The New Stuff

10 Ways to Keep Yourself Awake at Work


Don’t stuff yourself. Eating a full meal is not a good idea if you plan to stay awake for hours. If you eat a big meal, you get a spike of sugar intake which will be followed by the inevitable crash. Munch on small snacks instead like an apple. Apples have more energy than coffee.

Listen to Dance Music. Having a snoooze-inducing work environment is really challenging. Perk up your mood by getting a dose of Lady Gaga or Black Eyed Peas. Dance if you want to, sing if you can’t help it. You’ll be energized before the first song ends.

Sprinkle cold water on your face. Get a glass of cold water from the office fridge, dip your fingers in it, and sprinkle some on your face. I know some people who bring small sprays with water in it and put it in the office fridge in case they need instant energy boost.

Do Jumping jacks. Or any physical activity that isn’t too exhausting.

Have a cup of coffee or a can of coke. Caffeine can make you alert but make sure you break your consumption down into small doses because if you overload yourself with caffeine, the sudden spike will eventually make you feel groggy in a few hours.

Drink cold water. Cold water actually makes more oxygen to your body, causing you to feel more awake, along with keeping yourself full. Makes more oxygen to your blood as well.

Take a quick cold shower. If sprinkling cold water on your face didn’t work, maybe this will do the trick. Anything cold can awaken the senses.

Smell some Peppermint. A strong scent can make you alert more quickly. Peppermint has been proven to keep you alert and also decrease stress.

Use Acupressure. Massaging any of the following points will improve circulation and ease fatigue:[4]

  • Top of your head (lightly tap with your fingertip)
  • Top of the back of your neck
  • Back of your hands (between thumb and index finger)
  • Just below the knees
  • Earlobes[5]

Power Nap. If you’ve tried all the things above yet you’re still sleepy, maybe your brain needs a rest. Take a short nap but make sure you do not exceed 30 minutes or your body will want something more and you’ll be sleepier than ever. Set your alarm and tell a co-worker to wake you up in 15 minutes.

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