Staying awake and alert at work not only helps with your productivity, but of course keeps your professional image intact. The simplest way to maintain consciousness is to do your work. But, that can be easier said than done if you’ve lost sleep due to a crying baby, family emergency, illness, stress, or other circumstances.
Here are a few tidbits to keep your brain alert so you can successfully make it through the workday after a long night.
Get some sunlight. Your body’s internal clock is regulated by exposure to ample light. If you don’t work near windows, surround yourself with bright lights – like an extra lamp – to stay more alert. Take your lunch break outside, or even just breaks outside when weather permits.
Don’t get too full. Avoid a heavy lunch and a full stomach. A big meal can induce a sleep spell that is hard to overcome. Instead, snack on healthy foods with plenty of protein to give you a boost of energy that will help you get through the day. Avoid snacks that are high in sugar because they can only keep you energized for about half an hour. The empty calories will cause your body to crash halfway through your workday, and falling asleep will be harder to fight off given that you’re already tired. Stick to snacks such as apples, sunflower seeds, whole wheat crackers, raisins, cheese, and nuts.
Get up and exercise. It is recommended that you get up and stretch for every hour that you sit at your desk. Being physical can perk you up and get blood flowing to your extremities, – helping invigorate you at the same time. If you’re able to, take a quick walk outside. The natural environment can awaken your senses, as well as get you that much needed sunlight. Check this past blog for other ideas to stay active at the workplace.
Limit the caffeine. Caffeine can go a long way if you consume it correctly. Spread it out slowly throughout the day to avoid any counterproductive side effects. A cup of coffee or tea can help energize you, but limit yourself to four to eight cups (300 mg of caffeine a day) or you will feel the inevitable crash.
If you feel your eyes glazing over, remember these quick tips to help you make it through the day. However, keep in mind you can have all the tips and tricks to stay awake, but nothing beats a good night’s rest.