Stay Awake at Work

Whether you partied all night, stayed up with a newborn, or lost sleep while finishing up a project, now you're at work and you're having a difficult time staying awake. You promise yourself that you'll get more sleep, if you can just make it through the day without being discovered by your boss with your eyes closed. Here's how to have a good sleep. If you want to go to sleep at 8.30.


Use your sense of smell. A strong scent, good or bad, can make you more alert very quickly. Aromatherapists often recommend essential oils of the following plants to stimulate the nervous system and reduce fatigue (open the bottle and take a big whiff when you're feeling drowsy):

> Rosemary.

> Eucalyptus blue gum.

> Peppermint (a study showed that smelling peppermint can lower fatigue by 15%, increase alertness by 30% and decrease frustration by 25%.)

> Coffee (beans or brewed, study has shown that simply smelling coffee can awaken a person)

> Scots pine oil.

Of course, not all of us have essential oils stored in our file cabinets, but using hand lotions or burning candles with these same scents could help. Herbs like rosemary and peppermint can
often be found fresh or dried at a grocery store; for a little pick-me-up, take a pinch and roll it between your fingertips and smell it. Alternatively, if there's any chili powder around, take a (careful) whiff of that.

Use acupressure. Massaging any of the following points will improve circulation and ease fatigue

> Top of your head (lightly tap with your fingertip).

> Top of the back of your neck.

> Back of your hands (between thumb and index finger) .

> Just below the knees.

> Earlobes

Take a power nap. If you have the time, sleeping for just 15-20 minutes can increase your alertness by leaps and bounds if you have a cup of coffee (or any other form of caffeine) right before you fall asleep.

Expose yourself to bright light, preferably natural daylight. Your body's internal clock, its circadian rhythms, are regulated by your exposure to sufficient light. Even if you're in an environment where there's artificial light, brighter is better. If you can step outside (even on a cloudy day) or look out the window for a full minute, you'll be more alert. Wherever you work, see if you can replace the light fixture or add a lamp that will brighten your workspace.

Keep yourself uncomfortable. Stay on your feet as much as possible. If you have to sit down, get the most uncomfortable chair you can find. Try not to sit in anything that will make you sore if you stay there. Make sure the back is upright, forcing you to sit up very straight. Don't allow your head to rest on anything--your hands, the desk, the wall.

> Stay cold. If it's a little cold, take off your sweater or jacket so you stay on the chilly side. Open a window or put on a small fan, pointed at your face.

Exercise at your computer. Just because you're sitting down doesn't mean you can't use your muscles.

Avoid a full stomach. Munch on snacks all day, rather than having a big meal. The key is to not get a spike of sugar intake (followed by the inevitable crash). The same goes for caffeine. Break your consumption down into small doses.

> Apple - the sweetness and tartness in the flavor, along with the "crunch" will perk you up in a healthy way

> Sunflower seeds still in the husk (put a small handful in your cheek and crack them open one at a time, using only your teeth and tongue; this will require just enough active thought and tongue movement to prevent you from dozing off, and the salt of the sunflower seeds is invigorating and stimulating; spit out the sunflower husks into a paper cup as you go, as quietly as possible so as to not disturb others around you).

> Raisins.

Listen to music that's energizing to you; if possible, dance or sing along, even if you just bob your head or hum. Music that's irritating or jarring to you can also work. Just make sure to use headphones so you don't disturb your co-workers.

Every thirty minutes, do one of the following, Physical activity for 2-3 minutes (jumping jacks, push-ups, jogging in place, or walk around)
Splash cold water on your face

> Drink an ice cold glass of water (the coldness picks you up, and guarantees you getting up every half hour or so to go to the bathroom; you won't fall asleep on a full bladder)

> Brush your teeth

> Chew gum. Chewing gum stimulates muscles in your face, increasing blood flow to your head, helping you stay alert and awake.

1 comment:

  1. Ooh, all good ideas. Sometimes staying awake at work can get pretty hard, especially if you're on the night shift, like a call center worker or a nurse. Feeling sleepy in the job is no good, so make the effort on staying awake and alert!


Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.