5 Natural Tips for Staying Awake at Work Without Caffeine
54% of American adults drink coffee every single day. Another 25% drink it occasionally. We all need to stay awake at work, but what about those who say no to the joe? What are some other natural ways to keep yourself awake at work that don’t involve caffeine? Don’t fret—there are plenty of healthier options that will keep you from falling asleep at the office, without the unwanted side effects of caffeine.
Here are some of the best ways to stay awake at work naturally, sans java.
1. Go for a quick walk
Ever notice that when you leave work and start walking to your car or the subway, you suddenly feel more awake than you did all day in the office? That’s because walking has been shown to boost energy.
A professor at California State University, Long Beach once conducted a study to find out if people were more energized by eating a candy bar or by taking a brisk 10-minute walk. The candy bar provided a quick burst of energy, but the walk provided increased energy for two hours. Walking pumps oxygen through your veins, brain, and muscles, making you more alert both mentally and physically. If you have the time to spare, going for a quick walk is perhaps the best way to stay awake at work and give yourself a midday boost.
2. Get some brain food
The brain works very hard—so much so that it’s responsible for about 20% of our daily caloric expenditure. It needs fuel in order to power through the day, and the fuel you choose matters. Snack on these healthy foods to maximize brain function and keep you awake at work:
- Whole grains
Dark chocolate is also a healthy brain food, but be aware that it contains caffeine.
3. Turn up the lights
Nothing wakes you up better in the morning than a sudden burst of sunshine through your bedroom window. That’s because our bodies’ internal clocks are regulated by light, and bright light signals the brain to awaken. Make sure there’s plenty of bright light in your workspace, whether it’s natural or artificial. If it’s a sunny day, step outside and soak in the sun for a few minutes.
4. Switch tasks
Sometimes your mind just needs a change of scenery. If you’ve been working on the same task for a while and it’s starting to make you sleepy, switch to another task that’s more stimulating. Do some work with your hands, brainstorm with your team, catch up on emails, clean your desk or even start an interesting conversation with a co-worker. It can give your brain the jolt it needs to keep you awake.
5. Give your eyes a break from screens
Many of today’s jobs require staring at a screen for hours on end, and there isn’t any getting around that. What you can do, however, is give your eyes a break here and there. Remember to look away from the screen periodically, or work on tasks that don’t require screens. You can also try moving your screen at least 40 inches away from your face. Remember that your smartphone and tablet count as screens too, so be mindful of how much you’re looking at those as well.
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