How to stop falling asleep at work
We’ve all been there before, cradling a cup of coffee at our desk to stop nodding off and falling asleep at work. Feeling sleepy on the job happens more often than we may think and affects part-time, full-time, day or night-time workers. Worst, it takes the joy out of your day, can damage your performance and in some jobs, can even be life-threatening.
Is it normal to fall asleep at work?
It’s normal to feel sleepy at work if you didn’t get a good night’s sleep. That’s because sleep boosts your energy reserves so that you can function at your best. Sleep deprivation can leave you feeling sleepy and fatigued during the day, making it difficult to concentrate and be alert at work.
What’s causing your sleepiness at work? There could be many reasons why you can’t seem to keep your eyes open. Late nights, poor sleep and sleep disorders could be to blame.
5 Ways to stay awake at work
Here are 5 ways to help you stop falling asleep at work:
1. Get some fresh air
Spending a couple of minutes outdoors will give your brain a boost and make you feel more alert and recharged to face your next meeting at work. This is because fresh air raises blood oxygen levels in the body. Your heart rate slows, lowering your blood pressure and improving circulation.
2. Drink water
Staying hydrated can help to stop you from falling asleep at work. Regular sips of water throughout the day will keep the sleepiness at bay. You’ll feel refreshed and more alert as water nourishes the body, enabling it to function well.
3. Get your caffeine fix
Drink a cup of coffee when you get to work to raise your energy levels. Caffeine is a stimulant that can help you stay awake. However, finding the right balance is essential. Too much caffeine can keep you awake for long periods of time and affect your efforts to sleep later. The key is to ensure you don’t drink caffeine at least eight hours before going to bed so that it doesn’t affect your sleep.
4. Listen to upbeat music
Music can help you feel more awake. Try playing loud, energising music to distract you from feeling tired and to boost your energy levels.
5. Get up and move around
Work deadlines can have you glued to your desk for the better part of your day. Add sleepiness to the mix and you may forget to stand up. This could make you feel even more tired. Instead, try alternating between working for 25 minutes at a time followed by a 5-minute break. Take a brief walk outside or have a glass of water.
Lifestyle changes to improve sleep at night
Studies show that there’s a strong link between the quality of your sleep and physical activity, what you eat and your stress levels. Unhealthy lifestyle choices can take a toll on your immune system, mood, brain and heart health and affect the way you function at work.
To be mentally alert and productive, make sure you are getting enough sleep and practising good sleep hygiene, such as setting a consistent bedtime.
Exercise regularly to sleep better at night because working out allows the body to wind down and relax so that you can fall asleep faster.
Be smart about what you eat and drink before bedtime. Some foods negatively affect the body’s natural sleep rhythm while others improve it.
Skip the caffeine and nicotine right before turning in to help improve your sleep quality. Get into a soothing nighttime routine like dimming the lights, lighting scented candles, reading a book, taking a hot bath or meditating to help prepare your mind for sleep.
By making a few lifestyle changes to help you sleep better, you can get back to bed, so that you can get back to work and be at your best.