2019
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