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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
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.
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.
Under stress and have no time to relax? These stress relieving ideas are easy to
fit into busy schedules and make you feel better right away. Restores your body and
mind to a calmer, more relaxed state.
Can't get motivated to work out every day, or find yourself making excuses not to
exercise all the time? We share some motivating ways to help you stick to your exercise
routine and get you back on track quickly.
Are store-bought nibbles eating up a big chunk of your food budget? Find simple-to-make
cheap and healthy snack ideas that will keep your waistline trim and taste buds perfectly
happy! Great for picky kids and adults.