You’re having one of those days at work. Maybe you went out late with your friends and had one too many drinks the night before. Or maybe something was on your mind and you couldn’t fall asleep. Whatever the case is you’re having trouble staying awake at work and you’re nodding off in meetings. The hours are ticking by slowly and you just can’t wait to get home and jump into the warm comfort of your bed. If ONLY you had a way to stay focused just a little bit longer…
Don’t despair we’ve compiled 30 tips to stay awake at work!
1. Take a walk around the office. Not only will walking around your office stimulate your body and give you a little break from the monotony of your job, but the increased blood flow stimulates your brain so you can remain focused for longer when you sit down.
2. Do 1 minute of yoga breathing exercises. Breathing deeply increases productivity and oxygen throughout the body. It also decreases stress hormones. Count to 2 as you exhale and inhale. If you can close your eyes while doing this it’ll work even better!
3. Take an espresso shot. Espresso shots have more caffeine per ounce than coffee. It typically takes 30 minutes before you feel the effects of caffeine so don’t be discouraged if you aren’t feeling awake right away. One can of red bull will also do the trick as it has as much caffeine as a cup of coffee.
4.Napping on toilet: Take a quick nap in the bathroom. If your bathroom has multiple stalls, go inside, put the seat down and take a nap sitting up. You only need to sneak in a 10 minute power nap to feel refreshed. Don’t worry you won’t oversleep as others will wake you up when they wash their hands.
5. Take a nap in your car. Make sure to drive OUT of your company’s parking garage and to a nearby street so as not to be seen by your co-workers. Also don’t forget to set an alarm on your phone!
6. Don’t eat candy or foods high in sugar. Even though sugar will give you a strong short-term boost in energy, you’ll find yourself crashing hard afterwards.
7. Instead eat whole wheat, multi-grain bread or apples. The complex carbohydrates in these foods will give you a steady flow of energy throughout the day.
8. Eat vitamin D pills. Low vitamin D levels can lead to fatigue.
9. Buy a miniature fan, put it on your desk, and direct it towards your face. The cold air hitting your face will provide a light breeze and keep you awake.
10. Splash water on your face. If you need a quick boost before a meeting or presentation, splash water on your face to wake yourself up. The effects wear off quickly so be sure to try other things on this list as well.
11. Chew gum, preferably peppermint flavored. The smell of the peppermint and act of chewing will keep you awake. If you are really tired, constantly switch to a newer piece of gum to keep the peppermint taste and smell as strong as possible.
12. Put on headphones : Put on your earphones and listen to loud music. We recommend EDM (electronic dance music is all the rage these days) as the beats will keep you energized.
13. Pull out leg hair. We know. You’re thinking this can’t REALLY work. Surprisingly this is very effective and has saved many people from falling asleep in a meeting.
14. Put menthol cream under your nose. Go to the nearest pharmacy and grab a jar of menthol. Put a little bit under your nose. The strong minty smell will keep you wide awake and lasts up to 30 minutes.
15. Activate your mind by playing a simple Flash game. Try a website like www.kongregate.com to play free games. Reward yourself with small gaming breaks to keep yourself excited as you get through the monotony of your job.
16. Chat with a friend or co-workers. Pick up the phone and call your best friend for 15 minutes. Nothing wakes you up more than gossiping about the latest news.
17. Sip ice water slowly. Make sure to stick extra ice cubes into the water. The colder the better. The act of sipping and ice cold feeling on your lips will keep you awake.
18. Stretch your legs. Do simple calve raises under your desk. It’ll get your blood going which will circulate oxygen around your body to your brain.
19. Avoid coffee after noon. Even though you might not feel the effects of caffeine late in the day studies have shown it can still disrupt your sleep. Experts recommend not drinking anything caffeinated after noon.
20. Do a sleep study to get checked for sleep disorders. Sleep apnea is a serious condition where you stop breathing or have shallow breathes while you sleep. It is often undiagnosed and can lead to being fatigued, overweight and in more severe cases long-term heart issues. Those 8 hours of sleep you are getting might not really be 8 hours after all.
21. Avoid over eating. Food coma is real. When you over eat your body has to spend extra energy digesting the food. Try to eat small snacks throughout the day if you are feeling sleepy.
22. Put chapstick under your eye. The tingling sensation will help you fight the drooping sensation in your eyes and keep them wide open.
23. Get a check-up and see if you have hypothyroidism. Hypothyroidism is more common in women than men. One of its key symptoms is fatigue. If you’ve been getting 8 or more hours of sleep every night and still feel tired consider going to see a medical professional.
24. Dim the lighting on your computer screen. The bright light of your computer screen can strain your eyes, especially when you’re tired.
25. Perform simple acupressure exercises such as on your earlobes. This will relieve stress and give a feeling of relaxation.
26. If you need to stay awake in a meeting try transcribing every word being said. Staying active helps you stay awake. By writing down every word that is being said not only do you stay active, but you can refer to the notes later when you are more alert and focused.
27. Do jumping jacks. Jumping jacks are a great full body workout that can be done in a confined space. Find a personal bathroom or go to the stairwell and do 20 jumping jacks. You’re sure to feel better right away
28. Take a sick day. Sometimes it’s better not to fight it at all. Tell your boss you’re coming down with the flu and go home to rest.
29. Take off your sweater and open the window. The fresh air will wake you up and being cold keeps your body alert.
30. Laugh. A Lot. Watch a 5 minute comedy clip from your favorite comedian on Youtube. Laughing is good for your well-being!