We all struggle to stay awake sometimes, especially when our bosses are boring us to death in a meeting, or our teachers are babbling away at the chalkboard, or even when our spouses or significant others won’t stop talking about the person at work that they don’t get along with.
The truth is, it’s hard for our bodies and minds to stay awake and alert throughout the entire day, so if you experience any of these feelings, you’re not alone. The challenge, though, lies in waking yourself back up, especially if you don’t drink caffeine or take any anti-fatigue medications.
Simple Solutions and Tips for Staying Awake
This list gives you 5 easy ways to stay awake throughout your entire day without the use of caffeine or medications.
1.) Take A Power Nap
Believe it or not, going to sleep is actually proven to help wake you up. Well, it’s actually proven to help kick the feelings of sleepiness, but all you really need is a 20-minute power nap at some point during your day. You’ll wake up feeling rejuvenated, refreshed and your mind will be more alert.
An afternoon nap lasting longer than 20 minutes may only make you feel drowsier, so be sure to set that alarm during your lunch break, and take a quick snooze at your desk if you have to!
2.) The Earlobe Trick
This little trick taps into the theory behind accupressure and the belief that putting pressure on certain areas of the body will elicit different responses. It doesn’t seem like the best tip to give to help you stay awake, but try it, pull down on your earlobes with a slight amount of pressure. It’s proven to help people feel more awake and alert.
Some other accupressure points believed to help with feeling more awake include the top of the head, the area between the thumb and the index finger on the backside of your hands, the bottom of the feet, about 3 inches below the knee and the top of the back of the neck on both the left and right sides. Applying pressure on any of these points will help wake you up.
3.) Chew Peppermint Gum
Chewing gum will give your body just enough physical activity to perform without disrupting anyone around you to keep you somewhat awake. The only problem is that chewing gum can be terrible for your teeth and your overall health if it’s high in sugar content.
That’s why it’s important to chew sugar-free peppermint gum. The sugar-free part will spare your teeth any damage, and the peppermint is an aromatic herb with a scent that can help reduce feelings of fatigue and increase alertness.
4.) Get Uncomfortable
It should be a no-brainer that the more comfortable you are, the sleepier you will feel. Why do you think massage chairs are so darn comfy?! Ultimate relaxation that comes with the most comfortable furniture will most definitely lead to drowsiness during the daytime hours.
That’s why you should make a point of sitting uncomfortably in your desk chair when you feel yourself dozing off, or sit up with a straight back in a lecture hall at a class that’s boring you to sleep. Don’t slouch down and put your feet up – sit up straight or sit uncomfortably to feel more awake.
5.) Crank the AC
Along the same lines as the comfort aspect of feeling sleepy, being too snuggly warm and cozied up at work or in class can be detrimental to your alertness. So to counteract those feelings of being cuddled up in your warm bed at home, crank the AC if you can. If you’re in an office setting, just ask first before you raise the temperature – but most offices are chilly, anyway.
If you’re in a classroom setting, this might be a little more difficult, but if you know you’re prone to falling asleep in that particular class, simply dress inappropriately for the weather (not inappropriately in general – but if it’s the dead of winter, wear a T-shirt or even a tank top). The cooler you feel, the more awake you’ll feel!
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Jackie Ryan is a freelance writer who uses comfortable anti fatigue mats at her job to help her stay awake. She recommends that anyone who thinks they may be sleep deprived see a doctor who can help – her tips are meant to be quick fixes to sleepiness, not a cure for a real medical condition.