A caffeinated energy drink may be a tempting choice if you’re getting less sleep. Consuming these types of beverages in an effort to alleviate tiredness can lead to a revolving door of bad habits.
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It’s true that coffee helps you stay alert, but its effects might last for up to eight hours. As a result, it can shorten your slumber and diminish the quality of your slumber.
So, what are some natural ways to stay awake?
1. Get up and move around to feel awake
Robert Thayer, Ph.D., a professor of psychology at California State University, Long Beach, conducted a study to see if eating a candy bar or doing a vigorous 10-minute walk would give people greater energy.
The candy bar gave participants a short-term energy boost, but an hour later, they were more exhausted and had less energy. For the next two hours, the energy boost from the little stroll lasted. The reason for this is because walking causes an increase in the flow of oxygen to the blood, the brain, and the muscles.
If you work at a desk, take small breaks throughout the day to get some fresh air and exercise. Take a walk to a restaurant or find a beautiful place to eat your lunch if you’re bringing your own. There is no better way to boost your energy and alertness than to take a short walk around the office building.
2. Take a nap to take the edge off sleepiness
Make sure not to take more than one nap, and don’t take it right before you go to sleep.
If you’re having trouble falling asleep, Dr. Krakow recommends a five-to-twenty-five minute nap to help you get back to sleep at night and stay asleep. Preferably, you should snooze approximately six to seven hours before your usual bedtime. Take a short nap before going to bed if you have to.
On the job snoozes might be tricky. Take a snooze during your break, and if required, utilize a vibrating alarm clock to ensure it doesn’t interfere with your work time.
Many organizations now have designated nap rooms for their staff, which is a good thing.
As a Stanford University Sleep Medicine Center fellow, Allison T. Siebern, PhD, explains, “Even if you can’t nap, even resting quietly with your eyes closed for ten minutes or so will assist,” she says.
3. Give your eyes a break to avoid fatigue
Eyestrain and drowsiness can be exacerbated by spending too much time staring at a computer screen.
Relax your eyes by taking a break from the computer screen.
4. Eat a healthy snack to boost energy
Sugary snacks give you a temporary burst of energy, followed by the sugar “lows,” which cause mental fogginess and tiredness when blood sugar levels are too low.
In the long run, snacks like these will give you a greater overall feeling of well-being:
- Celery sticks or whole wheat crackers with peanut butter are both good choices.
- Fresh fruit or nuts can be added to the yogurt.
- Cream cheese dipped baby carrots.
5. Start a conversation to wake up your mind
Engaging in conversation is a good way to keep your brain active if you’re fading fast. Krakow, the medical director of Maimonides Sleep Arts and Sciences in Albuquerque, N.M., suggests that you talk to a colleague about your business concept, politics, or religion. In a talk about politics, “it’s a pretty powerful behavioral stimulant.”
6. Turn up the lights to ease fatigue
The effects of exhaustion are exacerbated in low-light environments. Exposure to strong light has been demonstrated to reduce tiredness and boost alertness in studies. Try boosting the brightness of your office lights.
7. Take a breather to feel alert
Deep breathing improves the body’s ability to absorb oxygen. As a result, your heart rate, blood pressure, and circulation all calm down, which is good for your brain and energy levels.
To get the most benefit from deep breathing, it’s best to inhale through the belly rather than the chest when doing so. You can do them at work. Ten repetitions of this workout are recommended.
- Inhale deeply through your nose, allowing your belly to push your hand out of your rib cage with one hand and your chest with the other. If your chest moves, you’re doing it wrong.
- Inhale through your mouth, squeezing your lips together like you’re whistling. Pushing air out with your palm on your tummy can assist.
Another yoga practice, known as stimulating breath, is used to raise energy and alertness quickly:
- Keep your mouth closed but relaxed as you quickly inhale and exhale through your nose.
- Breathe in and out quickly, roughly three times in a second.
- Breathe properly after that.
- To begin, do this for 15 seconds, then add five seconds every subsequent time until you reach a minute.
8. If you’re driving, pull over when sleepy
Siebern claims that driving when intoxicated is equally risky as driving while intoxicated. Open the windows and play loud music to try to keep yourself awake while driving, but this won’t work for very long. For now, Siebern recommends having someone else drive or pulling over somewhere safe so you may catch a nap.
If you’re taking a long journey, alternate drivers often. It is recommended that you get up and move about every two hours at the very least.
9. Switch tasks to stimulate your mind
Those who worked 12-hour night shifts in Finland discovered that monotonous labor was just as detrimental to alertness as sleep loss.
When you’re tired, save your more stimulating duties for when you’re not at work or home. Alternatively, if you start to feel drowsy at work, you can switch to more interesting tasks.
10. Drink water to prevent tiredness
Fatigue can result from dehydration. Consume plenty of water-rich foods like fruits and vegetables to keep yourself hydrated.
11. Get some daylight to regulate your sleep cycles
daylight affects our circadian rhythms, which control our sleep-wake cycle. Every day, try to get outside for at least 30 minutes. (If you suffer from insomnia, sleep specialists recommend getting an hour of sunshine in the morning each day.) If you just take a few minutes to stroll outside, your senses will be refreshed.
