Drinking coffee, tea, soda are really effective ways to stay awake but drinking too much caffeine can be bad for you. In fact, one of the things my doctor told me that I needed to do was to cut back on all three. Another thing that works for me is to eat while working. But I also need to lose 10 more pounds
So I started researching and asking my friends on the things they do to stay awake without resorting to caffeine or binge eating. Here are the 5 healthier alternatives that have been proven to work.
1. Drinking lots, and I mean LOTS of water. This technique has worked really well for me ever since I started doing this in college. Whenever I had to study through the night for an exam the following morning, what I do is I try drink a glass of water every hour. Not too much to the point that I get sick from it, just a sip every time I see my glass or whenever I start to feel sleepy.
This is very effective not because the water keeps me awake but because the urge to pee keeps me awake. I have a tiny bladder so when I do this, I feel the urge to go to the restroom every 30 minutes or so. And when I do feel the urge to sleep or take a nap, I can’t completely relax because I know I’ll wake up in 15 minutes to urinate.
In addition to the benefits from drinking more water, this technique has the added benefit of allowing to sleep well after an all-nighter. The only catch is I have to wait and not drink for an hour to make sure I flush most of the water out of my system so I can sleep peacefully.
2. Eating healthy snacks. The thing I liked most about snacking while working is the crunch. I love eating chips and crackers while working but they’re often too salty or too sweet. So what I do now instead is snack on crunchy, crispy yet healthier alternatives like fruits, nuts and vegetables.
My sister favors apples. I prefer singakamas, a root crop that can be eaten raw and dipped in vinegar, salt or sugar. Other good alternatives are raw mangoes and kamias (bilimbi fruit), especially the ones that are sour enough to bring tears to your eyes.
3. Exercise.This is something I know that works and I know I should be doing more often but I don’t do enough. In addition to helping you lose weight, studies have also shown that exercise can help increase work productivity. Something as short as a 5 minute, high intensity sprint up the stairs, jump rope or push ups can easily keep you awake for an hour or more.
Hmmm, maybe I should dust off my running shoes and start taking exercise more seriously.
4. Aromatherapy. We usually associate aromatherapy with relaxation but do you know that you can also use aromatherapy to keep you awake and help you focus? Citrus oils, menthol and spicy scents like cinnamon, basil, jasmine, black pepper and ginger have all been proven to stimulate alertness and wakefulness naturally. It’s all a matter of finding which scent (or combination of scents, you can combine menthol with almost any other essential oil) works best for you.
5. Taking a nap. It seems counter intuitive to take a nap in order to stay awake but power naps can help “recharge” you mind and body in a way nothing else can. Most doctors recommend napping for no more than 20 minutes; just enough to refresh your mind and body and helps keep the urge of sleeping longer at bay.