How to stay awake at work

This article was co-authored by Rahti Gorfien, PCC. Rahti Gorfien is a Life Coach and the Founder of Creative Calling Coaching, LLC. She specializes in working with artists, entrepreneurs, and college students in creative fields. Rahti is accredited as a Professional Certified Coach (PCC) by the International Coach Federation, an ACCG Accredited ADHD Coach by the ADD Coach Academy, and a Career Specialty Services Provider (CSS). In addition, she has personal experience in the fields she coaches – she is an alumnus of the New York University Graduate Acting program and has been a working theater artist for over 30 years. She was voted one of the 15 Best Life Coaches in New York City by Expertise in 2018.

There are 8 references cited in this article, which can be found at the bottom of the page.

wikiHow marks an article as reader-approved once it receives enough positive feedback. This article received 11 testimonials and 86% of readers who voted found it helpful, earning it our reader-approved status.

This article has been viewed 2,451,111 times.

Whether you partied all night, stayed up with a newborn, or lost sleep while finishing up a project, now you’re at work and you’re having a difficult time staying awake. You promise yourself that you’ll get more sleep if you can just make it through the day without being discovered by your boss with your eyes closed. Falling asleep on the job can risk your employment, and may signal a larger problem with your sleep habits.

How to stay awake at work

Some useful tips to avoid that embarrassing situation and keep your caffeine levels at a healthy level.

Falling asleep at work happens. And it’s not a dream situation. Your eyelids begin to weigh, your computer screen becomes blurry and your head begins to nod off. Worst case scenario: you collapse on the desk, drawing the attention of all your colleagues and your boss. But fortunately, that is something you can prevent with a bunch of tips you can easily apply – unless your job is to be a mattress tester.

How to stay awake

You’re probably thinking about coffee right now, aren’t you? Well, it may seem like the most obvious solution: it’s stimulating, it boosts your energy almost immediately and sometimes it tastes good! But it can also be dangerous. According to the Mayo Clinic, four cups of coffee a day can cause side effects like migraine headache, irritability, fast heartbeat and muscle tremors. It’s not worth it. So if you want to avoid falling asleep at work without compromising your health, just keep reading.

Stay active

Sitting for several hours in a row doing the same activity can trigger a feeling of drowsiness. A good solution is to take activity breaks every few hours. This doesn’t mean you have to exercise as if you were in the gym – although it’s not a bad option: a simple walk around your workplace can be enough, as movement improves blood flow and keeps your brain alert. If possible, go outside in daylight to regulate your circadian rhythms.

Talk to somebody

“I get by with a little help from my friends”. Or colleagues, so to speak. Having a conversation of at least five minutes with one of your co-workers awakens alert levels and breaks the monotony. It works better when the topic isn’t about work and it’s done face-to-face away from the desk.

Eat snacks

Yawning? You might just be hungry. Or maybe you really need to keep your blood sugar levels steady. Snacks are a good way to get that extra energy you need, especially if you remember to eat some every two or three hours. Stay away from drinks with added sugar, energy bars or junk food and go for healthier choices. Some ideas to inspire you: granola, yogurt, fresh fruit or, nut mix

Drink your water

Dehydration can cause fatigue and problems focusing, according to the Journal of Nutrition. So sometimes a good glass of water can be more effective than a cup of coffee in keeping attention. Get a reusable water bottle and fill it at least twice a day; it not only boosts your hydration, but it will make you get up more times to visit the bathroom and get more exercise. Two birds with one stone.

Play some music

Just as there is music to fall asleep, there is also music to stay awake. The most energizing genres are those related to rock, pop and electronic music, as long as they are not monotonous. If you use headphones, keep in mind that turning up the volume may prevent you from falling asleep at work, but it will also affect your hearing.

More than tired

All right, you already have the remedies to avoid falling asleep at work. But have you thought about what’s causing that tiredness? It can be something occasional, like those drinks after work that got too long, or binge-watching the last season of the trendiest tv show, or a crying baby next door. But when sleep deprivation becomes persistent, there may be other important reasons to consider.

Sleep disorders, like EDS (Excessive Daytime Sleepiness) or sleep apnea are the most frequent causes of disrupted sleep, and are not so obvious like traditional insomnia. So if you feel tired all the time, a visit to the doctor may be necessary. But also a poor diet or stress can be contributing factors to tiredness, so keep an eye on that.

But we have good news. Recent studies have shown that taking a nap at work can improve productivity, improving cognitive function, short-term memory, reaction times and mood. So if your job allows it, don’t hesitate to close your eyes when your body asks you to. However, for the effects to be felt, the nap must have a certain duration. Falling asleep at work, oh yes!

In a perfect world, everyone would get a full eight hours of sleep at night and feel awake and ready to go throughout their day at work. In reality, however, just about everyone has experienced the feeling of exhaustion in the workplace. This is not only bad for productivity, but it can also be extremely dangerous in many lines of work. Finding effective ways to stay awake at work is critical. As with most things, every option will have different advantages and disadvantages that need to be taken into account.

Tips for Staying AlertHow to stay awake at work

Proven Options for Staying Awake at Work If you are at work and feeling tired, try one or more of the following options that have been proven to help people perk up at work:

  • Eat some Fruit – Fruit will help to give you some quick energy because it is filled with natural sugars. It is much healthier than a candy bar and won’t lead to the crash. Snacking on one piece of fruit every 20-30 minutes can be very effective.
  • Drink Water – Many people feel tired because they are dehydrated. Drinking water can really help you to wake up quickly. If possible, drink cold water to make it even more effective.
  • Turn Up the AC – Cold air helps to push your body into generating heat to stay warm, which will help keep you from feeling tired.
  • Caffeine – Coffee, tea, or even a diet soda can give you a nice burst of energy because of the caffeine. There are some health concerns (especially with the soda), but when you really need to wake up, there are few things more effective.
  • Exercise – If you’re feeling tired at work, step away for a break and run up and down the stairs a time or two. This will quickly wake you up and can help you stay alert for quite a while.
  • Music – Listen to your favorite music to stay alert. Some data suggests that jazz music is especially effective at waking you up because the music moves all over the place and doesn’t follow a rhythmic beat.
  • Take a Nap – Taking a 30-minute lunch break and sleeping can be very effective. Brief ‘power naps’ can really help give you the energy you need to get through the rest of the day.

Of course, the best way to avoid feeling tired at work is to make sure you get enough sleep at night. When possible, stick to a good sleep schedule, get a bed that helps you to sleep soundly, and take whatever other steps are necessary to get a good night’s sleep.

February 15, 2022

Copy to Clipboard

No matter where you may work, you need energy to stay productive and engaged. Feeling tired at work can make it difficult to handle your everyday tasks and positively engage with those around you. Everyone has times when they feel sleepy or unmotivated, but figuring out how to feel revived can help boost your performance. In this article, we offer tips to help you stay awake at work when you’re tired.

Why it’s challenging to be tired while at work

Productivity is a key measurement of workplace success, but being productive requires energy. If you’re feeling tired because you didn’t sleep well the night before or you stayed up too late, you may have trouble being productive and remaining engaged. It’s tempting to nod off at your desk, but doing so can have worrisome consequences. Remaining focused and alert during your workday can help you achieve your individual and organizational goals while being a valued and important member of the team.

Sleepiness can also make it more difficult to focus on your tasks, which could cause you to fall behind at work. In certain roles, being tired could jeopardize your safety and the safety of those around you, particularly in jobs that require the use of machinery or equipment or the following of critical safety protocols.

How to stay awake at work when tired

Although everyone has days when they feel more tired than usual, it’s important to take action to alleviate the sleepy feelings as much as possible. Follow these tips to increase your awareness and resist the desire to take a nap.

1. Take a walk

When you sit still for too long, you might start to feel tired and sluggish. Moving your body can improve blood circulation and help you feel more awake. When you’re feeling sleepy at work, get up and walk around the office or head outdoors for some fresh air.

2. Turn on the lights

The human body follows circadian rhythms for sleep, and one of the strongest external cues that affect these rhythms is the amount of light we can see. Combat tired feelings by turning on more lights in your workspace. If you have a window nearby, open the blinds or curtains to let natural light into the space. If you don’t work near a window or you work after the sun has gone down, turn on overhead lights and lamps to brighten the workspace.

3. Take scheduled breaks

When you sit or stand still for a long period, you might start to feel tired. Schedule breaks on your work calendar that allow you to stand up and move around. You could take a short break to walk around the building or jog in place for a few minutes. By scheduling movement breaks into your workday, you become more likely to take that time to refresh and rejuvenate yourself.

4. Get a drink

Dehydration can make it difficult to concentrate and cause sleepy or sluggish feelings. Make sure you’re drinking plenty of water to keep your body hydrated and avoid these unpleasant side effects. Drinking cold water can also help you feel more refreshed and awake, so add some ice to your bottle.

Consuming caffeine is another way to give yourself a boost of energy. Whether you like coffee, tea or caffeinated soda, you might find that drinking one of these beverages at the start of your shift can help you feel more energized throughout your workday. Sipping a cold, caffeinated drink might also provide that refreshing feeling that keeps you feeling alert.

5. Eat a healthy snack

Another factor that can cause you to feel tired is your body’s blood sugar levels. When the levels drop, you might feel sleepy or have trouble concentrating on your work. Eating healthy snacks throughout the workday can prevent the crash and help you feel more awake. Try to keep snacks available with a good balance of carbohydrates, protein and healthy fats, such as:

Nuts and dried fruit

Yogurt and granola

Wheat crackers and peanut butter

Vegetables and cottage cheese

A hard-boiled egg and a slice of wheat bread

6. Smell something energizing

Certain scents can revive the brain and help you feel more alert. Peppermint and citrus scents are the most commonly used for energizing. Keep a bottle of essential oil on your desk and smell it when you’re feeling sleepy. You might also add an oil diffuser to your workspace and diffuse energizing scents during the times of day when you tend to feel most tired.

7. Complete easier tasks first

Feeling sleepy can make it more difficult to focus on challenging or complex tasks. If you feel tired at any point during your workday, try to use this time to finish some of your easier tasks, such as organizing your files or clearing out your email inbox. After completing these tasks, you might find that you’re feeling more energized and ready to take on the more difficult tasks.

8. Listen to music

Music can also stimulate your brain and help fight sleepy feelings. If you share a workspace with coworkers, wear headphones to avoid disturbing them. If you’re working at home or by yourself in the office, turn up the volume and enjoy some rock, pop or classical music.

9. Talk to a coworker

Engaging in a conversation is also stimulating for your brain. When you’re feeling tired, walk over to talk to a coworker in person. Even if you’re talking about work tasks, engaging in a face-to-face conversation can help you feel more alert than sending an email on the same topic.

10. Improve your sleep habits

If you’re constantly tired at work, you may need to make some changes to your lifestyle and habits. Try to avoid using caffeine and other stimulants in the afternoon and evening to help your body prepare for sleep. You can also create a more restful environment in your bedroom with light-blocking curtains or a white noise machine.

11. Go out into the sunlight

When exposed to sunlight, the skin makes vitamin D, an essential nutrient that helps with many bodily functions. Getting outside into the sunshine can also help you feel more energized and awake. Natural light is an effective tool in the circadian rhythms of sleep, so if you’re feeling extra tired at work, take a few minutes to walk outside and get some sunlight.

12. Stretch at your desk

If you can’t get up and move around, simply stretching at your desk or workstation might help boost your energy levels. Roll your head from side to side, twist your torso or stretch your arms up above your head to get the blood circulating in your body.