12. Exercise to increase energy and reduce fatigue
University of Georgia researchers conducted a 2006 review of 70 trials involving more than 6,800 people and concluded that exercise was more helpful in raising energy and lowering daytime fatigue than several drugs used to treat sleep difficulties.
The quality of one’s sleep is also improved by regular exercise. Spend at least 30 minutes a day working out.
Your energy level may dip for a while and then soar for a few hours if you opt to work out hard on a regular basis.
Less early energy loss is experienced if protein and carbohydrates are consumed within two hours of a vigorous activity. Workout a few hours before bedtime to avoid being over-stimulated at the time of trying to fall asleep.
13. Keep a consistent sleep schedule
The urge for stimulants like caffeine may be caused by a lack of sleep or an irregular sleep cycle. A typical night’s sleep for an adult is between seven and nine hours.
If you receive the same amount of sleep each night, it may help your body maintain a consistent level of energy.
It may also be beneficial to stick to a regular bedtime and wakeup schedule. It’s possible that following a set routine will allow you to obtain more sleep, which in turn will allow your mind to be more aware and active throughout the day.
14. Go outside
To govern sleep and wakefulness cycles, the body’s circadian rhythm relies on the amount of daylight.
Resetting circadian rhythms to find a healthy sleep cycle may be aided by daily exposure to natural light.
If you can’t get outside in the morning sunlight, some people swear by it, but if you can’t, even a few minutes a day in nature can help.
15. Listen to music
Playing music while at work or listening to it through headphones may also assist keep the brain busy. A person’s taste in music is entirely up to them, although some may find that listening to music that is overly tranquil or relaxing actually makes them feel worse. In contrast, if you’re looking for something to keep you awake, you may want to choose for something more upbeat.
16. Stay active
Take active breaks instead of sitting in the break room if you can’t get enough exercise at work. A short walk around the office may be enough to keep the blood pumping during a break.
If getting up and moving about is not an option, some simple stretching at the desk or workplace may assist.
A easy method to loosen up tight muscles and keep blood flowing and the body active is to do some torso twists, arms over the head, or a side-to-side roll of the neck.
18. Stay hydrated
A lack of hydration might affect one’s ability to concentrate and remain alert throughout the day.
As the person heads to the bathroom, the extra thirst for water may help keep them awake.
19. Snack on healthful foods
When it comes to staying awake or feeling sluggish, the sorts of food we eat during the day may have a role.
It is possible that a healthy snack may require less energy to digest or maintain a stable blood sugar level than a junk food or sugar-sweetened beverage intake.
To keep your body fueled and satisfied throughout the day, here are a few ideas:
- nuts or trail mix
- a hard-boiled egg
- natural yogurt
- vegetable slices and hummus
- fresh fruit, such as bananas, grapes, or apples
20. Take a nap
If you’re working a late shift, taking a little sleep before or after lunch can help you recharge your batteries and keep your body energized for the duration of your shift.
This might be as easy as a 10- to 20-minute snooze in the drive for folks who work early to afternoon shifts.
Prior to going to work, people who work night or early morning shifts may want to take a short nap.
21. Keep cool
To assist the body and brain wake up, try sprinkling yourself with ice-cold water and rubbing your face and hands together.
If someone is overheated, taking off a jacket or other outer layer of clothes, or cranking up the air conditioning, can help to cool them down and keep them more attentive.
22. Inhale sharp smells
It is possible that a person’s senses will be awakened by a sharp or pungent aroma. It is possible to alleviate symptoms by inhaling essential oil smells like:
The aroma of a freshly brewed cup of coffee might also help a person stay awake. Brewing a little extra coffee, even if no one plans to drink it, may help people stay awake.
23. Lifestyle changes
People should make long-term modifications to their diet and exercise habits in order to avoid experiencing weariness and sluggishness symptoms.
Changing one’s diet, exercising more, obtaining better sleep, or any other long-term lifestyle adjustments are examples of lifestyle modifications.
How can I keep myself from dozing off in class?
To avoid falling asleep in class, take a quick bathroom break. As soon as you get to the bathroom, try squirting some icy water on your face to wake you up.
What should I do if I can’t fall asleep?
It may be a good idea to get out of bed and do something different to help you fall asleep. Stay away from anything that will cause your brain to be stimulated. Take a warm bath or a long soak in the tub to unwind instead. Try going back to bed when you’re tired.
What if you experience caffeine withdrawal?
Caffeine does not have to be completely eliminated from your diet. To begin, cut your caffeine intake in half or gradually wean yourself off of it. Caffeine withdrawal symptoms, such as headaches, irritability, or jitteriness, may occur if you opt to go cold turkey on the stimulant.
Caffeine withdrawal symptoms are normally gone within a few days, according to Dr. Darling.
You should keep hydrated and use ibuprofen (Advil) or acetaminophen (Tylenol). You’ll acquire a better understanding of how your body works without caffeine as you adopt healthier habits and cease experiencing unpleasant symptoms. You might be surprised by how great you feel without it.
Doing the same thing every day is routine for us. As Dr. Darling puts it, “We often don’t understand how our routines and habits are hurting us.” Take a look at what life would be like if you didn’t rely so much on caffeine. Healthy practices that naturally energize us are the key to success.”