8 Natural Ways to Stay Awake
Last updated: April 2023
We are always searching for new ways to stay awake, and while medication is undeniably essential for many of us, we can’t forget that there are other things that can help, too!
8 ways to stay awake naturally
There are natural methods that can help us stay awake (or at least be more alert) if medication isn’t for you. If you do take medication to stay awake, some of these tips could simply act as a boost for that, too.
1. Take that nap!
I’m sure we all know by now that naps are fundamental for anyone living with narcolepsy, but I still cannot say it enough!
As someone who used to hate the concept of naps (and believed I had no time for them), I understand how easy it can be to dismiss them. The worst thing is that we might not even realise that we’re doing this!
You suddenly feel sleepy and you tell yourself that you’ll take a nap in a minute. Before you know it, minutes have gone by, and you realise you fell asleep on your desk.
Despite not being the healthiest substance, caffeine can be effective in helping to stave off excessive daytime sleepiness for a while.
While most people usually go for coffee when looking for a caffeine boost, I’ve found that drinks like Coca-Cola actually have a bigger effect on me. I don’t recommend making this a habit, but it can prove useful in some cases.
3. Loud music
Working in front of a screen is one of my biggest triggers for sleepiness. Unfortunately, with my career, I have no other option. Whenever I have to seriously focus, I’ve found that blasting rock music with my earphones on will actually help me to stay more alert!
4. Stay cool
Heat can possibly be one of the worst things for people living with narcolepsy, so it makes sense that staying cool could help with staying awake.
5. Get some fresh air
Getting outside and breathing some fresh air when I begin to feel sleepy always helps me to snap out of that "drowsy" feeling. If your eyes start to feel heavy and your mind becomes foggy, take a moment and step outside.
6. Avoid food triggers
It’s normal for people to feel drowsy after a big meal, but for many of us with narcolepsy, this is unavoidable. Eating carbohydrates is a sure way to make me fall asleep, so I seriously limit my intake during the day.
7. Don’t stop moving
I’ve noticed that I’m less likely to feel sleepy when I’m doing physical activities. It’s one of the best ways to stay awake naturally.
When I was working an office job, I would make sure that every 20 minutes or so I would get up to get a glass of water or go to the toilet just to have an excuse to get up.
8. Regulate sleeping times
I struggle a lot with sticking to a strict sleep routine because I suffer from insomnia, but I have noticed that during the weeks that I do manage to do this, I feel a lot less tired during the day.
What methods do you use to stay awake naturally?
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