WORKPLACE / JUL. 01, 2014
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Haven’t Slept? How to Spend Your Workday without Feeling Tired and Sleepy

Haven’t Slept? How to Spend Your Workday without Feeling Tired and Sleepy
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Your work project was enough to keep you awake last night but now you are dreading staying awake the whole workday without getting caught sleeping on your desk! While the non-stopping yawns may seem like a giveaway to your sleepy condition, it is not as bad as it seems. There are quite a few hacks you can try to help you stay up and peppy at work.

Take a Power Nap

Harvey B. Simon, editor at Harvard Health, writes that even brief naps can boost our memory, learning and problem solving. In fact, many recent studies suggest a strong correlation between sleep and learning.

It is difficult but not impossible to find time for a micro nap at work. In a German study, volunteers were better able to recall a list of 30 words, memorized initially, after a six-minute snooze. Talk about power nap!

In another research conducted in California, volunteers were given some creative problems to ponder upon; half of the volunteers were kept awake while the other half were asked to take a nap, long enough to enter in the REM stage in sleep. When tested later in the afternoon, those who slept performed 40% better than non-nappers and those who didn’t get REM sleep. 

Now you know why researchers consistently place high emphasis on sleep for better problem thinking skills!

Get Down to the Basics

The sleepier you are, the more you will procrastinate doing pending work on your desk. Do the easiest tasks first so you are warmed up for more difficult tasks.

Also, do not multitask! Several studies reveal that multitasking actually makes us waste around 20% to 40% of the productive time of employees, according to Mind Tools. Furthermore, John Medina, author of Brain Rules, says our brains are incapable of multitasking. It not only takes longer to accomplish a task but also increase chances of errors. Therefore, the best way is to concentrate on one task before moving on to the next.

Have Plenty of Water

Even as little as 2% decrease in our body’s water content can result in a decrease in our energy level, says Dr Janet Taylor, a blogger for Johnson & Johnson Patient Assistance Foundation. Have at least eight of 8 ounce servings of water during the day.

Exercise

We are not asking you to sweat it out at the gym during your office hours! Stretching and twisting exercises are great as they increase your blood circulation. In addition, research conducted at the University of Bristol involved participation from various employees. After doing some simple exercises at work, their behavior turned out to be better in terms of working with colleagues, according to Spark People. Quick exercises such as jumping jacks, squats or a light jog can instantly perk you up, leaving you energized for the day ahead.

Take Quick Breaks Every 20 Minutes

According to a study published in the journal Cognition, people can focus and concentrate for longer if their brain is thinking about anything else about every 20 minutes. Working long hours at a stretch, makes your brain less efficient.

When you focus on something else for a change, it refreshes the neural network in your brain, sharpening your thinking skills!

With these hacks, you are sure to get your day’s work and more done without getting caught dozing away! If however, you regularly find yourself sleepy and tired at work, it may be time to dig deeper and fix your diet and sleeping patterns.

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