13. Cool yourself down

Splash some cold water on your face to cool down your body and jolt it awake. When any part of your body cools down, it must then work to restore the lost heat, which can help you feel more alert. If you can’t splash water on your face, try removing an outer layer of clothing or lowering the indoor temperature.

To stay awake during the day, at work, after meals or to study, a good tip is to consume natural stimulants like coffee, guarana and black chocolate.

The most effective way to get rid of drowsiness is to get adequate sleep at night. Ideally, you should sleep for 7 to 8 hours per night. However, this amount can vary – if you feel energized with 9 hours of sleep, then you should aim for that amount of time.

Some ways to stay awake during the day are:

How to stay awake at work

1. Consume stimulants

To get rid of drowsiness, you could eat or drink stimulant food like:

  • Strong coffee
  • Powdered guarana
  • Açaí
  • Black chocolate
  • Ginger tea

These foods are stimulants and can improve your mood and increase heart rate, which can improve blood circulation and help you stay awake.

However, these foods should be consumed in moderation as they excessive use can lead to cardiac disease. They can also interfere with calcium absorption, which can affect your bones.

2. Take a 15 minute nap

Another good tip for those who are unable to get a good night’s sleep is to take a quick nap. Naps can even be taken when traveling to work. Although naps are not as energizing as sleeping throughout the night, even a few minutes of rest can help to recharge some of your energy and help you improve your focus.

Ideally, you should nap for 15 to 30 minutes. Going over this time can increase your risk for being even more sleepy, especially if you enter the REM phase of sleep, as it can make it more difficult for you to wake-up.

People who work different shifts, like health care professionals, firefighters and security guards, are more at risk to experience sleepiness throughout the day. People with this type of lifestyle are advised to rest whenever they can.

3. Exercise every 30 minutes

Another effective way to increase your energy is to be active every 30 minutes to stimulate blood circulation. Some good examples are to stretch (e.g. touch your fingers to your toes) or even perform some push-ups.

Exercising can provide you with another 20 to 30 minutes of energy

4. Move to a less comfortable environment

Sleepiness normally only appears when you are in a comfortable position or environment that is quiet and at a good temperature. Fighting against these factors is one way to stay awake. Some examples include playing music, opening a window and avoiding studying in your bed.

5. Eat a healthy snack

Eating small snacks while you are working or studying can help to keep you awake, especially if they are light snacks that can stimulate brain activity. Some examples include:

  • 1 avocado with walnuts or oats
  • 1 yogurt with granola
  • 1 avocado smoothie

These snacks are rich in antioxidants and good fats, which help with brain function. They can be a good complement to a stimulant food as mentioned above.

6. Breathe deeply 10 times

Deep breathing can increase can help to increase the amount of oxygen reaching the blood, which can help to combat excessive fatigue. You should breathe deeply through your nose, hold it for 2 seconds, and then exhale forcefully through your mouth. You can repeat this breathing exercise 10 times.

Another efficient breathing technique is as follows:

  1. Press one nostril to close it with your index finger and breathe through the other nostril
  2. Hold your breath and let go of the blocked nostril. Then press the opposite nostril and exhale.
  3. Repeat the process, alternating nostrils.

7. Talk to another person

Talking for a few minutes with a work colleague or someone on the phone, ideally about an interesting or funny topic, can help to stimulate the brain and make you more alert.

How to prevent day drowsiness

The best way to prevent drowsiness during the day is to have good sleep habits. You should go to bed and wake up at the same time every day. You should sleep for 7 to 9 hours, without exceeding this time, as sleeping too much can also make it more difficult to wake up.

Some tips to help you fall asleep and have a deep sleep throughout the night are:

  • Avoid bright screens, like a computer or television screen at least 30 minutes before going to bed.
  • Sleep in a quiet and comfortable room. You can use ear-plugs if it is too noisy.
  • Wait 1 hour after eating before lying down to optimize digestion.
  • Avoid worrying too much before going to bed. Think instead about calm and serene thoughts.

Some conditions can lead to day drowsiness, like insomnia, restless leg syndrome, obesity, sleep apnea, narcolepsy and sleepwalking. These conditions should be assessed by a doctor, as a good night’s sleep is important for daily functioning and body recovery.

We’ve all experienced the mid-afternoon slump.  3pm rolls around and you’re struggling to stay awake. You feel sleepy eyed and you might be tempted to just grab a handful of sugary treats. But wait! Before you reach for that can of soft drink, Red Bull, or cup of coffee, try these healthy alternatives to stimulate your senses and keep you alert throughout the day.

1. Matcha

Matcha is 100% pure tea leaves that has been ground into a fine powder. It is a healthier alternative to coffee as it’s rich in antioxidants. It aids in the protection against heart disease and cancer, reduces blood pressure and boosts metabolism. A cup of matcha provides about 34mg of caffeine, compared to about 60mg in coffee. However, the effect lasts longer due to a natural substance it contains called l-theanine, which induces relaxation without drowsiness. В

2. Tea

Green tea only contains about 24mg to 40mg of caffeine, but it’s packed full of antioxidants and is a great pick-me-up without the jitters you get from drinking coffee.

In addition to antioxidants, vitamins and that hit of caffeine, black tea also has four other stimulants that help get the brain active and alive. It has also been linked to stress relief.

Mint tea is also another great option that helps wake you up. It works wonders for activating our brains and prevents fatigue and memory loss, amongst other health benefits.

3. Dark chocolate

Cocoa beans naturally contain caffeine, although not as much as coffee. And remember, the darker the chocolate, the more caffeine it has. They are rich in healthy antioxidants called flavonoids. Chocolate can lower the risk of stroke and heart attacks, aid the digestive system and help brain function and growth. Although chocoholics might rejoice at this news, it’s no excuse to overindulge – like with almost anything, it’s best consumed in moderation.

4. Chia seeds

Although they don’t contain caffeine, they have an abundance of essential Omega-3 fatty acids, which have a similar effect on you as caffeine. It’s a healthier alternative to coffee and helps you feel awake and healthy.

5. Apples

The apple really is an amazing piece of fruit! It contains a natural sugar called fructose, which can energize and wake you up naturally. Eating an apple is a healthy afternoon snack and is known to fight sleepiness. Best of all, there’s no crash either. This healthy snack doesn’t contain caffeine either, so feel free to replace the morning coffee with an apple! As if that wasn’t enough, apples contain carbohydrates, which the body needs to keep moving and stay moving.

6. Drink water

Keep a bottle of water at your desk and make sure you drink lots of water throughout the day. According to a study by Tufts University, dehydration can cause fatigue and confusion and leaves you feeling sluggish. Drink up!

7. Healthy snacks

When you feel the 3pm crash coming, don’t be tempted to grab a packaged snack that’s full of sugar. There are many healthy options packed full of natural energy, such as nuts, crackers, carrot and celery sticks and fruit.

8. Don’t skip breakfast

It’s true what they say about breakfast being the most important meal of the day. Eating a healthy breakfast keeps your energy levels up throughout the day, keeps you alert and improves your memory, concentration and focus.

9. Go outside

Studies have shown that exposure to natural sources of light, like the sun, can improve alertness and performance. Studies have also shown that getting a few rays can help reduce heart disease, boosts your immune system and gives you more energy. Your body also produces vitamin D when exposed to the sun, which helps your body absorb calcium, which is essential for bone health. So if you’re starting to feel a little sluggish, take a short walk around the block to recharge. It will help your mood and your health.

10. Breathe deeply

A deep breath moves more oxygen to various parts of your body, which can boost your energy levels and help decrease stress and anxiety. Try this 6 second exercise from a former Google employee. A big breath released slowly really relaxes the body, so we recommend giving this a go.

11. Listen to some music

Listening to music can help keep your mind active and on task. Listening to your favourite songs or some focus tunes can maintain high energy levels and В instantly pumping up your mood. Put on your headphones and blast the loud music to push you through the last few working hours.

12. Peanut butter

Peanut butter has been touted as one of the best runners foods in the world! This is due to the high protein, fibre and healthy fat levels, which are a perfect trifecta when you need that boost of energy. Next time you’re feeling low-energy and peckish reach for the peanut butter.

13. Have a laugh

Sometimes it’s more than just good nutrition you need. Studies have shown humour can give you a huge energy boost. Sharing a laugh with your colleagues can increase productivity and ideation all while fostering positive work relationships. Engaging in conversations with your workmates can be just the pump up you need.

And if you’re after another excuse to share that cute cat video around, it’s been proven videos of cute animals can boost productivity and increase someone’s attention span, so hit share! (Plus, it could help with any mood swings in the office and lighten the mood overall).

If you would like to find ways to keep your staff motivated and productive, speak to the amazing catering consultants at Order-In. We can provide healthy snacks for your office pantry, or fresh office fruit. Call 1300 851 900 for a free quote.

How to stay awake at work

Whether you prefer espresso, tea or energy drinks, caffeine can feel like an important part of our daily routines. That isn’t necessarily a bad thing—a visit to the coffee shop can be part of your self-care plan or a way to catch up with friends. However, if you’re still feeling tired or sluggish, here are a few tips to help you stay energized throughout the day while curbing your caffeine intake.

1. Stay nourished

Eating regular meals or snacks can help us maintain our energy. When we allow our bodies to become overly hungry or fatigued, we tend to crave carb-rich foods. While sweets, crackers or pasta may satisfy our cravings and give us a small burst of energy, they can also leave us feeling groggy after the fact. Instead, try to prepare snacks in advance that include a combination of carbs, protein and fats. Here are some ideas of satisfying snacks to keep you alert throughout the day:

  • Greek yogurt with fruit
  • Jerky, cheese and crackers
  • Trail mix with nuts and dried fruit
  • Veggies with hummus or dip
  • Peanut butter and crackers

Eating a variety of nutritious foods can help us feel fuller and more energized for longer.

2. Move your body

When we move our bodies, we tend to get a rush of adrenaline, which can help us feel more awake and alert. Don’t worry about committing to a full-blown workout that will make you sweat. Taking a walk, going at an easy pace on the elliptical and stretching can all help you get your blood pumping. Try to schedule a workout at The Rec, take a lap around the block or go for a casual bike ride between classes. Moving your body will help you feel better, and it can serve as a small break from studying.

Tip: Try to avoid exercising or moving your body late at night or before you go to bed. This can make it more difficult to fall asleep (and stay asleep).

3. Try aromatherapy

Smell has a powerful effect on our minds. If you’re looking for an easy caffeine substitute, aromatherapy may just be the next best thing. By mixing different essential oils together, you can create your own customized scent to help you feel energized, focused or relaxed. Here are some combinations to try if you want to feel more energized throughout the day:

Essential oils: Lemon, eucalyptus and/or peppermint

How to use:

  • Mix 1-3 drops of essential oil in a spray bottle with water and spray your gym bag, shoes and yoga mat before your next workout.
  • Mix 1-3 drops of essential oil into your shampoo or conditioner when showering in the morning for an energizing scent throughout the day. You can also add a few drops to your favorite lotion.

Tip: Students can get free sample-sized aromatherapy bottles from the Figueroa Family Wellness Suite on the 3rd floor of Wardenburg Health Center or stop by the Apothecary Pharmacy to purchase full-sized bottles.

