David and Tanner review a list of natural ways to keep youself awake listed by WebMD. With us all working long hours hopefully you will find a few of these listed helpful!
11 Tips on How to Stay Awake Naturally
By Camille Peri
With more and more of us getting less and less sleep, it’s tempting to reach for a Red Bull, Coffee or Bang when we feel sleepy in the field. But consuming caffeine to combat sleepiness can lead to a vicious cycle.
How can you stay awake naturally? Try some of these 11 jitter-free tips to take the edge off sleepiness.
1. Get Up and Move Around to Feel Awake
California State University, Long Beach, studied whether people were more energized by eating a candy bar or taking a brisk 10-minute walk. The 10-minute walk increased energy for two hours. That’s because walking pumps oxygen through your veins, brain, and muscles.
2. Take a Nap to Take the Edge Off Sleepiness
“Nap between five and 25 minutes,” says Barry Krakow, MD, author of Sound Sleep, Sound Mind Napping on the job can be touchy.
“If you can’t nap, even resting quietly with your eyes closed for 10 minutes or so will help
3. Give Your Eyes a Break to Avoid Fatigue
Continuous fixation on a computer screen can cause eyestrain and worsen sleepiness and fatigue. Look away from the screen for a few minutes periodically to relax your eyes.
4. Eat a Healthy Snack to Boost Energy
Sugary snacks give you a quick energy boost followed by the sugar “lows,” when low blood sugar produces mental fogginess and lethargy. Snacks such as these will provide better overall energy in the long run:
Peanut butter on a whole wheat cracker or celery sticks
Yogurt and a handful or nuts or fresh fruit
Baby carrots with a low-fat cream cheese dip
5. Start a Conversation to Wake Up Your Mind
If you’re fading fast, engaging in conversation can get your mind moving again. “Talk to a colleague about a business idea, politics, or religion,” says Krakow, medical director of Maimonides Sleep Arts and Sciences, Ltd. in Albuquerque, N.M. “It’s a very strong behavioral stimulator -- especially when it’s a conversation about politics.”
6. Turn Up the Lights to Ease Fatigue
Environments with dim lighting aggravate fatigue. Studies have shown that exposure to bright light can reduce sleepiness and increase alertness. Try increasing the intensity of your light source at work.
7. Take a Breather to Feel Alert
Deep breathing raises blood oxygen levels in the body. This slows your heart rate, lowers blood pressure, and improves circulation, ultimately aiding mental performance and energy.
The idea of deep-breathing exercises is to inhale to the abdomen, not the chest. You can do them at your desk. Sitting up straight, try this exercise up to 10 times:
With one hand on your belly just below your ribs and the other on your chest, inhale deeply through your nose and let your belly push your hand out. Your chest should not move.
Breathe out through lips pursed as if you were whistling. You can use the hand on your belly to help push air out.
Another technique, called stimulating breath, is used in yoga for a quick energy boost and increased alertness: Inhale and exhale rapidly through your nose, keeping your mouth closed but relaxed. Make your in-and-out breaths short -- do about three of each cycle in a second. Then breathe normally. You can do this for up to 15 seconds the first time and then add on five seconds each time after until you reach a minute.
8. If You’re Driving, Pull Over When Sleepy
“Driving while sleepy is as dangerous as driving under the influence of alcohol,” says Siebern. Common tricks such as opening the windows and turning on loud music won’t keep you awake for very long behind the wheel. “Have someone else drive or pull off the road and take a nap until you’re no longer sleepy,” Siebern says.
If you’re on an extended trip, change drivers often. Stop at least every two hours to take a walk and get some fresh air.
9. Switch Tasks to Stimulate Your Mind
In 2004 Finnish researchers who studied people working 12-hour night shifts found that monotonous work is as harmful as sleep loss for alertness. Switch to more engaging work responsibilities when you feel yourself nodding off.
10. Drink Water to Prevent Tiredness
Dehydration can cause fatigue. Make sure you drink plenty of fluids and eat foods high in water such as fruits and vegetables.
11. Exercise to Increase Energy and Reduce Fatigue
In an analysis of 70 studies involving more than 6,800 people, University of Georgia researchers found that exercise was more effective in increasing energy and reducing daytime fatigue than some medications used to treat sleep problems. Regular exercise also improves quality of sleep.
Try to exercise 30 minutes a day. If you decide to exercise hard some days, your energy level may drop for a bit and then surge for a few hours. Eating a meal that contains both protein and carbohydrates within two hours after a heavy workout will lessen the initial energy loss. Be sure to finish your workout a few hours before bedtime so you are not energized when you try to sleep.