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- Have a cup of coffee (caffeine)
A cup of coffee might be your go-to option, especially when/if feeling sluggish but wish to get some work done. Coffee is a good source of caffeine (a stimulant) that helps trigger increased activity in the nervous system and the brain. This, in return, improves your mental performance and thinking capacity, making it easier to get on with your job. The stimulating effects of caffeine also help keep sleepiness at bay, a reason it is a preferred option for many. Be sure to take just enough caffeine and not too much to avoid making the situation worse.
- Take a 20-minute nap
A quick nap during lunch break might be all you need to get over daytime sleepiness at work. Depending on the workplace setting, shutting the door and hitting snooze for at least 15 minutes could give you enough energy to push through the day. The trick here is to nap for not more than 30 minutes – set the alarm to wake you up.
- Take a break from your workstation
If your job entails sitting or working in front of a computer screen for long hours, taking short breaks from your workstation might help. Get out of your desk and take a stroll around the office/workplace, stretch and get the blood moving again. Make it a habit of getting out of your workstation, even for a minute, to stretch to overcome daytime sleepiness. However, if this is out of the question, you can then try shaking your leg while sitting or pace in the room as you talk on the phone.
- Listen to bubbly music
Working in silence for long hours can be a drag. You will often get bored, causing the brain to slow down and drifting to sleep. If this is the case, listening to upbeat music might help keep you awake. All you need is to churn your favorite playlist and start rocking to the music. However, it would be best if you were sure your boss/supervisor didn’t mind the music. Most employers will allow you to listen to music through the computer/phone speakers for as long as it doesn’t disturb anyone. Consider listening to music through earphones if working in an open office setup.
- Avoid having a heavy lunch
A heavy lunch should be the last thing in your mind if looking to overcome daytime sleepiness. High-calorie meals, such as sodas, sugary snacks, white breads, pasta, and other carbohydrates, are the worst and should be avoided at all costs. Consider going for a light meal, mainly berries, nuts, chicken, veggies, boiled eggs, and whole grains for the best results. These provide a healthier source of energy compared to processed and sugar-rich foods. Perhaps get out and about on your bike or scooter
- Ensure the workspace is well-lit
Working in a dull-lit room is a recipe for daytime sleepiness. It would thus be advisable to allow as much natural light in as possible or turn on the lights if possible. Allowing sunlight into the office helps the body produce hormones responsible for increased alertness too. For spaces without windows, ask your supervisor or employer for permission to bring a lightbox. A lightbox produces just enough light mimicking daylight, useful for fighting sleepiness.
- Wash your face with cold water
Splashing cold water on your face is a simple and quick way to overcome sleepiness. The cold water triggers increased blood flow, among other effects, causing you to be alert. This should buy you several minutes or hours before the sleepiness can creep back. Consider taking a short walk in the open air and breathing the fresh air for increased alertness.