4. Take a power nap

If you’re feeling tired or groggy during the day, consider taking a short nap between classes. Napping for 15 to 30 minutes has been shown to help improve mood, focus and alertness. Opt for a quiet place to hit snooze or visit one of our Relaxation Stations to sleep in a specialized nap pod. Relaxation Stations are available for free and are located on the main floor of the Student Recreation Center as well as the 3rd floor of Wardenburg Health Center.

5. Set yourself up for long-term success

While these quick fixes can help us in the moment, building long-term habits can help us feel more energized on a regular basis. Set yourself up for long-term success by getting 7 to 9 hours of sleep each night. If you’re a night owl, it can be helpful to create a relaxing nighttime routine to help you wind down at the end of the day. For instance, try putting your phone and computer away at least one hour before you plan to go to bed. Electronic devices can stimulate your brain and make it more difficult to relax (and sleep). Instead, opt for activities that can help your body calm down, like reading a book, listening to meditations, taking a shower or stretching.

Additional resources

There are a number of resources available to help you get a better night’s sleep and manage related issues, like stress or anxiety. Here are a few to try:

  • Free apps
    If you’re having sleep difficulties, it may be beneficial to try out free apps like CBT-i Coach to track your sleep. These kinds of apps can help you develop better sleep habits, improve your sleep environment and learn techniques to alleviate insomnia.
  • Healthy Living workshop
    Join CAPS for a free Healthy Living workshop each week. They’ll cover topics related to general health and wellness, including body image, nutrition/eating, physical activity, sleep, general self-care and stress management. To sign up, visit your MyCUHealth portal.
  • Peer Wellness Coaching
    You can also meet one-on-one with a trained peer wellness coach. They are familiar with a variety of issues college students face every day, including stress, relationships, time management, self-image, sleep, self-care, finances, goal setting and more.

Surviving an all-nighter can be tricky. Here are Emma Wynne’s top tips to help get you through the night.

We’ve all been there. It’s the night before an assignment and you have spent the past few hours on Facebook contemplating starting your monster of an essay – you realise that this is going to be a very loooooong night.

One of the major life lessons I learnt during my student years is how to stay relatively human on very little sleep. I have also learnt since then that all-nighters are surprisingly unnecessary. If you manage your time well and start your work a few weeks in advance then you can pretty much get by without staying up until the birds are tweeting.

However, if you’re like me and you’ve convinced yourself that you work much better last-minute and under pressure and therefore going on unrelated Wiki walks all day is totally acceptable (ahem – it’s not), then here are some of my top tips for staying focused until the crack of dawn.

1. Take a nap

Try to take a power nap in the day or early in the evening to boost your energy and leave you feeling in a better state of mind for your late-night study binge. Staying awake for over 24 hours has been proven to lead to anxiety, confusion and an inability to focus – not great if you have an exam or deadline the next day!

2. Caffeine – yes or no?

I honestly don’t think I would have gotten through my degree without my trusty 2am energy drinks, or without chugging black coffee before a morning lecture. However, it probably isn’t wise to over-do the caffeine drinks. While studies conducted by John Hopkins University show that caffeine not only keeps you awake and helps to improve your thinking and memory skills, it is also known to dehydrate you rapidly. So, if you do hit the Red Bull, make sure you drink plenty of water too. A top tip is to start the night by drinking water and save your caffeinated drink until later. You might not need it.

3. Order some pizza in

I am most certainly not condoning living on a diet of energy drinks and pizza, but to pull a successful all-nighter, foods high in protein, fat and carbs are great! Other foods that cut it are cheese and crackers, fruit, salted popcorn and peanut butter sandwiches. Yum!

4. Avoid procrastination

Try to avoid taking generic ‘sad study face’ selfies and Instagramming your workload and energy drink binges – you may think that you’re showing the world your dedication to studying, but in reality, you’re just showing the world how much of a procrastinator you are.

FYI: Facebook Limiter is a great app which allows you to block your Facebook while you study.

5. Take regular breaks

In order to get through an all-nighter without cabin fever, you need to take regular short breaks.

Get some fresh air. Take a short stroll around your dorms. If you don’t, then you will more than likely develop a serious case of cabin fever and end up rocking backwards and forwards to Taylor Swift. Note: this hasn’t actually happened to anyone, especially not the author of this article who obviously has a much better taste in music.

6. Keep yourself stimulated

Make sure that you are working in a brightly lit room – study lamps will just make you want to doze off – trust me!

Listen to some upbeat music, cue Arctic Monkeys! Avoid classical music – even though many people argue that a bit of Mozart in the background helps to stimulate your mind, at stupid ‘o’ clock in the morning it will just send you into a sleepy stupor.

7. Set some alarms

Although you’re planning to stay up all night, there is still a chance that you might doze off, so it’s a good idea to set a few alarms just in case. You really don’t want to end up missing your deadline or your morning exam!

8. Do some exercise

Struggling through push-ups is probably the last thing you want to do at the end of an all-night study session, but findings show that a quick workout can help boost your brain’s ability to retain information, as well as making you more alert.

If push-ups aren’t your thing, then have a nice morning jog around your neighbourhood. Fresh air will definitely help wake you up and nothing will make you feel more productive than running around deserted streets while everyone is in bed.

…you’ve finally made it. Pheeeeww! Give yourself a big pat on the back!

Now, it’s important to go to bed early tonight and get back into a normal sleeping pattern. To reaffirm what I said earlier, all-nighters aren’t necessary or particularly wise, but we’re all human and sometimes this is where we find ourselves. It’s important though that they remain rare – you shouldn’t do it often!

I hope some of the tips above will help limit the impact should you find yourself burning the midnight oil.

Maybe the kids kept you awake, or maybe you were trance-scrolling TikTok well past midnight. Here’s how to minimize the misery and keep it together until EOD.


How to stay awake at work

Let us guess: You’ve been up all night with no sleep. Again. Maybe you had to work late; maybe you were kept up all night by an insomniac in footie pajamas. Whatever the reason for your long, night of no sleep, a new day has dawned, and you have a full schedule of Zoom presentations, quarterly reports, and one big need: working on no sleep. If you don’t want the next 10 hours to be a delirious waking nightmare, there are steps you can take so that the big question of how to function on no sleep isn’t… so… terrible. With a little planning — and a respectable amount of coffee — you can minimize the misery and keep it together until EOD, where you can either delightfully crash or keep it going with another evening of hanging out with that footie pajama monster. Here, according to sleep researchers, is how to stay awake after no sleep while getting your work done.

How to Function on No Sleep at Work: 14 Tips to Get You Through the Day

7 AM: Open the Window and Drink Some Water

Natural light signals our brains to be up-and-at-’em, says Deirdre Conroy, behavioral sleep medicine clinic director at the University of Michigan. So open the window and soak in the first light to activate your energy. Dehydration seriously compounds fatigue, so be sure to drink a glass of water.

7:30 AM: Run Out the Door

Exercise might be a hard sell in your current state, but multiple researchers have found that a bout of cardio helps to kick off the day. As Vladyslav Vyadzovskiy, professor of neuroscience at the University of Oxford, put it: “While running may tire your body out, such exercise might actually reduce your brain’s need for sleep.”

8 AM: Coffee Good, Donuts Bad

Have a cup of coffee. It takes about 20 to 30 minutes for the caffeine to kick in, so you don’t want to wait until you’re at work. If you can handle it, consider having a mini-dose of caffeine immediately after you wake up. Evidence suggests caffeine can boost exercise — but it also works sitting at your kitchen table. If you’re not a big coffee drinker, this isn’t the time to experiment with a jacked-up workout.

Eat breakfast, but steer clear of sugary foods. “Watch your food choices today,” Conroy says. “Studies show that people who are sleep-deprived tend to choose foods that are higher in calories and crave more sugary or salty snacks.”

8:30 AM: Keep Your Conversations Strictly Business

Have tentative plans to chat with a high-maintenance friend over lunch? Bow out now. “Our ability to regulate emotions is impaired without sleep, and we might say or do things we will ultimately regret,” says Eti Ben-Simon, a psychologist and sleep researcher at the University of California, Berkeley. “It would be wise to stay clear of people that typically require some energy to be polite to.” That’s a nice way of saying that exhaustion makes you more likely to go ape-shit.

9 AM: Tackle the Hard Stuff

It’s not the day to start that Berlitz language tape. “Don’t learn new things [today],” says Ben-Simon. “The brain has not had a chance to process yesterday’s information and is now literally out of memory.”

If you have mentally taxing work to do, get it done now. Why? Well, your internal clock is still keeping your biological processes on schedule. “There is a surge of cortisol in the morning that helps you start your day, in normal conditions, that could help a bit with the impact of sleep loss,” Ben-Simon says.

10:30 AM: Break Out the Bubble Yum

Studies dating back to 1939 link smacking gum with increased alertness and, in some cases, improved focus and reduced fatigue and stress. The type or flavor of gum doesn’t seem to matter in terms of cognitive benefits — but honestly, nobody chews Big Red anymore.

11 AM: Caffeine, Water, Repeat

Be aware of your caffeine intake, warns Conroy, because you don’t want to exceed 400mg in one day. But you can go low and slow, and there are caffeinated alternatives to coffee, such as green tea and dark chocolate.

12 PM: Eat a Light Lunch

That never-ending pasta bowl? Skip it. Both Conroy and Ben-Simon say that stuffing your face will leave you susceptible to afternoon sluggishness.

1 PM: Find a Place to Take a Nap

“The tip I’m most passionate about is taking a nap,” Conroy says. Ideally, you want to nap for 15 to 20 minutes in a dark, quiet room. If you have an office, close the door, set an alarm, and make sure to get up when it blares. That probably goes double if you’re catching a quick nap at home. Otherwise, you’ll fall into a deep, hard-to-get-out-of sleep that can leave you feeling disoriented.

And if you don’t have access to private space, head to your car. Download a white noise app and pop on earphones to help you out.

2 PM: Down One Last Cup of Coffee (If You Want)

You might be a sack of yawns at this point, but you can still jeopardize tonight’s sleep by overdoing it on caffeine too late in the day. Researchers recommend cutting off caffeine at least 6 hours before you plan to hit the sack.

3 PM: Find Some Light and Stare Away

The brighter and bluer, the better. Although nighttime blue-light exposure is a recipe for sleep disaster, Conroy says that staring at a high-intensity light source for 30 minutes can charge you up during the day. In the afternoon, research suggests, absorbing blue light can help workers ward off post-lunch lethargy.

You can download a blue light therapy app, or buy LED light bulbs (some of which are app-controllable), to use at your desk. If nothing else, get outside and give the sun a high five.

3:30 PM: Attack Some Mindless Tasks

Your daily window for peak alertness has passed (particularly if you’re a morning person), so run out the clock with easy, low-stakes tasks. Your inbox was due for a cleaning anyway.

5:00 PM: Nap, Again (Before You Leave Work)

This is for your own personal safety, as it will make you less likely to conk out at the wheel if you’re driving home. Give yourself 15 minutes to nod off (or even just rest your eyes) before you clock out. Even if you’re working from home, it’ll be enough to gear you up for dinner, bath time, and everything else that still needs to get done.

And that’s a wrap. Of course, these are tips for desperate occasions. Researchers unanimously discourage working in a sleep-deprived state. In fact, Chris Drake, a professor at the Wayne State University School of Medicine, says there’s one other trick for the fatigued: “Call in sick!”

