It happens to everyone. You’re working right along, feeling productive and efficient and engaged, when you suddenly hit a wall. Maybe the wall comes at two in the afternoon, or maybe right after your morning meetings, or maybe an hour before quitting time. What was once alertness is now sleepiness, but you still have things to get done.
Daytime sleepiness is a common frustration among workers. Luckily, you can take steps to combat drowsiness without resorting to unhealthy habits. Here are just a few ways you can stay awake at work, even through the dullest and most tedious tasks.
Five Tips to Naturally Stay Awake and Alert Throughout the Day
Get a Good Night’s Sleep
It may seem obvious, but staying awake during the day requires sleeping at night. Be honest about how much shut-eye you’re getting and try going to bed a half hour earlier than you usually do. EverydayHealth.com reminds readers that adults need about seven or eight hours of sleep each night, so make time in your schedule to get the rest you need!
Though regular cardio and strength exercise is good for your overall health, for daytime sleepiness, any kind of movement can help. If you notice your focus waning, try a quick walk to your car and back. Stand up, stretch, or try typing while standing for a few minutes. One study found that a brisk 10-minute walk provided workers with a two-hour energy boost.
Consider a Nap
Though napping at work can be taboo, if you’re really sleepy, try sneaking in a few minutes of snoozing. Don’t take more than one nap, and try to keep naps between five and 25 minutes for a boost in alertness. Even closing your eyes for a few minutes can help.
Though you may be tempted to inject yourself with coffee to power through the day, avoid relying on caffeine to stay awake. Over time, you’ll require more caffeine to stay productive, and you can even develop caffeine withdrawals if you skip a cup. If you can’t quite give up caffeine, try drinks with a lower content. Though black tea is more popular than green among international tea drinkers (78% versus 20%), green tea’s slightly lower caffeine content and antioxidants make it a great choice for a midday boost.
Finally, sipping water throughout the day can help you stay focused and alert. Keep a water bottle next to you to sip your way through sleepiness. As a bonus, more bathroom breaks will help get you up and moving about between tasks.
Daytime sleepiness can stall your day-to-day productivity. Follow these tips to keep your eyes open and to conquer your workday tasks.