Sometimes, staying awake at work can be a challenge for us. We are all human and get tired from time to time. No matter what kind of job you have, it is important to know how to stay awake at work. Staying awake at work is important for many reasons. Your performance can drop or you may even put yourself at risk depending on your occupation.
The National Sleep Foundation estimates that 70 million Americans have a sleep disorder. As the world continues to become more technologically advanced, we’re likely to see an increase in sleep disorders and insomnia.
So why do we fall asleep and can’t stay awake at work?
There are a lot of reasons why you might be falling asleep:
- You’re tired: The simplest reason for you to be falling asleep in the afternoon is that you are tired.
- You’re hungry: Being hungry can make you feel tired as well. If you haven’t had a chance to eat lunch yet, it’s likely that your lack of food will cause you to lack energy while working.
- You’re a night person: Some people are just naturally sleepy during the day. They don’t need any other reason than their DNA to fall asleep.
- Your body needs a break. Sometimes, if your brain knows that it has been working very hard during the day, it will want to rest because it needs a break. It is not uncommon for people who work very hard during the day to fall asleep because they need their brains to take a break.
- You can’t sleep at night. if you have kids or a pet that keeps you up late into the night (or early in the morning), it’s even harder to get a good night’s rest.
- Your circadian rhythm is disrupted. When people are on night shifts or rotating shifts (like healthcare professionals), they often find themselves fighting their bodies’ natural cycles to stay awake and alert at times they normally would be sleeping. If you’re having trouble staying awake, ask your doctor if adjusting your schedule might help. Then discuss this with your employer.
Here is how to stay awake at work during the day
We all face this problem at some point. So that’s why I have brought this list of easy tricks to help you battle tiredness at work.
Eat lunch late
When you eat your lunch late during the day, it will be harder for you to fall asleep. Therefore, try to have your lunch several hours after you start your work day. Eating lunch in the afternoon would be a good idea.
Eat small meals
Make it a habit to eat small meals every few hours throughout day. You should eat breakfast within an hour of waking up, and then have another snack or meal three or four hours later. This will help boost your energy levels throughout the day and make sure that you do not fall asleep at work.
Get a caffeinated drink
Caffeine is also a great way to help fight off that tired feeling. Coffee, soda, and energy drinks all contain caffeine which is a stimulant that can help with your fatigue. Although caffeine is proven to be effective it can be dangerous as well, so make sure not overdo it before or during work hours.
Listen to music
If coffee or caffeine drinks do not sound appealing to you, there are other alternatives available to help keep you awake at work, such as music and video games.
Music can help stimulate our brains and in turn will help keep us focused and alert while working on projects at the office or any other place where you may need to stay up.
Take active breaks regularly
As contradictory as it may seem, taking regular active breaks can also help you stay awake at work. Physical activity activates your circulation and helps release endorphins. These chemicals tend to activate your brain and hence keep you awake.
So take the stairs instead of the elevator or escalator whenever possible to activate your body and brain.
Breathe fresh air
Take short breaks in the fresh air during the day if it’s possible because fresh air can help you stay awake at work. If we are locked down in an office, that reduces the availability of oxygen in the air. This can be particularly common in winter time. Oxygen activates our brains and helps us remain awake.
Having a cup of warm beverage
Drinking a cup of warm beverage such as tea or coffee may wake you up if you feel sleepy at work.
Drink plenty of water
Water helps to keep your body hydrated and increases your energy levels. Drink water regularly throughout the day, but don’t drink too much before going to bed.
Take a power nap
A nap is a short sleep, usually during the day. Some people take a nap after lunch (or even before), while others take a nap at the desk for a quick break.
Find out when you naturally fall asleep every day. For me, it’s usually around 2:00 pm in the afternoon. It’s very common for people to start feeling drowsy right around this time of day.
It should go without saying that taking a nap will help re-energize you and allow you to continue working throughout the rest of the day.
Sit around chatty and positive people
You’re more likely to fall asleep if you’re bored or anxious, so try to keep yourself entertained and positive while at work. Catch up with co-workers during your breaks or lunch if possible; ask them about their lives and listen attentively when they talk about theirs.