  • Medical Author: Pallavi Suyog Uttekar, MD
  • Medical Reviewer: Shaziya Allarakha, MD

How to stay awake at work

It’s never a good idea to go without sleep. But we all have done it before at some point in our lives, sacrificing sleep on the altar of our careers, school exams, or sometimes just the fun of partying all night.

But once your adrenaline wears off and you need to go to work or school the next day, you may find that surviving after an all-nighter can be an unbearable experience.

If you’re struggling to get through the day, here are some tips that may help you keep your eyes open after staying up all night.

10 tips for staying awake after an all-nighter

  1. Take a cold shower: Nothing jolts your body awake like a cold shower. It can help signal to your body that bedtime is over and it’s time to face the day ahead.
  2. Eat a healthy breakfast: A breakfast of eggs, whole grains, and fruits can help kickstart your metabolism and help you start your day on a good note. Avoid sugar, fried foods, and candy bars for breakfast, no matter how tempted you are.
  3. Go for a quick walk: It may be the last thing you want to do when you’re tired, but getting your body moving can help increase blood circulation and provide you with some energy for the day.
  4. Stay hydrated: Drinking plenty of water can help flush out the remnants of any alcohol you may have had the previous night. Staying sufficiently hydrated can help you avoid the fatigue that comes with dehydration and make you more alert.
  5. Have your coffee early: Not only is drinking caffeine a stimulant for your brain, but its smell can also help combat sleepiness. However, stick to drinking your cup of coffee earlier in the day and avoid having some late in the afternoon, as this could interfere with your sleep later.
  6. Switch on the lights: Light helps your body stay alert, so keeping your windows open and your workspace bright can help you stave off drowsiness.
  7. Order your tasks by priority: Get your important tasks done when you have energy, and save simpler tasks for when you may be a little tired or less likely to focus.
  8. Chew gum: Studies have shown that chewing gum may be associated with enhanced attention. Choose sugar-free gum and chew throughout the day.
  9. Use aromatherapy: Certain odors can be invigorating. Try using essential oils and sprays with rosemary or peppermint to give you an extra boost when you need it.
  10. Team up: It’s easier to stay awake if you have social support. Call your friend and ask them to drive you. Ask a coworker to prompt you awake in case you doze off in a meeting.

How does sleep deprivation affect your health?

Sleep is vital for your body to function properly. Even one all-nighter can have grave consequences on your mood and physical health. Sleep deprivation can:

  • Impair decision-making and problem-solving skills
  • Affect memory
  • Restrict creative thinking
  • Cause stress and irritability
  • Make you more prone to traffic and workplace accidents

Sleepless nights can also result in increased cortisol levels, which may:

  • Increase blood sugar
  • Affect blood sugar levels
  • Make you more prone to weight gain

How to recover from an all-nighter

After you survive an all-nighter, show your body some love and get some well-deserved rest that night. Here is how you help your brain and body recover from the harmful effects of staying up all night:

  • Get good sleep: Recovery sleep is essential after an all-nighter, so get back to a consistent sleep schedule as soon as possible. You need at least 7-9 hours of quality sleep for good health, maybe even more if you are sleep-deprived.
  • Don’t make it a habit: The adverse effects of sleep deprivation build up over time and can be damaging to your body. Don’t have multiple all-nighters one after the other or make it a habit.
  • Practice good sleep hygiene: Take a warm shower, put on soft music, and avoid looking at your devices as you wind down for bed. Drink some chamomile tea, dim your lights, and wear soft, breathable pajamas to increase your chances of getting a good night’s sleep.
  • Plan ahead: If more deadlines are looming, try to get on top of your tasks ahead of time and don’t procrastinate, which may lead to another all-nighter.
  • Adapt: If you are on shift duties, try to adapt your sleep schedule to your work schedule so that you get enough sleep each day.

How to stay awake at work

Tips on How to Stay Awake at Work

Back in the days when work consists of laborious tasks, it was only physically draining. Workers back then had to move around, pick things up, nail this and that, just to get the job done. Though everyone was tired at the end of the day, none of them felt sleepy during the day. In today’s standards, things have changed a lot since then, and work is quite different now.

Though it’s true that laborious jobs remain, most of the employees now are facing their computer screens, crunching on numbers, sending reports, etc. Work now consists of sedentary office tasks that’s both mentally draining, and makes one drowsy. Fighting sleepiness can be challenging, but we have some tips on how to stay awake at work , to help everyone be productive in the office.

Listen to some Tunes

Listening to some music while doing your work can help keep your eyes from closing. Having some of your favorite tunes filling your ears (not too loud though ‘cause it might damage your hearing) is useful when you want to focus. An upbeat tune will get you pumped up and energized, ready to tackle on any task presented to you.

However, it’s important to take note that not every company lets their employees listen to some songs. It’s best to confirm with your Human Resources department first, before you even consider making a playlist.

Eat Lighter Lunches

Want to know how to stay awake at work ? Then answer this question: Have you ever eaten so much that you ended up feeling sleepy after? Well, that could also happen at work if you’re not mindful about the amount of food your stomach consumes.

It’s best to eat lighter lunches to avoid that lulling feeling after a heavy meal. Aside from missing out on those reports, you’ll also be gaining unwanted body fats from eating too much, so eating light during lunch is a win-win strategy.

Get Yourself some Fresh Air

The power of getting up from your seat, and talking a light walk to get some fresh air is amazing. The simple act of walking stimulates better blood circulation, coupled by an open area with a nice breeze, is more than enough to get your wakefulness levels back to the top. Walking also stimulates some of your muscles, which means you’ll be able to send more nutrients to different parts of your body.

Sleep Better to Stay Awake Longer

A lot of us often disregard the importance of a good sleep. You can’t expect your body to feel awake if you only gave it 2-4 hours of sleep. Even 5-6 hours of sleep can sometimes be insufficient, so be sure to get 7-9 hours of sleep in the evening, so you’d have the needed energy to avoid feeling drowsy throughout the day.

Learning how to stay awake at work is helpful for the company you work in, as well as for the employees. Being awake keeps everyone alert, productive, and attentive to others. It helps build a better workplace which is full of life and growth.

Sharon Kaibel is a performance and productivity coach. Sharon helps business owners create the strategy, structure and systems to build and grow a profitable business. Join her Closed Facebook Group, the #ACHIEVERNETWORK for the community, resources and trainings to become an extraordinary achiever.

Not everyone with narcolepsy has the same symptoms. Some people have symptoms regularly, while others are less frequently affected.

Symptoms may develop slowly over a number of years, or suddenly over the course of a few weeks.

Narcolepsy is usually a long-term (chronic) condition, although some of the symptoms may improve as you get older.

You should see a GP if you think you may have narcolepsy so they can find out what’s causing your symptoms.

If necessary, you’ll be referred to a sleep disorder specialist, who can confirm the diagnosis.

Excessive daytime sleepiness

Excessive daytime sleepiness is usually the first sign of narcolepsy. It can have a significant impact on everyday life.

Feeling drowsy throughout the day and struggling to stay awake makes it difficult to concentrate at work or school.

People with narcolepsy may be misjudged as being lazy or rude.

Sleep attacks

Sleep attacks, where you fall asleep suddenly and without warning, are also common in people with narcolepsy. They may happen at any time.

The length of time a sleep attack lasts will vary from person to person. Some people will only have “microsleeps” lasting a few seconds, whereas others may fall asleep for several minutes.

If narcolepsy is not well controlled, sleep attacks may happen several times a day.


Most people who have narcolepsy also experience cataplexy, which is sudden temporary muscle weakness or loss of muscular control.

Typical symptoms of cataplexy are:

  • the jaw dropping
  • the head slumping down
  • legs collapsing uncontrollably
  • slurred speech
  • double vision or finding it difficult to focus

Cataplexy attacks are usually triggered by an emotion, such as excitement, laughter, anger or surprise.

Attacks can last from a few seconds to several minutes.

Some people with narcolepsy have cataplexy attacks once or twice a year, while others have them several times a day.

In an attempt to avoid attacks, some people may become emotionally withdrawn and socially isolated.

Sleep paralysis

Some people with narcolepsy experience episodes of sleep paralysis. This is a temporary inability to move or speak that occurs when waking up or falling asleep.

The episodes can last from a few seconds to several minutes. Although sleep paralysis does not cause any harm, being unable to move can be frightening.

Other symptoms

Narcolepsy can also cause a number of other symptoms, including:

  • hallucinations – seeing or hearing things that are not real, particularly when going to sleep or waking up; a presence in the bedroom is the most commonly reported hallucination
  • memory problems
  • headaches
  • restless sleep – for example, having hot flushes, waking up frequently, having vivid nightmares, or physically acting out dreams
  • automatic behaviour – continuing with an activity without having any recollection of it afterwards
  • depression

Speak to a GP if you have narcolepsy and it’s making you feel low or depressed.

They can advise you about how to minimise the effect narcolepsy has on your daily life.

They can also put you in touch with narcolepsy organisations or support groups, such as Narcolepsy UK.

Page last reviewed: 13 May 2019
Next review due: 13 May 2022

How to stay awake at work

Snoring. Sudden body jerks. Nonsensical murmurs about Justin Bieber and your expense report. These are involuntary sleep behaviors—quirky, uncontrollable actions that your romantic partner may find endearing, but that could swiftly damage your career if they were witnessed by you co-workers.

Unfortunately, though, stretches of sleep-inducing dullness and exhaustion abound in the workplace. Busy schedules mean long work days, red-eye flights, and early morning meetings—and it’s entirely possible that you’ll find yourself in a conference room, sinking into that cushioned executive chair, nodding off.

When you’re dangerously close to falling asleep in a meeting, you must focus every remaining ounce of energy on staying awake. Your career and your pride are at stake (do you really want to drool in front of your CEO?). So here’s your guide to staying conscious in an emergency situation:

1. Make Yourself Uncomfortable

Instead of sitting in a chair that could potentially recline (or topple), stand up in the back of the room, or, if you work in a “cool” office, balance on an exercise ball. Keeping your body active will help your mind stay alert, and you’ll be able to power through the meeting.

2. Participate

This may seem counterintuitive—why would you speak up now, when you’ve had one hour of sleep and three venti mochas?—but participating will help you stay engaged (and, thus, awake). Make eye contact with the speaker, share your thoughts on the meeting’s content, write detailed notes in the margins of the handouts. If you feel your eyes start to droop, focus on the speaker and try to silently paraphrase what she’s saying—anything to keep your brain at work.

3. Snack

Ignore any dietary or nutritional guidelines and snack on the first thing you can find. Is it loaded with sugar? Full of fat? Even better. This is not the time to be counting calories. Any type of snack will give you the little burst of energy you need, and the physical act of eating will help you stay awake.

4. Excuse Yourself

If none of these honorable tactics work, and you feel yourself about to face plant onto the conference table, excuse yourself from the meeting. Go to the bathroom and splash your face with cold water. And if you’re still not awake enough to face that board room? Go back to your cubicle (or to Starbucks). It’s better to leave with dignity than to wake up duct-taped to the water cooler with dry-erase doodles on your face. After you step out, send the meeting organizer an email, apologizing that you couldn’t participate and asking for a copy of the deck and handouts.

We can all find work tiring and if you have had insufficient sleep it can easily impact your day-to-day tasks in your workplace, then you are not alone. Many people are having this issue and fortunately, there are solutions to it. In this article, we provide you with a guide on how to keep yourself awake at work so your days can be more refreshing and productive.

