We all know the importance of sleeping for at least 7-8 hours every night. However, at times, circumstances require us to stay awake and in many cases, we turn to caffeinated beverages to do so. However, too much of caffeine is harmful for the body. So, let us discuss some alternative easy ways to stay awake naturally which can help you burn the candle at both ends.
1. Illuminate the room brightly
One of easy and natural ways to stay awake is to keep away from dim lighting. Dim lights tell the body it is time to sleep so it secretes melatonin hormone that enables us to fall and stay asleep. Instead, illuminate the room with bright lights and open the curtains to let the day light in (if you wish to stay awake during the day). If you tend to feel sleepy during school or at work, try and sit nearer the projector screen where the lights are the brightest.
2. Take a stroll
One of the best ways to stay up all night for an exam is to take a stroll from time to time. This will release endorphins and adrenalin which will keep you awake. Even in office during the daytime, take a walk outdoors in the sunshine. Sunlight is one of the most natural ways to stay awake; it can provide your body with Vitamin D and energize you instantly..
3. Drink a glass of water after every hour
Instead of caffeinated beverages, opt to drink water. It will keep your body hydrated and your bladder active which will prevent sleepiness. This is also one of the best ways to stay awake in class or at work. Drink water every hour and see the difference it makes to your alertness.
4. Snack right
People pulling the night shift or an all-nighter for an exam can use sugary snacks to boost energy and prevent drowsiness. Sugary snacks help give you a temporary kick to reduce the mental fogginess that comes when you are studying or doing work which makes you drowsy. Snack on baby carrots, handful of nuts, plain or sweetened yogurt, peanut butter with celery etc. Apple is also one of the best foods to eat in case you want to stay awake longer. It contains nearly 10.3 grams of sugar which provides the same kick as caffeine. Choose firm, red apples for snacking when studying or working at night- their crunch will also awaken you at once.
5. Take Ginseng
Ginseng is an energy boosting herb that increases stamina and mental clarity. Ginseng is readily available in the form of supplements or as a tea which you can consume to keep you alert. Ginseng increases blood flow to the brain and gives you the alertness you need to keep you up all night when studying.
6. Increase your vitamin B12 intake
All B-vitamins and especially vitamin B12 are known to increase energy and stamina. So eat foods rich in this vitamin or take a B-complex supplement. B vitamins are abundantly found in sea food, meat, eggs etc.
Meditation can give you the deepest rest that in turn can enable your body to function on very little sleep. Many Yogis who meditate daily are known to sleep for just 2 hours each night and still known to be active and energetic during the day. Make sure you sit up while meditating instead of lying down-which will put you off to sleep immediately. You can use guided meditation videos or use this ready guide for easy ways to meditate.
8. Stretches and Yoga poses
Dynamic stretches done every now and then can help increase blood flow to the brain and help you shrug off lethargy naturally. This is one of the best ways to stay awake during the day if you are fighting jet lag or need to attend a meeting/lecture after having pulled an all-nighter. Stretches done at 3 pm can give you the same high as coffee does. It empties your lymphatic system off toxic elements and pollutants and improve blood flow to the brain.
9. Eat right
If you have to stay up all night for work/study, make sure you have a light dinner with the right ingredients:
- Light, nutrient dense salad
- Quinoa in place of rice- it is rich in proteins and gives your muscles the requisite nutrients to improve function
- Diet filled with low GI foods
- Stay away from breads, pastas and other simple carbohydrates that give you energy in small bursts which is followed by a low.
- Eat small portions instead of filling up your stomach with heavy meals
- Eat apples- as stated above apples are as effective as caffeine, so include them in your lunch box to avoid feeling drowsy at work/school.
10. Take short naps
Learn to nap effectively including napping between meetings or lectures. 10 minute naps in the car or at your desk can also help- though it is recommended napping for at least 5-25 minutes. You can take a nap and eat an apple immediately after to feel fully awake and recharged before getting back to work.
If you are looking for ways to stay awake while driving, just pull over at a rest stop and sleep for 30 minutes before driving on. It is dangerous to drive when you are drowsy and you could end up putting yourself and others at risk. It is best to call a cab service to drive you home in case you are very sleepy or drunk. We hope these 10 natural ways to stay awake while studying or in the office help you out.