How To Stay Awake
Sometimes you've gotta work against yourself in order to get stuff done. There aren't always enough hours in the day so the only way to get by is to cheat your own body. Whether you are stopping yourself from dozing off at work or trying to survive a sting of nights out, it can be done.
If you are one of those superhumans who is actually able to take power naps, I envy you (seriously, how do you wake up?!). If you can do this, you are pretty much saved. There is also an alternative polyphasic sleep cycle you can develop, consisting of only four hours of unconsciousness, allowing you to optimize your time. You have to train your body to take four, hour-long naps throughout the day. This is of course, a long term solution and adapting to it is apparently torture. But hey, if it works, your waking life is extended significantly.
However, if you are unable to fall asleep without drifting off into dreamyland for multiple hours, all is not lost! Espresso does work, along with fresh fruits such as bananas and apples- healthy snacks can also help keep you more alert. You may not realize, but your mindset makes a big difference to how awake you are too. If you have something to look forward to, chances are, you will wake yourself up a little out of excitement. I often find that if I feel guilty about dropping off (for example, if I had to complete homework before sleeping) I am less likely to do so. This is because it is so much harder to nod off whilst feeling guilty or agitated- knowing something unfinished and unpleasant will be waiting for me when I wake up... Finally, awaken your senses and keep moving. Cold water does work wonders, along with bright lights, and loud noise. Yes, it is painful but consciousness is what you get.
Fighting sleep is not always the answer, but sometimes it's just a necessary evil w must all encounter. Good luck!