How to stay awake at work

1. Have a chat with a colleague

To keep awake at work, try chatting with your co-worker. Perhaps make jokes or tell fun stories to concentrate your mind on something else for a bit as a small break from thinking about your daily tasks all day long.

2. Take Short Regular Breaks

Try taking a short break of 5-10 minutes from your dull work. You might want to take the approach of mixing things up a little.

For example, attempt to work for half an hour to one hour at a time and then take a 5-10 minute break by standing up and moving around during your short rest.

Changing your scenery by talking a walk can help you get more energized. The bonus of this might be you can get new ideas or spark creativity from this little activity.

Another activity that you can do is to stay awake is to throw cold water at your face. This will help energize your body by keeping your blood flow in an upward direction (toward your brain).

3. Cooling off Your Workspace

If there is a window near your workstation, try opening it for a refreshing breeze. This can help make the room cooler, help you become more energetic and keep your blood pumped more properly.

How to stay awake at work

4. Give your body pressure points a massage

Key pressure points on your body include the area behind your knees, the area between your index finger and thumb and the back of your neck. Doing this helps you become more alert and active.

5. Listen to some music

You can use audio streaming mobile applications such as JOOX, Spotify and Apple Music or even listen to music on YouTube. Actually, listening to music can be a double-edged sword in a sense that it can also make you feel distracted and keep you relaxed and alert at the same time.

6. Consume less sugar

Sugar consumption gives you upsides and downsides. On a positive note, it can help keep you awake. On the contrary, keep in mind that it causes blood sugar fluctuations which is one of the root causes of sleepiness.

How to stay awake at work

7. Sleeping Environment

Your sleeping surroundings are very important. They include room temperature, lights and sounds. It would be great if you can avoid turning lights on or leaving sounds of electronic devices on before your bedtime. The purpose of this is to keep your mind peaceful and give you a chance of having sound sleep.


On the whole, if you have tried ways to stay awake at work like consuming caffeinated drinks such as soft drinks and coffee and you still struggle at staying awake, then perhaps try the tips mentioned above. Be mindful of always getting adequate sleep every night. If you still feel exhausted, then you need to ask your medical provider for assistance.

How to stay awake at workAre you struggling to stay awake even when you’ve spent the whole night in bed and feel like you must have had a full night’s sleep? Do you fall asleep at your desk or become so tired that you can’t focus? Have you ever felt so sleepy while driving you worried it was unsafe to continue driving? If you are struggling to stay away during the day even when you’ve gone to bed early and tried to sleep for 6-8 hours, you may have a sleep disorder. At Sleep & Neuroscience Associates, we treat all kinds of sleep disorders.

How Do You Diagnose a Sleeping Disorder?

When you come in for your initial appointment, your physician will talk with you about the symptoms you are having and conduct a physical exam. Depending on your symptoms, he may order additional tests, including a sleep study or an EEG. Your physician will try to determine whether the sleep disorder is caused by an underlying medical condition or medication that needs to be resolved.

How Are Sleep Disorders Treated?

Regardless of the type of sleep disorder you are diagnosed with, the treatment will include lifestyle changes, medications, and medical treatments. Because sleep disorders can contribute to poor heath, increase the risk of accidents, and reduce your cognitive capabilities.

Symptoms of Sleep Disorders

While each type of sleep disorder has some unique symptoms, there are general ones as well. These include:

  • Trouble falling asleep
  • Waking up throughout the night (even if you’re not aware you are)
  • Excessive daytime fatigue
  • Urge to nap
  • Irritability
  • Anxiety
  • Impaired performance on the job or in school
  • Difficulty concentrating

Don’t Ignore the Symptoms

Some sleep disorders, like sleep apnea, can contribute to high blood pressure, Type 2 diabetes, and other serious medical complications. It’s important to obtain a diagnosis and begin treatment as soon as you notice symptoms. It’s important to get treated as quickly as possible.

If you believe you may be suffering from a sleep disorder, it is important to see a doctor who specializes in sleep medicine in order to properly diagnose and treat your condition. Dr. Malhotra is a trusted sleep specialist, who is known for diagnosing and treating all kinds of sleep disorders. Call (203) 653-3519 today, or schedule an appointment using this form.

How to stay awake at work

When you are feeling tired the first thing many people turn to is caffeine consumption. With the bombardment of marketing around energy drinks and high-caffeine beverages, it is easy to see why this is the first solution that comes to mind.

However, caffeine and high-sugar beverages are far from the most nutritious options for those seeking more energy to jump-start their day. Here are a handful of great options energizing foods that will give you the boost you need!

1. Bananas

This potassium filled fruit is very popular, due largely to its year-round popularity and low price per pound. But besides being an easy breakfast snack, did you ever consider the energy benefits bananas can provide? It’s no wonder they’re the fruit you see commonly ate on sidelines of professional sporting events.

Plus bananas can provide a great boost to your brain. While many people think of bananas as a way to start your day, eating one around lunch can give you the energy you need to power through and have a strong afternoon.

2. Oatmeal

Oatmeal is a great pairing with bananas and is a fantastic breakfast choice – one we have discussed the benefits of before. Oatmeal is loaded with fiber and carbohydrates which, when eaten early in the day, will release into your body slowly during the day.

If you do not normally eat oatmeal, give it a try for yourself. You may discover that your days spent eating oatmeal will make you more productive and awake than you normally are.

3. Green Tea

While green tea does contain caffeine, this is not the aspect that fuels the energy you receive from the drink. Instead, it’s the amino acid L-theanine which calms the mind without making you sleepy.

The amino acid found in green tea also can positively impact your brain. If you are used to feeling the buzz that comes with coffee, give green tea a try – you may enjoy the very different buzz that comes with the beverage.

4. Gum

This one you have likely tried before. The process of chewing gum can increase your alertness and push through your tiredness. Students at Coventry University in England conducted a study in 2011 that compared chewing gum to either simulating the motion of chewing gum or not chewing gum at all. The students discovered that chewing gum (as opposed to the simulated jaw movements) had an impact on alertness.

Anyone who has shopped for gum at a supermarket knows there is a wide variety of flavors and brands available. This ranges from gum that contains vitamins, caffeine, or claims to have dental benefits. In the sea of these claims it’s great to know that whatever gum you select, the process of chewing it will be a boost to your alertness.

5. Almonds and Walnuts

Often recognized as a great boost for your brain these nuts are loaded with high levels of Omega-3. For this same reason, they can be beneficial in boosting your alertness and helping you stay sharp at work. With these great health benefits, you can now find almonds and walnuts available at a wide variety of stores, making them a convenient snack to bring along.

You will want to pay attention to the nutrition facts on your nuts as some can be cooked with a wide variety of nasty oils.

Everything you need to know about how to not fall asleep when you’re really tired

You know the feeling. Your eyelids begin to droop, you feel your head sink into your neck, background sounds become increasingly remote. and before you know it you’ve drifted into a blissful snooze, unaware of your surroundings.

Particularly mortifying are the accidental snoozes that happen in professional settings – it’s bad enough when you’re in a work meeting, lecture or talk but – but especially embarrassing when you’re a political leader whose public faux-pas, heavy eyelids included, is immediately pounced on by social media meme-makers.

Joe Biden was a recent victim of the dreaded public doze-off, with the President caught on video seeming to fall asleep during the opening remarks at the Cop26 climate change conference in Glasgow in November 2021.

Boris Johnson – who didn’t have the excuse of jet lag – was also pictured with his eyes shut at Cop26, flanked by United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres and Sir David Attenborough.

Now, thankfully, we aren’t all world leaders – but nobody wants to be caught by surprise by that awful jolt as you wake up from a nap when you definitely were meant to be alert (you know the one we mean).

Staying awake when you’re bone-tired can be a struggle, especially when you’re in back-to-back meetings, halfway through a 9-5 workday, or surrounded by world leaders at a key climate change summit. So how should you keep your eyes open when all you want to do is collapse onto your bed?

Top tips for staying awake when you haven’t had the best night’s sleep

Tactical napping

Rosey Davidson, sleep expert and founder of Just Chill Mama, says a “quick, tactical nap”, if possible before a crucial meeting, is a good way to stay awake. Keep it short, she says. “10 to 15 minutes is a really good tactical nap to improve your alertness. Ideally, you don’t want to sleep too much longer because if you sleep beyond 15 minutes, you can get a really groggy feeling called sleep inertia.”

Tactical caffeine

Davidson says tactical napping can be combined with “tactical caffeine”. She suggests having some form of caffeine or sugar 30 minutes before you need to be on show, as that’s when the caffeine will take hold of you. The energising effects of the caffeine should last “a couple of hours”, she says. “If you have some caffeine and then have a nap, you wake up from the nap quite refreshed.”

“It doesn’t have to be coffee,” she adds. “It could be Diet Coke, it could be a chocolate bar or something. Sugar is also a stimulant, but that wears off quite quickly.”

Registered nutritionist Thalia Pellegrini says coffee consumption “really depends on how you individually respond to it – for some people, two or three cups of coffee a day is absolutely fine and it doesn’t affect their sleep.

“If you’re going to have coffee, I tend to recommend having it in the first half of the day because it has that long half-life. Before two in the afternoon is the best time to have it.” Pellegrini advises against caffeine pills, which she says might increase anxiety.

Get natural light

“Often when we’re really sleep-deprived, we’re inclined to turn lights down or draw the curtains – we want it to be a bit darker instinctively,” Davidson says. “But actually the best thing for our circadian rhythm, our internal body clock, is to get out in the light.”

If you’re feeling jet-lagged, she says getting natural light is key to feeling more awake. Davidson suggests going for a brisk walk before a key meeting or work event if you want to stay awake. She also recommends taking frequent breaks to stretch your legs.

Pellegrini also emphasises the importance of resetting your circadian rhythm, particularly when you’re jet-lagged. “When it comes to circadian rhythm, you want to expose yourself to sunlight as soon as you can in the morning. So for example, Joe Biden might want to get outside and have some fresh air and get some sun on his face before he went into a long meeting – that helps to regulate our circadian rhythm, and that in turn helps to send the message to our body that it’s time to be awake rather than asleep.”

Eat regularly

“In terms of how I support people to be energised throughout the day, one of the most basic things is to manage their blood sugar is to make sure that they’re eating regularly,” says Pellegrini. “[It’s important that] they’re not skipping meals, and that when they eat they eat plenty of protein and healthy fats, because actually when our blood sugar dips quite low, we can tend to feel more fatigued.”

She advises against using alcohol and sugar as stimulants throughout the day, as these tend to spike your blood sugar balance, leading to dramatic energy drops. “Coffee will give you that alertness, but it has a long half-life,” she says. “You want to be having it in the first half of the day. If you have it in the afternoon, it’s more likely to keep you awake at night, and obviously, that gets you into a cycle of more tiredness.”

Supplements and vitamins

Pellegrini recommends herbal remedies like nootropics to help improve alertness. “They are reported to boost brain performance, and there are all types of different nootropics.”

“They contain things like gotu kola and Panax ginseng. They’re both adaptogens which can help to stay energised as well.” Vitamin B can also help, she says.


Davidson advises performing some “gentle stretching exercises” before work, as “the feedback from the muscles goes to the central mechanism of the brain, and that tells us to wake up”.

She says “regular exercise” is also key to avoiding dips of energy during the day, and Pellegrini agrees. “Movement [is key] just for getting the lymphatic system moving so that you feel more energised,” she points out.

In-the-moment tips

If it’s too warm, we’re more prone to tiredness, Davidson points out. She suggests adjusting your clothes to the temperature, partially unbuttoning a shirt or removing a suit jacket if you’re getting too warm, and drinking cold water.

