Daytime sleepiness can be caused by many reasons and it affects millions of people all over the world. Many people feel tired during the day and fall asleep at work, though this can affect your productivity and be embarrassing when you doze off in front of your coworkers.
Daytime sleepiness can be the result of many factors, from physical to mental, poor work-life balance, and more, but nevertheless, it can cause serious problems in your professional and personal life. Dealing with such issues can be tough and complicated, so before jumping into solutions, it’s important to make sure you understand the real cause of your daytime sleepiness at work.
Luckily, there are several steps you can take to help you get rid of daytime sleepiness at work. This article lists several tips that will boost your energy level and make it easier to focus on the task at hand.
Why you may be feeling sleepy at work?
You’re not getting enough sleep. If you’re regularly waking up and hitting the snooze button on your alarm clock, or feeling drowsy and yawning through meetings, it might be time to rethink your schedule.
- It’s recommended for adults to get 7-9 hours of sleep every night. Any less than that (or any more) can negatively impact your productivity at work.
- Another option could be that you’re drinking too much caffeine before bedtime; anything over 300 mg is considered a lot of caffeine, which means it can stay in your system even if you only drink coffee once a day.
- Eliminating certain habits—like excessive alcohol consumption or exercising late at night—can also help ensure you feel alert and energized during work.
- And finally, pay attention to what you eat: eating too close to bedtime could keep you awake as your body digests dinner while trying to wind down for sleep. Avoid eating heavy meals late in the evening because they take longer to digest and force your body into an active state when it should be resting instead.
Hacks to manage daytime sleepiness at work
If you’re tired at work, you’re not alone. According to an official survey, 42 percent of respondents reported that they suffer from excessive daytime sleepiness. While it may be tough to stay awake during those long, monotonous conference calls and dry sales pitches, staying alert can help increase your overall productivity throughout your day and boost your performance review rating.
Here are some hacks that can help you manage excessive daytime fatigue in order for you to achieve optimal results at work:
Take a nap
One way to perk up is with a quick power nap. A 20-minute snooze can make you feel more alert and energized, which can help you power through your day. If you need a longer rest, though, try planning it for later in the day. It’s easier to fall asleep when your circadian rhythms are telling you it’s time for bed anyway.
Sleep apnea, shift work, and other circumstances might mean that napping isn’t an option for you; if so, some gentle stretching or exercising during your lunch break could have a similar effect.
Switch up your tasks
Your body can start feeling sleepy if you do the same things over and over again, so it’s smart to switch up your tasks. If you normally sit in front of a computer all day, occasionally switch seats with a coworker who sits on a different side of your office.
Your brain will thank you for changing sides periodically because now it has something new to look at every once in a while, Standing also encourages blood flow to increase oxygen intake—which helps keep that brain alert and awake. it will optimize your performance by sitting down less.
Watch what you eat - What to eat to avoid sleep?
Diet can play a significant role in reducing your risk for sleep apnea, so make sure you eat plenty of protein (found in poultry, fish, beans, and nuts) and cut carbs and avoid processed foods that cause your blood sugar levels to rise quickly—white bread, pasta, and other simple sugars.
Regular exercise is also great for keeping energy levels up throughout the day. If you find yourself feeling sleepy during an afternoon meeting or class lecture, try standing up, stretching, and walking around.
Meditation helps slow your heart rate and can reduce stress and adrenaline, which are all triggers for fatigue. If you’re looking for a long-term solution, consider making time every day to unwind—even just a few minutes of mediation will help.
Drink plenty of water
Drinking plenty of water is one way to stop feeling sleepy. Dehydration can lead to symptoms like headaches, dizziness, and exhaustion. By staying well hydrated, you’ll have more energy throughout your day. The National Sleep Foundation recommends drinking eight - nine glasses per day.
Splash cold water on your face
If you’re in a dull mood, or if your eyelids feel like they’re weighted down with sandbags, then it might be time for a quick wake-up call. A splash of cold water on your face is just what you need—in fact, in our Indian cultures splashing cold water on one’s face is seen as a ritual signifying that one must awaken and be aware. We recommend running a faucet until the water is about room temperature—not too hot or too cold, but nice and comfortable.
Other tips to avoid daytime sleepiness:
- Get up from your desk often, re-fill your water bottle from the other floor. This way you'll also be able to increase your steps.
- Watch a funny video to rejuvenate your mood
- Listen to some upbeat music. Make sure you disturb others around you. Use earphones.
- Try changing your workspace if your desk is in a dark gloomy area that lacks light, and shift to a brighter place. Light will help you stay alert.
- Eat supercharging foods like almonds, dates, or bananas to feel the energy flow in your body.
- Avoid smoking and drinking,as they are a big energy drainer. It may feel to addicts that it helps but in reality, it is only going to decline your health.
- Avoid caffeine, especially in the second half of your work shift.
- Take a nap before work. While a nap in between does help, you can also try taking a quick nap before work to boost attentiveness.
- Complete difficult tasks first. It gets harder for an individual to focus on complex tasks if it is done at the last of all tasks. Try to pick up complex tasks first so that you can be alert at your best.
In order to feel more energized, you need energy. The best way to do that is by eating a healthy breakfast and lunch as well as by avoiding things like soda, high-sugar snacks, and alcohol. But there are also other tricks that help you stay awake while at work such as stretching exercises or listening to your favorite music. Hopefully, these strategies will help you stop feeling sleepy during your daytime job!