If you’re wondering how to stay awake when you’re stuck at work or in class after a sleepless night, know that you’re not alone in looking for answers. For some people, the easy solution is coffee. After all, some of us have very real reasons to stay awake. There are school tasks to be done, work obligations to finish, and meetings to attend throughout the day. The unfortunate reality for many is that sleep has become a luxury.
So, what can you do to stay alert even when you’re lacking sleep? You might be surprised that the solutions are actually quite easy. No, you don’t have to pinch yourself every few minutes to keep the sandman away. You won’t need any stay awake pills either. Let us teach you how to stay awake without caffeine.
How to Not Be Tired – The Importance of Getting Enough Sleep
Let’s get this one out of the way before anything else. You already know that continued lack of sleep will eventually affect both your mental and physical health. However, given our fast-paced lifestyles and the fact that we’re always trying to cram everything into one day, sleep is often low on people’s priority lists.
However, this lifestyle is not sustainable. Without proper sleep, your body won’t be able to recharge and renew. Ample amount of sleep is important for your brain and body to recover. Our body heals itself while we doze off. Without it, well, you’ll become sicklier, you’ll likely feel sore and have body pains, your complexion will suffer, and your brain might start to get foggy.
Not-so-fun-fact: Coffee or any sugary drink can only provide you with a short burst of energy. Once that passes, you might end up feeling doubly sleepy or tired. With that in mind, it’s best to discipline yourself and follow a healthy lifestyle instead.
What is the Circadian Rhythm?
Our body needs to follow the circadian rhythm to effectively recover. This is basically our body clock that helps regulate our sleep and wake cycles. It is imperative that you maintain a good sleep schedule to aid your body when it comes to healing itself. However, not all of us have the privilege of doing this. There are those who work the night shift and those who suffer from insomnia.
Did you know that you can also end up disrupting your circadian rhythm? This happens when you sleep at irregular hours. The end result is sleep deprivation, which can lead to a slew of health issues, including: high heart rate, exhaustion, low energy level, and high blood sugar. If you want to sleep better or track your sleeping patterns, health tech such as Oura rings will greatly help.
So now that you have a better understanding of why getting enough sleep is very important, let’s talk about how to keep yourself from dozing off in the middle of the day.
How to Stay Awake in Class
If the fear of your teacher or professor isn’t enough to keep your eyes open, then perhaps these little tips might.
Take Sips Of Water Throughout The Class
Did you know that long-haul truckers use this trick to stay alert when they’re on the road? If this works for those guys, it will certainly help students as well. The idea here is to stay hydrated to keep your blood flowing, which then ensures that your brain is steadily oxygenated. It will keep away the drowsiness and the brain fog. So, carry a bottle of cold water with you in school.
Caffeinated Tea Instead Of Coffee or An Energy Drink
How much caffeine do you need to stay alert? It varies depending on the person, but 400 milligrams is usually the golden number. That said, we’ve already established that this can cause a dip in your energy later. So while you might get an energy boost in the morning, the tiredness can return during the latter half of the day. Caffeinated tea, including green tea, can deliver a more consistent stream of energy so it is safer to drink.
Participate in Discussions
How to stay awake in a boring class? Participate. The mere act of starting a conversation or contributing to the discussion will help keep your mind alert. If you’re a bit of an introvert, don’t fret. Focusing on taking notes and on following the class discourse can result in the same effect. Who knows? This might even improve your grades in the process. We can’t think of a better “side effect” than that!
Get Up And Go For A Walk
Now, we don’t mean walking all the way home to your bed. If sleep begins to creep up on you during class and you can’t seem to shake it off, excuse yourself and head out of the room. You have enough hallway room to go back and forth a few times before turning to your seat. This sounds a little strange, but introducing movement can actually help wake up your sleepy brain. If you are able to, get a bit of fresh air as well.
How to Stay Awake After an All Nighter
Want to know how to not be tired after working the night shift? Hold the stay awake pills and the caffeine, because we’ve got all natural solutions for you.
Let The Sunlight In Or Turn Up The Lights
The thing with sleep deprivation is that it makes your eyes more sensitive, which means you’re more likely to dim the lights. In doing this, you’re also triggering your circadian rhythm and making yourself even sleepier. Instead, open the curtains and make sure the room you are in is bright. If you are able, crack open a window to let fresh air circulate as well. This will help refresh your tired brain.
A Bit Of Caffeine Wouldn’t Hurt
Just make sure you don’t have a venti-sized serving of your favorite brew. Limit yourself to about 100mg to 200mg of caffeine, depending on your weight. This should perk you right up, without the potential crash later in the day. Pros say that a really good strategy is to drink your coffee then lie down for a half-hour power nap. There’s a 15 to 30 minute interval between drinking your coffee until you feel its effects. So, this means that when you wake up from your nap, it would have already started doing its magic.
Here’s the thing, after pulling an all nighter, you will experience brain fog. Your working memory will also be impaired. For those unfamiliar, this simply means that you won’t be able to handle having one too many things in your mind at the same time. So, instead of trying to accomplish everything you weren’t able to do the day before, prioritize.
Only work on what’s urgent and leave everything else for another day. If you overload your brain, you will find it much harder to stay up. It might sound funny, but how to keep yourself awake after a long night is to simply do as little as possible.
How to Stay Awake All Night
Understandably, there are times when an all-nighter is a must. This is whether it be because of schoolwork, work, or if you’re looking after a sick family member. There are many reasons as to why people might need to do this. Here are some tips, to help keep the sandman away.
If Pulling an All Nighter, Use Essential Oils
While aromatherapy is better known for helping induce relaxation and sleep, it can also be used to wake the senses. It all depends on the kind of essential oil you use. For staying up all night, experts suggest going for citrus scents. The sharper the scent, the better it will be. You might also want to try using peppermint as it is said to help increase alertness in people.