“You could also pinch the skin on your wrist or your hand,” Davidson says. She suggests maintaining an internal monologue, reminding yourself to fight to stay awake.

This article is kept updated with the latest information.

Staying awake at work during a long shift can be difficult. Odds are, you are reading this because you have at least dozed off one or two times when you were supposed to be awake. Shhh… I won’t tell your boss.

Did you fall asleep for two seconds or was it one of those embarrassing moments where you woke up with drool on your keyboard or paperwork or did a colleague tell you that you are snoring? Whether you got caught or not, the mid-afternoon visit from the sandman can detrimental to your job. It’s unprofessional, even though it happens to the best of us. Here are some tricks that have helped me out during long days.

Obviously, get enough sleep:

Getting the daily recommended amount of sleep is crucial to being efficient everyday. Half the battle is making sure you are in bed on time. The other half is trying to fall asleep quickly and stay asleep.

Here are three things you can do to fall asleep quicker:

  1. Don’t interact with anything that has an electronic screen an hour before you go to bed. Even if it is ‘mindless entertainment’ the pixels from the computer monitor, smartphone, tablet or TV screen will stimulate the brain keeping you awake.
  2. Listen to or read a non-electronic book without pictures (no magazines). Remember when you were a kid and stories helped you fall asleep? Reading can lull your brain to sleep.
  3. Writing is considered a form of therapy and can lower stress. Write in a notebook or a journal. Any form of writing can do. It can be a collection of poems, to-do lists, accomplishments, goals, etc.

The biggest key to falling asleep quickly is to turn off the light, lay down, and close your eyelids when feeling tired .

Caffeinated beverage(s):

I personally try and stay away from caffeine as much as possible. That being said, I do rely on it sometimes. Caffeine is great for a quick pick-me-up without any effort. I only use it as a last resort.

Since caffeine is technically a drug, there are several problems with relying on caffeine daily. Short term it causes you to crash into a deeper state of drowsiness after it wears off and leads to increased lack of sleep when it comes time to crawl into bed. Long term your body depends on caffeine to wake up and stay awake. This means you have to invest anywhere from $2-7 a day just to get through the day. Furthermore, over time your body will start requiring you to intake more because it builds up an immunity to it.

Don’t eat so much:

Ever notice how before lunch you are wide awake and alert, then after you are drowsy and ready for a nap? Lunch is one of the biggest catalyst to becoming lethargic in the afternoon. This is one of the reasons why many South American cultures have siestas (which I am envious of).

The easiest way to avoid taking a siesta without changing your diet is by not eating as much. Eat until you are comfortable, not until you are full. It takes time for your mind to say, “Stop you have had enough!” If you eat slower you won’t eat as much because your mind can properly let you know you have had enough.

Light exercise:

For those of you who eat a heavy lunch and later walk away saying, “I ate too much food, I am so full!” Getting up and moving is a great way to get blood flowing to all around and not just your stomach.

There are several light exercises that you can do without breaking into a full on sweat (no one likes working next to smelly people). Stretching, Jumping jacks or push-ups are effective ways of getting your blood flowing all around.

Take in some sunshine:

Not everyone is going to feel comfortable doing a push-up in the workplace. A great alternative is getting some direct sunshine. This helps remind your brain that it’s day-time and you are supposed to be awake.

Take a five minute break and go take a walk around outside where you can soak up some of those rays from the sun. This will not only wake your brain up from the sunshine but from the light exercise of walking around.

All else fails, stand up:

I have worked in environments where the boss is a ‘break nazi’ (“No break for you!”). In this situation, a good substitute is standing up while working. After all, it’s physically impossible to fall asleep standing up.

After reading these tricks, is there anything you do that isn’t mentioned here to help keep you from dozing off?

Mike Alder is a University of Utah business marketing student and marketing specialist at Lendio. Passionate about entrepreneurship, small businesses, and inbound marketing. Mike shows his passion by sharing stories of successful entrepreneurs and companies with small business owners on the Lendio blog. He makes these big success stories easy-to-apply in simple and easy to read language for the everyday small business owner and entrepreneur.

Follow Mike: Twitter | LinkedIn | Google+

Mike Alder

Mike Alder is a University of Utah business marketing student and marketing specialist at Lendio. Passionate about entrepreneurship, small businesses, and inbound marketing. Mike shows his passion by sharing stories of successful entrepreneurs and companies with small business owners on the Lendio blog. He makes these big success stories easy-to-apply in simple and easy to read language for the everyday small business owner and entrepreneur.

Careful about falling asleep at work or you could become an Internet meme like this poor fellow.

Unless you work outdoors or indoors in a job where you are physically active all day, it can be difficult for some people who have desk jobs to stay awake at work without caffeine.

Maybe the most important thing you can do to make sure you don’t nod off at work is to get a good night of sleep, at least 7 to 8 hours, at a regular time every night.

Boredom can also cause you to nod off[]. Other than getting a good night’s sleep and having a fascinating job, there are things you can do to stay awake.

If you’re getting off the caffeine or have never used it, you still have many options for staying awake.

Go for a walk

After getting a good night of sleep, perhaps the best thing you can do to prevent falling asleep at work is to get up and take a walk or do some other exercise.

A 20-minute walk gets the blood moving and otherwise invigorates and energizes the body and stimulates the nervous system. If you work in a high-rise building, you might consider walking up and down some stairs. And studies indicate low-impact exercise like simple walking is better at fending off drowsiness than high-impact running.

Exercising for 15 or 20 minutes a couple of times a day may also improve sleep at night, leaving you more rested in the morning and throughout the day.

Do stretching exercises

Another tactic to fight fatigue is to do stretching exercises at your desk, which has the double benefit of keeping your body healthier.

“You may feel awkward doing stretching exercises at your desk,” says WebMD [2], which recommends stretching every hour. “But right now, as you sit there at your computer, you are doing one of the worst things you can do to your body — you’re sitting still. And not only that, but the way you sit — and type, and hold the phone — may be wreaking havoc on your bones, joints, and muscles.”

Listen to upbeat music

Another way to stay awake without caffeine is to listen to upbeat music. If you don’t have a private office, you would probably be better off using earphones or ear buds so you don’t disturb your co-workers. It might be a good idea to avoid New Age-y type music that soothes and lulls.

WikiHow says [3] it’s a misconception that you should blast the music. Keep the volume low so you have to listen carefully to hear all the instruments and vocals.

Exercise your eyes

To prevent eye fatigue, exercise your eyes. Look away from the computer screen and look at a distant point in your office or outside. Also, occasionally move your eyes up and down, side to side and around and around.

Viter Energy blog did an entire posting [4] on How to avoid eye strain when working on the computer.That posting stated:

Blink often to moisten your eyes and prevent irritation. Studies have shown that people actually blink about one-third less while working at a computer, so consciously blink more. Also, look away from your computer screen at least every 20 minutes and focus on something at least 20 feet away for at least 20 seconds (20-20-20). This will exercise your eyes and prevent what is called accommodative spasm or locking up.

While this following tip is contrary to advice on eye strain, advises []:

Maximize your exposure to light. Your body’s internal rhythm is regulated by the amount of light you receive. The greater your exposure, the more alert you will feel. Open the shades and let in the sunlight. Step outside or look out the window. Turn on all the artificial lights in your office or around your work space.

WikiHow advises, “Step outside, even just for a bit. If you can step outside (even on a cloudy day) or look out the window for a full minute, you’ll be more alert” because of exposure to natural light.

Another thing Life Hack says is to talk to your co-workers if you find yourself nodding off. Get up from your desk and seek out company. Other sites advise calling a friend and having a short phone conversation.

Eat right

Also, make sure you have a good breakfast so you don’t shut down from lack of energy. Life Hack advises avoiding the sausage, greasy eggs and pancakes and instead opt for whole grain cereals and bread, fruit and yogurt.

Having a healthy snack of fruit or nuts at work can also boost energy. By avoiding candy, doughnuts and other sweets you also avoid the carbohydrate sugar crash, the phenomenon of your mood and energy collapsing after consuming sugars.

Be sure you drink plenty of water so you don’t get dehydrated, which can also cause drowsiness. Plus, if you need to go to the bathroom a lot it will get you up from your desk. This is a trick law students and other scholars who work into the night use.

A cool trick

Another old trick is to splash cold water on your face when you feel like you need to sleep. You’d be surprised at how much this wakes you up. It can make you feel like a new person.

17 Tips on Staying Awake at Work

The site has an article [5] giving 17 tips on how to stay awake, some of which we mentioned above. Other tips include:

  • Take breaks to do activities.
  • Keep snacks on handy.
  • Complete simpler work tasks first, then move on to more complex stuff. It’s like a warm-up.
  • Scented candles or scent diffusers can help perk you up.
  • Engage in good sleep habits or sleep hygiene, which we wrote about in the blog titled, Sleeping longer can make you feel more tired.Some of the sleep hygiene tips, from the World Sleep Society [], include:
    1. Establish a regular bedtime and waking time.
    2. If you are in the habit of taking siestas, do not exceed 45 minutes of daytime sleep.
    3. Avoid excessive alcohol ingestion 4 hours before bedtime, and do not smoke.
    4. Avoid caffeine 6 hours before bedtime. This includes coffee, tea and many sodas, as well as chocolate.
    5. Avoid heavy, spicy, or sugary foods 4 hours before bedtime. A light snack before bed is acceptable.
    6. Exercise regularly, but not right before bed.
    7. Use comfortable, inviting bedding.
    8. Find a comfortable sleep temperature setting and keep the room well ventilated.
    9. Block out all distracting noise and eliminate as much light as possible.
    10. Reserve your bed for sleep and sex, avoiding its use for work or general recreation.

A doctor gives tips on staying awake. Hint: Take your caffeine before your power nap so the stimulant kicks in right after you wake up.

If you just must have your caffeine

Some people might say, “This is all very well and good, but I really must have my caffeine.” If that is the case, you might try Viter Energy Mints [6] with caffeine and invigorating B vitamins.

Instead of counting sheep you’re counting hours of sleep. Specifically, the number of hours you’re not getting. Or, maybe you’re counting the number of hours you might get if you fell asleep right now. Nope, still not asleep.

Was it that latte you had with lunch??

You know caffeine can keep you awake, and there are the obvious times to avoid it. (Right before bed, for instance. just in case. )

But, you needed that caffeinated pick-me-up to get through the rest of your busy, exhausting day. And, at the time, it felt like you needed it just as much as the sleep you’re not getting now.

So, when it comes to that gray area between late morning and early evening, how late is too late to drink that afternoon coffee you so desperately need — or even just a soda or iced tea with dinner — without it affecting your sleep?

How does caffeine work?

Once consumed, caffeine is very quickly absorbed and distributed throughout your body, including to your brain. It’s here that caffeine elicits its most classic effect — helping keep you alert and awake.

Caffeine accomplishes this by blocking sleep-promoting receptors in your brain called adenosine receptors. It’s able to do so because — as far as molecular structures are concerned — caffeine looks very similar to one of the naturally occurring molecules in your body that typically binds to these receptors, called adenosine.

Adenosine plays many roles — including helping to regulate your sleep/wake cycle. By binding to adenosine receptors in your brain, adenosine activates the receptors. In turn, this triggers pathways that slow neural activity and increase feelings of sleepiness.

