There are millions of old wives tales explaining how soldiers, Marines, airmen or sailors keep themselves awake. The military is the one place where you can count on sleep deprivation of all sorts, from the heavy eyelids of a 24 hour CQ or Staff Duty shift, to the directly imposed deprivation of SERE school. The point of all of this deprivation isn’t just to see if you can stay awake — you have to actually perform (at a high level of function) under these conditions. However, keeping those eyelids from shutting is the first step.

So how do they do it?

Here are a few methods I’ve tried: