Article | July 2018

How to Stay Awake at Work: Staying Productive When You Didn't Get Enough Sleep

Didn’t sleep well last night? A sleepless night can impact your work and personal life. How do you stay productive the day after a sleepless night? Even though you may have had a sleepless night, you may still need to have a productive day. Learning how to keep yourself awake following a night of lost sleep, requires you to learn which of the following methods your body best responds to.1

  1. Good night, sleep tight!
    Consider your usual night’s sleep: do you sleep like a rock, or do you wake up throughout the night? If you wake up a lot, make sure your sleeping environment is free of lights, sounds and changes in temperature. And limit use of smartphones, computers, and the TV before bedtime Digital devices like these can stimulate your mind and keep you awake instead of asleep.

  2. Stay hydrated
    While coffee or tea can help jumpstart your day, too much can dehydrate you or make you restless. A good way to stay awake without caffeine is to drink low or no calorie fluids, such as water or herbal tea. Fluids help your circulatory system and get your blood flowing. If you have a headache from too much caffeine, fluids can help relieve it.

  3. Splash your face with cold water
    A splash of cold water over your face will draw your circulation upward, toward your head, temporarily renewing your energy, making you feel more awake.

  4. Reduce your sugar intake
    Eating sugar is often thought to be one of the best ways to stay awake. But it’s actually best to avoid sugar when you’re tired. It causes blood sugar spikes – which is a spurt of high energy followed by very low energy, which can leave you feeling sleepy.

  5. Interrupt your work routine with regular breaks
    If you’re experimenting with how to stay awake at work, try interrupting boring or uninteresting tasks by working for 25 minutes at a time, followed by a 5-minute break. The variety will help you stay awake longer, and may make you more productive. Get up and move around during your break to get your blood flowing.

  6. Connect with a friend
    One of the best ways to stay awake is to do so with others. Focus your mind on something else by talking with a friend or co-worker.

  7. Keep your space cool
    A warm room can make you tired, and a cool room does the opposite! Crack a window for a refreshing breeze to keep your blood flowing and your energy level up.

  8. Put on some tunes
    Use music to help wake up your senses. It can also distract you and take your mind off feeling tired.

  9. Take a walk
    A walk can help bring blood flow to your muscles and wake them up. A change of scenery is also likely to reduce fatigue by inspiring new ideas and even sparking creativity.

  10. Massage
    You can give yourself a jolt of energy by lightly massaging select pressure points on your body. Key areas include: the back of your neck, between your thumb and index finger, behind your knees and just below the balls of your feet.

When you’re at work and need to stay awake, give these tips a try. Make sure to aim for quality rest, as a general rule. If your fatigue and sleeplessness continue talk to your health care provider for guidance.

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1https://www.webmd.com/sleep-disorders/features/natural-tips-sleepiness#1

This article is general health information and not medical advice or services. You should consult your doctor for medical advice or services, including seeking advice prior to undertaking a new diet or exercise program.