Adenosine levels in your brain fluctuate. Its levels are fairly low by the time you’re fully awake, but they slowly build throughout the day. After several hours of being awake, adenosine levels increase to a point where they start the process of making you sleepy. Cue bedtime, and the cycle repeats the next day.

But, as mentioned, adenosine isn’t the only molecule that can bind to these sleep-promoting receptors in your brain. Caffeine can, too. Except, when caffeine binds to these receptors, it doesn’t activate them like adenosine. Instead, caffeine blocks them — preventing adenosine from binding and activating their sleep-promoting effects, keeping you awake and alert in the meantime.

Fortunately for your sleep hygiene, caffeine doesn’t hang around in your body forever.

How long does caffeine last?

To measure how long a substance like caffeine lasts in your body, scientists use a term called “half-life.” This is the time it takes for the starting amount of the substance to reduce by half.

According to the FDA, the half-life of caffeine is between four and six hours.

This means that up to six hours after drinking a caffeinated beverage, half of the caffeine you consumed is still present in your body — keeping you alert. And, if it’s bedtime, keeping you from falling asleep.

How late is too late to drink caffeine?

We know how it works. We know about how long it can last. But, put together, what does this mean for someone who’s trying to have some caffeine without it affecting his or her sleep?

Unfortunately, this is a question with a fairly murky answer.

The short-and-sweet version is that most experts recommend setting your caffeine cutoff for 2 or 3 p.m.

While there’s plenty of research showing that caffeine disrupts sleep, only one study has examined how the timing of caffeine intake affects sleep. The study results showed that having caffeine even as early as six hours before bedtime can impact sleep, even if you don’t actually notice the disruption.

However, it’s also important to note that the study’s 12 participants were given the maximum daily dose of caffeine (which is 400 mg, by the way). This might not be a realistic representation of the average adult’s afternoon coffee consumption, but it may be a totally accurate representation of, say, a college student’s afternoon caffeine consumption.

Still, this study generally supports sticking with the 2 to 3 p.m. caffeine cutoff window experts suggest — especially if you’re someone who starts winding down for bed around 9 p.m.

Ultimately, though, there’s probably no one-size-fits-all rule as to how late is too late when it comes to consuming caffeine.

The length of time your favorite caffeinated beverage might hang around in your system varies depending on:

  • It’s caffeine content
  • How much caffeine you already had in your system
  • How effective your body is at metabolizing caffeine (which varies from person to person)

And while your favorite drink may not have 400 mg of caffeine in it like the participants in the study mentioned above, you may be surprised just how much caffeine is in some common beverages.

08 November, 2021

How to stay awake at work

Share on

Working at a desk can cause you to nod off. Those are not idyllic circumstances. It becomes more difficult to maintain eye contact with the computer screen, and your head nods asleep.

If this occurs, your coworkers and supervisor will see you dozing off at work. Too much stress or overwork prevents us from getting a good night’s sleep. Unless you work as a mattress tester, you may avoid it by following a few simple guidelines.

The Factors Why We Fall Asleep at Work

Changes in Shift Timings Regularly

If you change the times of your job shifts too often, your sleep habits will be disrupted.

As a result, your body misinterprets exhaustion, causing you to experience restless nights. You start to feel drowsy the following day or shift and find yourself falling asleep at work.

Insufficient Physical Activity

Regular exercise helps to keep your body in shape and regulates your sleep cycle. Of course, exercising right before bed is complex and, in some situations, makes falling asleep more difficult.

Exercises may not affect your sleep in other circumstances. Find out what works best for your body to keep you from falling asleep at work when standing up.

Loud Bedroom Distractions

In our beds, some of us have a lot of digital distractions: TVs, tablets, smartphones, and so on. It could even entail failing to maintain a separation between your professional and personal spaces.

Excessive Sugar Consumption

According to the most prevalent notion, sugar has a relaxing impact that it can help you stay awake.

Sugar, on the other hand, should be avoided when you are fatigued. The next day, a blood sugar increase is followed by an exceptionally low energy surge, resulting in drowsiness.

Despite its health benefits, Sugarcane can disrupt your sleep patterns at night, keeping you up when your body most needs it.

Too Much Screen Time

When you sit in front of the television for extended periods, your brain and eyes can grow exhausted.

Every hour, take a productive break and make sure you blink regularly during the day. Make a note on your watch to remind you. Avoid leaving the device on too late at night since your brain needs a regenerative time to wind down.

Our Recommendations for Staying Awake

Gather some snacks.

Choose meals that will help you feel invigorated naturally, such as eggs, avocados, whole grains, and almonds.

Make healthy snacks a regular part of your workday. Sometimes we are hungry and are unaware of it, and when people are busy, they often forget to eat every two hours. To avoid falling asleep at work, try to fetch a snack every two or three hours using your smartphone.

Make a postural change.

To avoid falling asleep at work, adjust your posture. As you fall asleep, your body slumps into your chair.

Sitting up straight and making a conscious effort to prevent falling asleep at work, on the other hand, can work wonders. Depending on your demands, you might want to examine if a standing desk might be disruptive to your office.

Drink plenty of water.

The issue may be dehydration rather than hunger. Bring a reusable water bottle to work with you. When you fall asleep at work, you should refill it as soon as you get up from your desk.

Drinking a tall glass of water can often boost our attentiveness. Exercising dehydrates you and impacts your vision and motor skills, according to studies. If you are having trouble focusing, it can be as simple as drinking a glass of water.

Start doing some exercises.

Start with some simple standing desk exercises that you may do while doing your work or taking a quick break. However, we propose that you set a goal to learn how to restore energy by incorporating exercise into your daily routine. If lockdown limitations are allowed, you may use the treadmill, yoga, jogging, or join your neighborhood gym.

Take up a new hobby.

If exercise is not possible at work, you can take active breaks to avoid falling asleep at work rather than sitting in the break room all day. A walk around the building may suffice if you need to keep your blood moving.

Take a stroll.

Getting some fresh air and moving your body before starting work is beneficial. If you go for a stroll first thing in the morning, you will become incredibly attentive.

Allowing yourself to take a little nap.

Sleep if you are too exhausted to finish a job or attend a meeting but must nonetheless perform those tasks. Set the alarm, so you do not miss crucial meetings or work, and you don’t fall asleep at your desk.

Taking a nap during the day can help you stay awake during the day. If you work shifts or rotate between odd and even hours, this is a highly significant suggestion.

By resting for a few minutes before work, you can improve your attentiveness and retention during your shift. You can slumber in some sleeping office chair models if they recline far enough.

Try sitting more dynamically.

Take advantage of active sitting by adding an ergonomic stool to your desk setup. It is one technique to stay intellectually aware while also correcting your posture and reducing weariness.

An active sitting stool resembles a conventional bar stool, except that the height may be modified to fit desks. Although it has a backrest, you can alter the size of one to suit your needs.

You might also use a FlexiSpot ergonomic standing desk, such as the Standing Desk Pro Series E6&E7.

This will encourage you to alternate between standing and sitting. These two jobs are both valuable and give variation to your daily routine. This also helps you stay awake at work.

Last Thoughts

Do not be embarrassed if you fall asleep at work. Now and then, we all do it, and it is pretty acceptable to act in this manner.

Just be sure that your power nap does not develop into an eight-hour sleep. Use and use these suggestions to stay more active at work.

We are accepting guest posts and some other collaborations on the blogs. Topics can include healthy living, healthy working, fitness, ergonomics, place design and more. If you are interested to collaborate with us, send an email to [email protected] .

How to stay awake at work

While promoting exercise and healthy eating can boost employee satisfaction and productivity, sleep is often overlooked when it comes to the health of your organization. U.S. organizations lose $63.2 billion every year in productivity because of employees who do not get enough sleep. 1 Encouraging employees to get the rest they need can improve the odds they will perform at their peak. As you create a healthy work environment, here are five quick tips that can help employees beat the early-morning blues or post-lunch slumps:

  1. Encourage activity breaks . Sitting at a desk or standing at a machine for long periods can be tiring. Encourage employees to move around at least every couple of hours, which can help them feel more alert and clear their minds for better problem-solving.
  2. Brighten up their workspace . To increase alertness for daytime workers, have window shades up to let in sunlight. Avoid dim lighting around evening shift workers — it can zap energy.
  3. Promote hydration . Sure, caffeine offers a short-term energy boost. But drinking water during work hours is healthier overall and keeps dehydration at bay, so that employees can concentrate better on the work at hand.
  4. Support smart snacking . When employees have healthy snacks on hand, it can help keep their blood sugar and attention spans steady throughout the day. Foods that offer a mix of carbs, proteins and healthy fats (such as nuts and seeds) are good choices.
  5. Fight fatigue with easy tasks . Remind employees that sometimes it is best to undertake less-taxing activities when they are tired. Simple tasks like filing or answering emails can help stimulate energy levels and get employees back on track without losing productivity.

One more thing you can do to help your employees stay awake at work: Encourage them to get the sleep they need when they are at home.

1 National Sleep Foundation. “How Sleep Can Help You Be More Productive.” Sleep.Org. November 13, 2014. Accessed September 04, 2018.

We Recommend

Visit our employer solutions page for discounts on gym memberships and other health and wellness tools for your employees’ best health.

This content is not intended to substitute for informed medical advice. You should not use this information to diagnose or treat a health problem or condition. Always check with your doctor before changing your diet, altering your sleep habits, taking supplements, or starting a new fitness routine.

8 Ideas To Stay Awake
Tips to stay awake during your awake overnight shift

1.) Chore and task lists
Having varied activities throughout the night can keep you active and awake.

2.) Exercise
Try 30 – 40 minutes of aerobic exercise.

3.) Small Doses of CAFFEINE
Don’t overdo it with caffeine because it can have negative impacts. take smaller amounts of caffeine throughout your shift to keep going.

4.) Use your phone or tablet
The blue light in these devices slows the release of melatonin, the chemical that helps you fall asleep.

5.) Eat healthy snacks
Healthy snacks can keep your blood sugar steady during your shift which helps you to be alert and attentive. Avoid sugary foods and drinks.

6.) Deep breathing exercises
“Deep breathing raises blood oxygen levels in the body. This slows your heart rate, lowers blood pressure, and improves circulation, ultimately aiding mental performance and energy.” – webmd

7.) Stay Hydrated
Drink plenty of water: dehydration can cause fatigue.

8.) Keep Cool
Crack a window in cold weather, take a cold shower, or splash cold water on your face. Warm temperatures can make you sleepy and cold has the opposite effect.

How to stay awake at work

You need to stay alert and focused to be productive at work. But if you have to work at night often or you constantly experience an afternoon slump, you need to discover the proven techniques for staying awake during the day. Fortunately, these time-tested tips listed below can help you to boost your energy level, keep your eyes open and achieve your goals at work.

1. Take a brief nap

Sleeping for just 30 minutes or less can help you avoid performance lapses at work. That’s what researchers discovered when they studied pilots on trans-pacific flights. However, sleeping for longer than 45 minutes can make you feel groggy after waking up. This is because sleep inertia occurs after you get into deep sleep. But you can walk around after you wake up and get rid of this feeling. Then you will feel sharper and work more efficiently.

2. Move around often

To improve circulation and blood flow throughout your body, you need to stay active. If it’s not possible to do vigorous exercise at work, you should take breaks at least once every hour during the day. For example, you can get up from your desk, stretch your body and walk around for a few minutes before you go back to your seat. During your break time, take a short walk for about 15 minutes to allow more oxygen to reach all your cells for better alertness.