Do Simple Exercises
If you can’t stay awake, try doing simple exercises. The idea here is to get your blood flowing, which increases oxygen in the brain. It removes mental fog, but the endorphins will also give you a nice energy boost. Some movements you can do include: jumping jacks, planks, and stretches. Just pace yourself and make sure you don’t get too tired after. Otherwise, you might end up dozing off instead.
How to Keep Yourself Awake at a Party? Avoid Sedatives or Alcohol
How to stay up all night? If you’re not at home and partying somewhere else, the first order of business is to stay away from alcohol. Of course, you should know your tolerance, but if you want to continue going until sunrise without losing your alertness, opt for water while at the club. A soda or an energy drink wouldn’t hurt if you consume these moderately.
The general rule is that it takes your body about an hour to metabolize a single serving of alcohol. Once you start feeling buzzed, that’s when you know sleep is about to come knocking at your door. Passing out is also another no-no, so party safely and stay alert.
How to Stay Awake at Work
So you stayed up all night to meet your deadline, but now you don’t know how to keep yourself awake in the office. Given the professional setting, there are certain restrictions to what you can do. It’s no secret that the average worker consumes more than two cups of coffee throughout the day. This is probably because it’s the most accessible for them as well. Aside from the bean, what else can you do?
Sit Down and Get The Easy Stuff Done
One of the most amazing things about our brains is that it can actually increase its activity and power even when you’re struggling to stay awake. In a study involving 16 young adults who experienced sleep deprivation for 35 hours, researchers found out that they were able to complete their tasks—even the difficult ones— with ease.
They also observed an increase in activity in several regions of the brain, showing that the participants were able to somehow “summon” more brain power than they usually would even when they got ample rest.
So sit down, turn on your computer, and just start typing away. Your brain has your back, even if you don’t rest it enough.
Keep an Inventory of Healthy Snacks With You
These would not only help keep your blood pressure steady, it will also help maintain your attention. The snacks you should have must be a mix of healthy fats, protein, and carbs. Some grocery options to check out include: granola and yogurt, baby carrots and cheese, nuts and fruit, peanut butter, and whole wheat crackers. This is one of the most delicious ways to stay awake.
Staying Up All Night for Work? Put On Some Energizing Music
There are many playlists that will provide you with the right tracks to keep you from dozing off. If you’re not too picky, there are many popular TikTok songs that can get your blood going. Just make sure you use your headphones and remain mindful of those around you. After all, you are in a professional environment. The last thing you want is to get a warning for inappropriate behavior, simply because you want to keep your eyes open.
How to Stay Awake While High
For those suffering from sleep deprivation due to insomnia, marijuana is actually a godsend. It is medicine for many other mental health issues, but if you are not careful, it can also make you drowsy when you don’t want to sleep. Most seasoned marijuana users know enough about the effects certain strains can produce in their bodies, but if you’re a beginner then consider these tips for staying awake while high.
Take A Cold Shower
No, we’re not kidding. You’ve seen this work in movies whenever they need someone to sober up really quick. Well, you can do it in real life as well. The cold water will jolt your senses awake and get the blood flowing. If you’re unable to take a shower, you can also take a towel and dampen it with cold water. Place this on your head or neck and you’re bound to feel refreshed after.
Switch to Sativa
Indicas are known for its relaxing effects, which is why many take them for anxiety disorders and insomnia. However, if you’re looking for something uplifting then sativa strains are your best bet. These can create cerebral highs and make for a good option if you’re smoking during the day, planning on working out, or if you need to work long hours. Don’t forget to stay hydrated too. Of course, do discuss this with a professional, especially if this is your first time trying it out.
Lessen Your Dose
You might also want to try consuming smaller doses of marijuana if it makes it hard for you to stay up. A reduced dose can also benefit you by lessening the munchies, limiting the potential of you experiencing paranoia, and allow you to have more focus as well.
How to Stay Awake While Driving
Drowsiness is almost an inevitable circumstance when driving. However, it is during this time that you must stay alert and at your peak. Driving when you’re sleep deprived makes you less coordinated, impairs your focus and attention, and slows down your reaction time. All very scary things considering the possible consequences of falling asleep at the wheel. So, how to stay awake at night while driving?
Avoid Driving During Peak Sleepiness Periods
If you can, do keep off of the roads during the later afternoon, and between the hours of 12 midnight and six in the morning. This is when the highest number of drowsiness-related automobile accidents occur. If you cannot avoid it, be as vigilant as you can. Have your coffee if you must or have someone ride with you. Conversation is just as effective as caffeine.
How to Not Get Tired? Make Sure You Get Proper Sleep
This is of particular importance if you’re going on a long drive. The night before, make sure you go to bed at a good time and turn off all sources of blue light. Another late night will leave you with low energy the next day so avoid doing that. Eat healthy food for breakfast and make sure it isn’t high in carbohydrates. This is because heavy meals consisting of carbs can be sleep inducing.
Pull Over if You Must
Power naps can do you a lot of good if you find yourself falling asleep at the wheel. Instead of forging ahead and drowsy driving, stop for a few hours and get some sleep. Until you get to a rest stop, it also helps to have some chewing gum handy should you need it. It’s been proven that the simple act of chewing and swallowing can actually help keep you focused on the task at hand.
While these tips are effective for those who want to know how to stay up all night or during the day, nothing beats getting the right amount of rest. Staying awake for more than 24 hours can seriously impair you mentally and physically, so going days without ample sleep can be detrimental to your health.
So while this taught you how to stay awake, the key takeaway is still prioritizing your health.
We at CitizenSide do not claim to be medical professionals. As such, we implore our readers to seek professional help if they are experiencing any serious sleep problems.