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7 Energizing Ways to Stay Awake at Work


Hi Tim,

Being sleepy at the workplace is a common problem for many people, and trying to stay awake when the eyes are feeling a bit heavy can be really challenging. To overcome daytime sleepiness at work, it's important that you find out why you're tired.

There are many things in a day that can make you feel extremely tired and sleepy at work. For example, staring at your computer screen over long periods of time, or sitting at your desk all day. Sometimes, fatigue can be caused by a medical problem such as depression, iron deficiencies (anemia), thyroid disease, heart valve problems, and lupus. A poor diet, weight problems, stress, boredom, low oxygen levels in the workplace as well as environmental toxins may also cause daytime fatigue and sleepiness.

All of the following natural pick-me-ups listed in this article will help awake your mind and re-energize your body naturally without caffeine. You can try any one of them but I strongly suggest you use a combination of methods below to see which one works best for you.


Best Ways to Keep Yourself Awake Naturally Without Caffeine

1. Drink Cold Water

Feeling tired and sluggish can often mean you're dehydrated so drink up to stay awake. However, avoid coffee, green tea and other caffeinated beverages such as sodas and energy drinks. Such drinks not only make you jittery, they're also highly addictive and can lead to a vicious cycle of tiredness.

I highly suggest you take wheatgrass juice as recent research has shown that the juice form wheat grass helps increase mental alertness and stamina, and promotes a feeling of general well being.

Alternatively, drink ice cold water. Cold water forces your body to regulate your internal body temperature and a little shiver will freshen and wake you up immediately. Another benefit of drinking cold water is your body will burn extra calories warming up the cold water to body temperature. Also, the frequent trips to the bathroom will help you to stay awake for the rest of the work day.



2. Wash Your Face

Similarly, if you wash/splash your face with cold water, the cold water helps drive away the feelings of sleepiness and drowsiness, and keep you alert during the day.



3. Chew Gum

It will also help immensely if you chew gum when you're hit by an unexpected wave of sleepiness at work. The action of chewing keeps your jaw moving and your brain awake, thereby increasing mental alertness and you concentrate better on what you're doing.

Chew a piece of strong-mint flavored sugarless gum, or suck on sugar-free hard candies to keep yourself awake naturally without caffeine.



4. Eat a Light Snack

Did you know that your blood sugar level can greatly affect your energy levels? If your blood sugar level is low, or drops just slightly below your target range, you may feel tired and sleepy, and have a hard time concentrating at work.

For this reason, you want to eat a light snack to get your blood sugar up. Fruits such as apples, berries and grapes are healthy foods that give you quick energy without causing you to have a sugar crash, which is often associated with foods high in refined sugar (junk foods) such as cookies, pastries, and jelly beans.

To avoid feeling sleepy after lunch (also known as afternoon slump), try to eat a smaller lunch that includes a healthy salad. Cut back on heavy lunches and unprocessed foods like hot dogs, and lunch meats.



5. Get Up

If you spend long hours looking at your computer or sitting down at your desk, then it's a good idea to get up and take 5 minutes to stretch your body whenever you feel sleepy. A lack of physical movement often makes us sluggish and fall asleep.

Twist your body, stretch your neck, jiggle your hands, arms, legs, and feet. Doing 10 to 15 consecutive squats, or other moderate physical activity will get your blood moving and work wonders to keep you awake naturally.

I personally like the idea of running up the stairs to stay alert whenever I feel my eyes getting heavy and shutting at work. It gets my heart pumping real good and this wakes me up significantly.



6. Breathe Deeply

Another tip to bring your mind back to alertness and keep awake at the office is to do this simple breathing exercise at your desk. Its calming effects will also help you better focus on your job and stay productive at work.

Inhale through your nose for 5 seconds, hold for about 3 seconds, and slowly exhale through your mouth for 15 seconds. This way, you get fresh supply of oxygen into your overworked mind.



7. Sunlight

When you're in darkness, your body produces sleep hormone, melatonin which makes you feel sleepy. Exposing yourself to natural sunlight would stop the production of melatonin so that your drowsiness goes away naturally and you feel alive again.

Get outdoors into the light and breathe in some fresh air. If you can't leave your desk, then open the windows and let as much natural light into your office as possible. Too much fluorescent lighting (in most offices) can tire your eyes and interfere with brain activity, leading to fatigue.





By Diane Hanson

Please tell me what can I do to stay awake at work. I usually get about 8 hours of sleep every night and wake up feeling well-rested and energized. However, I'm having a hard time concentrating at my desk; I feel so tired after lunch, very sleepy and drained of energy especially during the afternoon hours of the work day. Sometimes I find myself nodding off for a moment at my computer because I just can't keep my eyes open! I really have no idea what to do about it. I drink strong Cuban coffee as a quick energy booster to help keep me awake and alert. I'd love to hear any suggestions to avoid feeling sluggish and simple tips on how to keep awake at the office. Thank you! – Tim, Colorado.

what can i do to stay awake at work

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