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Posted by Bridget Reed

Falling Asleep at Work: 7 Tips To Stay Awake

Have you ever found yourself nodding off during a meeting or struggling to keep your eyes open while staring at your computer screen? You're not alone. Many American workers experience excessive daytime sleepiness, impacting their productivity and overall well-being. 

This isn't just about one sleepless night, either. If you’re drifting off to sleep at your desk regularly, it’s more likely a pattern, which means you must address it as soon as possible. 

The more restful sleep you get at night, the better you’re going to feel during your work day, with or without a power nap. Let’s talk about some actionable tips to help you stay awake and energized during your workday.

1. Upgrade Your Sleep Environment

To combat tiredness effectively, start with the foundation of good sleep: your environment. Ensure your bedroom promotes relaxation and is conducive to a good night's sleep. Getting enough sleep each night sets you up for a day with higher energy levels, reducing drowsiness.

Things as simple as temperature while you sleep can make a big difference to the quality of your rest at night. If you find yourself waking up sweating or shivering, upgrading to our Miracle Made® Comforter could be a game-changer. 

With its thermoregulating technology inspired by NASA, the Miracle Made® Comforter ensures that you stay at the perfect temperature throughout the night. Its ultra-luxurious, 300-thread count Miracle Clean & Cool™ fabric is infused with silver to prevent up to 99.7% of bacteria growth.

This means fewer odors and a cleaner sleeping environment, making it ideal for anyone suffering from allergies or skin sensitivities. Hypoallergenic and 100% vegan, this comforter offers a fluffiness that enhances comfort without sweat. 

Plus, it requires up to 3x less laundry than traditional bedding, saving you time and energy — essential for maintaining that all-important work-life balance.

2. Harness the Power of Light

Light plays a crucial role in regulating our circadian rhythm, the natural wake/sleep cycle of the body. Exposure to bright light, especially natural light during the day, can help maintain healthy sleep patterns and wake cycles. If your workspace is dim, step outside for some fresh air and sunlight, or arrange your desk to receive more daylight.

Introducing more bright light into your day can dramatically improve your wakefulness and reduce excessive daytime sleepiness. Apps that adjust the blue light emissions from screens can also be beneficial, especially for those who spend long periods in front of a computer. 

These adjustments help align your sleep habits with your natural circadian rhythms, promoting better sleep at night and greater alertness during the day. No more falling asleep at your computer!

3. Think About Nutrition

What you eat throughout the day can significantly influence your energy levels and alertness. Avoid heavy meals loaded with carbs and sugary snacks that can spike your blood sugar levels and lead to an energy crash. Instead, focus on balanced meals that sustain your energy. 

Caffeine too late in the day may impact the hours of sleep you get, but if you can’t resist your daily cup of coffee, balancing caffeine intake with plenty of water can prevent high blood pressure and heart disease associated with excessive caffeine consumption.

To further combat tiredness and enhance your ability to stay awake, incorporate foods rich in melatonin, such as cherries or nuts, into your diet to improve your sleep cycle. Regularly drinking cold water can also help you wake up and keep you alert, mirroring the refreshing jolt you get from a glass of water first thing in the morning. 

4. Stay Hydrated

Feeling tired can sometimes be a sign of dehydration. Making an effort to drink water throughout the day can boost your energy and reduce symptoms of tiredness. Keep a glass of water at your desk and take sips regularly, aiming for cold water to give you a refreshing wake-up call. 

Being well-hydrated helps maintain your blood pressure and blood sugar levels at normal ranges, which are essential for optimal health and preventing excessive daytime sleepiness. For those who find it challenging to drink enough water, try setting reminders on your phone or using apps that track your intake. 

5. Take Short, Frequent Breaks

Stand up, stretch, or take a brief walk. This re-energizes you and helps with blood circulation, which is crucial for maintaining energy levels. These breaks can also be an excellent opportunity to practice mindfulness or engage in brief social interactions, which can refresh your mind and reduce feelings of drowsiness

If you're finding it hard to tear yourself away from your workspace, consider using a timer or app that reminds you to take breaks. This practice helps to ensure that your sleep cycle is less disrupted by long, static hours of inactivity, promoting better sleep habits and enhancing your overall wake cycle.

6. Engage in Physical Activity

A little exercise can go a long way in boosting your alertness. If possible, incorporate some form of physical activity into your day, whether it's a morning workout routine or a walk during lunch. Exercise releases endorphins, which can elevate your mood and energy. 

Regular physical activity can help regulate your sleep patterns and improve your sleep quality, contributing to decreased tiredness and reduced risk of sleep disorders such as sleep apnea and narcolepsy. Even a short burst of activity can be incredibly effective in staving off the urge to doze off during critical hours of your workday. 

If you’re into working out, you may also be familiar with ice baths. Ice baths are popular for addressing muscle soreness, but they can also potentially boost energy. If you work out in the morning or mid-way through your day, consider a quick ice bath to help you wake up.

7. Make Your Shower Work for You

The temperature of your shower or bath can significantly influence your alertness levels and sleep quality. An invigorating cold shower in the morning can shock your system into wakefulness, effectively reducing the desire for a cup of coffee. This blast of cold water can stimulate your circadian rhythm, signaling to your body that it's time to wake up and start the day.

On the other hand, taking a warm bath about 90 minutes before bedtime can help your body relax and increase your chances of falling asleep quickly. The warmth from the bath raises your body temperature, and the subsequent cool-down period immediately after facilitates the natural decrease in body temperature associated with sleep, helping to signal your body that it’s time to wind down. 

Whenever you shower, using our Miracle Made® Towel can help dry you off in luxury. Plus, the infusion of antibacterial silver means it stays cleaner longer. If you think your daily sleepiness might be connected to allergies, cutting down on potential exposure is a great way to mitigate that, too. 

The Bottom Line

Staying awake and alert throughout the workday is crucial for productivity and health. By adopting better sleep habits, managing your diet, and altering your physical environment, you can combat drowsiness effectively. 

While understanding and adjusting your lifestyle can take some effort, the boost to your daily performance and health is well worth it. If you’re experiencing persistent sleep issues, make addressing them a priority! After all, taking care of your sleep is taking care of your future.

Sources:

Antibacterial Silver | National Library of Medicine

Effects Of Light On Human Circadian Rhythms, Sleep And Mood | National Library of Medicine

A Critical Review on the Role of Food and Nutrition in the Energy Balance | National Library of Medicine

Study Shows How Taking Short Breaks May Help Our Brains Learn New Skills | National Institutes of Health

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