Remote workers, I know you’ve been there. You’ve just finished lunch. You sit down at your computer. Perhaps it’s the soft lull of the dishwasher or the birds chirping outside, but your eyelids get heavy and you feel the overwhelming urge to head over to your couch and drop right into a deep, cozy sleep. Even office workers face the afternoon lulls, but telecommuters have it tough. The problem is not taking a short nap, but the potent temptation to plunge into delta waves, and lose hours and hours of precious productivity. And it certainly doesn’t help that you probably have a couch, bed or recliner nearby. Instead of drifting off and falling behind on your work, here are some healthy, natural ways to stay awake when you’re away from the office: 1. Drink loads of water Water does so much more than quench thirst, it rehydrates the tissues of the brain. According to a recent study, people who drank water with a meal saw better mental acuity and were able to think 15 percent faster than their H2O-denied peers. 2. Keep yourself cold Just like a warm bed in the morning on a rainy day, heat is like crack to people who like to nap. If you want to stay cogent, cold air is your friend. Not only does cold air make the skin uncomfortable, but it forces the body to generate heat. Turn on the air conditioner, open a window, or put an icepack on your neck. Whatever works. 3. Play a 10-minute video game If you’re not into video games, this isn’t an option. However, even if you’re a casual gamer, this will get you through a rough spot. Grab a controller or a mouse and start a timed, short game. The time sensitivity of puzzles or the imaginary FPS threat of getting shot in the back will be enough to raise your energy levels and get the blood flowing. 4. Eat fruit, not candy In my mind, there are two types of sugar - all natural sweetness you get from fruit, and the white, processed stuff you find in everything from cookies to tomato soup. Don’t spike your glucose, snack on oranges, grapes or apples. This way you’ll get the benefit of fiber, with the slower-burning energy of something naturally sweet. There’s really no telling how many things you can do to stay awake throughout the day, but not all of them are healthy or effective. Here are the ones that work for me every time, so whenever the sleep urge strikes, see if they help you as well.
It’s like something out of a movie: you are slouched in your chair with your arms folded across your chest, and your head hanging low with your mouth slightly agape. All of a sudden, you head pops up and you see ten other associates sitting around you at the conference table, all looking at you and waiting to hear your answer as to why profits failed to exceed expectations from the campaign. Falling asleep during a class, church, or a movie tends to be a regular occurrence, but it is almost detrimental to be caught snoring away at your office desk, or worse, right in the middle of a meeting with your superiors and clients. If your heart was telling you to finish the first season of House of Cards at 2 in the morning, you are going to have to deal with the sleep deprivation the next day. Luckily, there are some tips that can help you stay up and alert at your desk: Stretch and twist your body in our chair, and roll your neck to improve blood circulation Drink cold water Take a break and step outside to get some sun Listen to upbeat music Graze on some light protein snacks every 30 minutes or an hour that require chewing (apples, nuts, whole grain crackers) Do some small chat with your cubicle neighbor for a minute Break up monotonous work and switch over to a new task Chew mint gum Crank up the AC Now, in situations where you are stuck in a meeting or surrounded by co-workers, it wouldn’t be a good idea to be chewing gum and what not. There are still some discreet ways to stay awake whilst sitting in your chair by using acupressure. There are certain pulse points on your body that when pressed down on, will stimulate your brain and instantly make you alert, which includes your earlobes, the back of your hand, and the back of your neck. For your earlobes, just pretend that you have an itch or your ear muscles are just so sore that you need to massage them, and just slightly rub between your thumb and index finger. Likewise, the area on your hand right between your thumb and index finger is also a good place to massage. This is the most discreet of all, and advantageous because if you massage your hand, tilt your head, and narrow your eyes just a bit, it would look like you are really pondering about how to improve sales this quarter. Lastly, you can massage the back of your neck; but don’t do it for too long or else it’s just distracting to other people. Good luck!