3. Take caffeine

Caffeine is a well-known stimulant present in drinks like coffee, cocoa powder and green and black tea. A recent study on caffeine showed that a 30 ml cup of coffee has 126mg of caffeine. A typical cup of black tea has 47mg. Some people prefer to drink coffee because it provides instant stimulation, while others choose tea because it contains less caffeine.

How to stay awake at work

The common reason for substituting tea for coffee is that the initial energy boost is usually followed by a crash. To avoid this crash, however, you may sip a small amount of coffee at a time. It will give you a milder stimulating effect and help you avoid the drop in energy that may occur during the day.

4. Eat healthy snacks

The kind of food you eat during the day can keep you alert or make you feel sluggish. Eating healthy snacks will keep your energy level high. Snacks such as nuts, Greek yoghurt, fresh fruit, boiled eggs, and vegetable slices can keep you satiated and energised all day. This is because healthy snacks digest slowly and they draw less energy during digestion. Also, they provide a steady release of blood glucose instead of the spikes that come when you eat sugar-filled beverages and junk food.

5. Listen to music

Listening to rock and roll or jazz music can help you to remain alert while at work. As long as you don’t get so carried away and start dancing. Also, listening to classical music helps you to concentrate while you read or write. If you are sharing your office with others in an open plan arrangement, you should use earphones so you don’t distract others.

6. Brighten up your workspace

Bright light boosts your concentration. Your normal body clock expects you to experience about 12 hours of light and 12 hours darkness daily. Normally, alertness is associated with daytime. So you can keep your brain awake by increasing the light in the place where you work. If you feel tired, add an additional spotlight or lamp to your workstation. You may also open your curtains to increase natural light or move into the sunshine.

7. Stay Hydrated

Keeping your body hydrated is the key to staying alert. In addition to numerous health benefits of hydration , taking enough water (about 8 glasses a day) will increase your energy levels. Staying hydrated enhances the flow of glucose and oxygen to the cells in the brain and other organs. It also lubricates the joints. If you don’t like the taste of plain water, you can drink water infused with lemon. The tingling taste will motivate you to drink more and improve your alertness while you work.

8. Remain Positive

Don’t allow negative thoughts to drain your energy. Develop a positive mental attitude and keep your mind on thoughts of success. Use positive affirmations to keep yourself motivated while you work. For instance, muttering to yourself, “I can complete this task within 1 hour”, will keep your energy at a higher level than thinking “I feel tired, now how can I complete all these tasks before closing time?”

From napping to moving around to taking caffeine and eating healthy food, there are various ways to stay alert at work. Now that you know what to do to keep yourself awake all day, you need to try them out. Bear in mind that every individual is different, and you may need to try different combinations of these tips to discover what gives you the best results.

“The opinions expressed by BizWitty Contributors are their own, not those of BizCover and should not be relied upon in place of appropriate professional advice. Please read our full disclaimer.”

About the author

Theodora Evans

Theodora is a passionate blogger from Sydney and she is someone you would call an IT nerd. Also, she takes great interest in psychology and helping people deal with their mental and anxiety issues. Besides that, she loves martial arts and enjoying the nature.

How to stay awake at work

The car alarm that was blaring outside your window at 2am. The after work drinks that quickly escalated. That sixth episode of Orange is the New Black. There are plenty of reasons (both self-inflicted or otherwise) why you might arrive at work feeling slightly worse for wear and yawning into your third Americano.

Sleepless nights are never fun, but all of us will experience tiredness at some point throughout our lives, and the odd disrupted night of sleep isn’t usually a cause for concern.

If you find yourself frequently nodding off and fighting sleep at work though, it could be a sign that something else is up.

What could be the reasons for your persistent sleepiness? Here, Matthew Reed, founder of health insurance company explains just a few.

“It’s a sad but true reality that stress has become part of our everyday lives, and unfortunately work is usually one of the main contributors, says Reed.

Stress can be physically and emotionally exhausting; it’s how our bodies react to situations that our mind deems threatening, uncomfortable or perilous. “Usually, your heart rate will increase, breathing quickens and blood pressure rises, so dealing with stress is key to prevent feeling the need to have a nap during work hours,” he explains.

“If your work has a stress support programme in place, then make sure to utilise it. If not, then encourage management to look into adopting one, as it could help to support you and your colleagues if you’re feeling fatigued.

“If this isn’t an option, try deep breathing, taking a break from your screen or confiding in someone close to you, to relieve some of the burden.”

“Overworking goes hand-in-hand with stress and often produces the same results. It can seriously impair your sleep, leaving you feeling groggy and exhausted,” says Reed.

“Not only does overworking increase your chances of dropping off at your desk, along with a myriad of other issues, but it’s actually bad for your employer in the long run. Productivity often falls if employees reach the end of their tether and experience burnout.”

If you feel as if your boss has given you far too much work and you truly believe it’s negatively affecting your health, Reed says you should speak to management and see if you can divide your workload more fairly.

“We all know that diet has a serious effect on how you feel. “If you don’t have enough iron, for example, then you could be left feeling sluggish, weak and distracted,” says Reed.

“If you do find yourself struggling to keep your eyes open next time you’re working on a serious project, think about what it is you’ve eaten recently and consider adapting your diet to promote a healthier and more active lifestyle.

“If you aren’t sure whether your diet could be a contributing factor, start a food diary. Too much sugar or fat, for instance, can result in energy crashes throughout the day.

“Instead of eating sugary snacks, try and fuel yourself with natural energy sources such as quinoa, honey, spinach and even peanut butter. Foods rich in vitamin D are also amazing at keeping you awake and raring to go.”

“Falling asleep persistently throughout the day or feeling groggy could be a sign that you’re struggling with a sleep disorder.

“Excessive daytime sleepiness (EDS), sleep apnea and narcolepsy are all sleep disorders that can cause you to not get enough sleep at night, which results in you falling asleep during work hours,” says Reed.

Anxiety-induced insomnia can also keep you awake at night, making staying alert during the working day much more challenging.

“Ultimately, feeling like you’re about to nod off at your desk once or twice a month is nothing to worry about initially,” says Reed, “but if you find yourself experiencing this frequently, do visit your doctor to rule out a possible sleep disorder.”

All of us experience a night of poor sleep sooner or later. You have a test the next morning, your baby is fussy—and before you know it your alarm goes off and it’s time to start the day.

Below we discuss the best strategies to survive your day when you didn’t sleep the night before:

Proactive strategies

When you are operating on little or no sleep, there are several proactive strategies you can engage in to increase your alertness. These include:

    Drinking water. Dehydration will increase your fatigue, so it is important to drink lots of water. In addition, the resulting trips to the bathroom will increase your activity level and keep you more alert.

  • Soaking up the sun. After drinking a big glass of water, go outside and bask in the sunlight for 30 minutes. This increases your mood by boosting your serotonin levels, and will help you sleep better the following night. If possible, for the rest of the day sit near a window or continually go outside to increase sunlight exposure.
  • Napping. Find a time during the day to take a 10 to 45 minute nap. This will decrease your sleepiness and improve both your mental and physical performance.

    Drinking caffeine. Drinking 100 mgs to 200 mgs of caffeine can provide a stimulant effect that lasts anywhere from three to four hours. Caffeine takes up to 30 minutes to take effect, so you can drink a cup of coffee and then take a quick nap to combine the benefits of both.

    Of course, every person is different; so not all of the above proactive strategies may work for you. Don’t let this discourage you, as through trial and error you can find the strategies that work best for you.

    Bad habits to avoid when you haven’t slept

    In addition to the above proactive strategies, there are several bad habits you should avoid when operating on little to no sleep. These bad habits include:

      Eating large meals. Eating a large meal, especially one full of carbohydrates, will make you drowsy. Instead, try eating several lights meals over the course of the day—and choose moderate portions of lean meats, eggs, nuts, and beans.

  • Engaging in dangerous activities. This one may seem obvious, but when you are sleep deprived your mental and physical abilities dramatically decrease. This means you need to avoid driving, operating heavy machinery, or any other potentially hazardous activity when tired. A good rule of thumb is that your biological need for sleep will eventually prevail, and you don’t want this to lead to an accident.
  • Remember that all of the above strategies for surviving on little to no sleep are only useful over the short term—there is no long-term strategies to effectively function on little or no sleep.

    • ‘)” data-event=”social share” data-info=”Pinterest” aria-label=”Share on Pinterest”>
    • ‘)” data-event=”social share” data-info=”Reddit” aria-label=”Share on Reddit”>
    • ‘)” data-event=”social share” data-info=”Flipboard” aria-label=”Share on Flipboard”>

    How to stay awake at work


    • What Is Considered “Night Shift”?
    • How to Transition to the Night Shift
    • Tips for People Who Work the Evening Shift
    • How to Demonstrate Energy at Work
    • Health Effects of 100 Percent Traveling Jobs

    Since most workers aren’t nocturnal by nature, late nights in the office and midnight shift work can make it difficult to stay alert. If the night schedule is a permanent assignment, you need to adjust your sleep cycle so you can get between seven and eight hours of sleep during the day. For temporary night work assignments, energy-boosting activities can help you stay awake, encouraging a safe and productive work environment.


    Exercise in quick bursts to stay awake during night shifts. A regular exercise routine is part of a healthy lifestyle, but quick bursts of cardiovascular activity can induce alertness even if you don’t have time for a lengthy workout. The National Sleep Foundation suggests shooting hoops or taking a short, brisk walk to decrease sleepiness. If it’s safe to do so at night, step outside and do 50 jumping jacks, sprint 50 yards, walk up and down a flight of stairs or jump rope to get your adrenaline pumping. Otherwise you can do the jumping jacks and stair climbs indoors. Engage in a quick burst of activity every one to two hours to enhance alertness.

    Drink Caffeine

    Drink a caffeinated beverage to stay awake when working nights. Avoid caffeine supplements that contain large doses of caffeine. Your body can’t process large amounts of caffeine, and doing so might result in unwanted side effects like shaky hands, jitteriness and a rapid heart beat. Opt for a cup of coffee, a can of soda or a cup of tea to get a quick pick-me-up. Unhealthy energy drinks often contain large amounts of caffeine, sugar and by-products that can cause your body to crash shortly after consumption. Drink small, frequent amounts of coffee, tea or soda for the best results.

    Take a Mental Break

    Take a short mental break from your work. Check the scores of a recent sporting event, text a friend or family member, download a new app or listen to your favorite upbeat song. Many night work assignments require concentration, attentiveness and precision, and short mental breaks help relieve stress from those responsibilities. Visit the break room or get some fresh air to re-energize your mind and body and refocus on the task at hand.

    Interact with Co-Workers

    Maintain social interactions and talk with co-workers. As the old saying goes, misery loves company. Your co-workers can relate to late night work schedules, sleepiness and exhaustion. To give yourself mental boost and ward off fatigue, take a few moments to engage in conversation, tell jokes, review recent movies or TV shows, or share newest downloads. Eat with a co-worker in the cafeteria or break room and take short coffee breaks together.

    • Emergency Nursing World: Night Shift Survival Hints
    • National Sleep Foundation: Shift Work and Sleep

    As curriculum developer and educator, Kristine Tucker has enjoyed the plethora of English assignments she’s read (and graded!) over the years. Her experiences as vice-president of an energy consulting firm have given her the opportunity to explore business writing and HR. Tucker has a BA and holds Ohio teaching credentials.