Career Testing
Career Testing
Career Testing
WORKPLACE / DEC. 18, 2013
version 4, draft 4

How to Stay Awake At Work

Whether your work responsibilities are dragging you down or you are just not getting enough sleep, managing a full day’s work while feeling tired is horrible. The only thing that you want to do while you are sitting at your desk is close your eyes, lay your head down on the table and drift off into oblivion.

Sadly at most offices this is frowned upon and they actually require you to work and do not provide you with a bed beside your desk. Personally I think you would have a much more productive workforce if they were able to have a little siesta sometimes, rather than just carrying on like zombies. So as we are, for the time being at least, not allowed to have siestas in the office, we have to find ways to keep alert when we are extremely tired.

Nourish your body

Certain foods and drinks play a key role in maintaining our alertness levels.

Water reverses the effects of fatigue and impaired concentration, as it improves the circulation of oxygen around the body. Eating breakfast rich in fiber, dairy and fruits gives your body the initial boost needed to stay alert.

Fruits, nuts, vegetables and dark chocolate also contain natural stimulants, so snack on these throughout the day rather than resorting to a chocolate bar, slice of cake or packet crisps.

At lunchtime, eat fish, the strongest brain food in the world. Fish is amazing for brain power and gives you a great boost. Alternatively, eat a meal rich in complex carbohydrates (think brown bread, pasta or rice with vegetables, beans and pulses).

So the message here of course is keep on munching!

Move from your desk

Try and get away from your desk as often as possible and this is just not to get out of doing work although, it can be a pretty good way to do that as well. The more you move around the more alert your mind will be. Even if all you can do is stand up and have a stretch that is better than just sitting if you are feeling tired.

Turn down the heating

I know that this seems almost masochistic and you are wondering what is wrong with my head, but it does make sense. When you are warm and snug you are more inclined to fall asleep because that is how your bed feels, all warm and snug. Open a window or drink something cold to turn your brain on. It’s not quite as bad as telling you to go and have a cold shower really is it?


If you need to re-energize, there are few things better than just having a walk or some other form of exercise. But going and having a quick power walk outside can improve your alertness immensely. Driving to work in a nice warm car can make you quite sleepy, so a brisk walk could do you the world of good.

Listen To Music

Music perks you up and instantly triggers an emotional response. However it has to be the right kind of music. If you listen to relaxing sea waves or dolphin music for meditation then it is more likely to send you to sleep. Put together a soundtrack which makes you want to dance, sing or play air guitar then it will definitely perk you up.

So although everyone has no doubt wanted to fall asleep at work at some point. And indeed some people have, this is not a viable solution. Sleeping at your desk is still frowned upon (oh how unprogressive we are). Your only option is to try and stay awake using some of the tips listed above and then try and get a good night’s sleep when you get home. Hopefully then you won’t be falling asleep at your desk the next morning.  

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