Don’t skip meals and reduce your daily caffeine intake

Dr Anoop Misra, director of the Centre of Internal Medicine, Fortis Hospitals tells you how to tackle common pre-exam symptoms and how you can boost your energy levels.

india Updated: Feb 22, 2012 01:54 IST
Hindustan Times
news,hindustan times,Anoop Misra

Question:As exams are drawing closer, my eyes and head hurt continuously. I take medicine almost every day. Please suggest an alternative? Sandeep Chauhan

Dear Sandeep: These are common symptoms before exams. Occurrence of headache and eye problem can be due to the following reasons:

Lack of sleep/ Sudden changes in sleep patterns


Excessive strain to the eyes

Change in power of spectacles

Stress or worry/anxiety


Skipping meals

Incorrect neck posture

Too hot or too cold atmospheric temperature

Taking too much of any medicine is not desirable. There are a number of other things that you can do to help avoid it/decrease intensity. Learn what triggers your headache (eg. loud noises) and then try to avoid those things.

Take a break from activities that provoke headaches and cause excessive strain to eyes. Make sure your room is well lit while you are studying.

Maintain correct neck posture while studying, sit upright and do not lean. Have regular meals; prefer having small meals at frequent intervals, do not skip any meal Take regular exercise.

If you take too much of caffeine, try reducing the amount of tea/coffee/energy drinks containing caffeine. Room temperature should be comfortable.

Your neck posture should be straight and comfortable, and preferably supported with a rounded pillow/cushion.

If it still continues, consult your physician for eye and ear testing.

Question: My son has been preparing for the Board exams and he feels exhausted all the time. Can you suggest some methods of boosting his energy levels? Deepak

Dear Deepak: Try the following health tips:

Sufficient Sleep:Many people sleep late at night and get up early in the morning. However, these improper sleeping patterns can disrupt mental focus. It is therefore advised to have 6-8 hours of uninterrupted sleep with 15-20 minutes of power nap during the day.

Have small meals at frequent intervals. Avoid greasy foods.

Foods high in omega 3 essential fatty acids are considered as 'focus enhancing foods'. Take for instance fish, walnuts, flaxseeds, almonds etc.

At least 15 minutes of exposure to sunshine daily will help.

Have adequate salt intake.

Eat at least two fruits per day

Take sips of fluids with electrolytes such as jaljeera/ nimbu paani/ lemonade/ buttermilk (chaach) etc., throughout the day

If your son takes too much caffeine, try reducing the amount of tea/ coffee/ energy drinks containing caffeine being consumed throughout the day.

Sometimes vitamin tablets (B12, vitamin D), or calcium becomes necessary; and your physician will decide when to supplement it.

First Published: Feb 21, 2012 23:53 IST