It’s perfectly normal to feel tired from time to time, but if you feel sleepy on a regular basis, it might be time to make some changes. Sleepiness can seriously hinder your chances in the workplace, and being heavy-eyed could affect how well you’re performing. So, since napping at the office is frowned upon, here are seven useful tips that should help you stay alert at work.
- Get a decent sleep the night before
It’s no secret that a lack of sleep will leave you feeling tired and sluggish during the day, causing your performance at work to suffer. If you want to be on top of your game in the office, it’s important that you get a sufficient amount of shuteye. It’s thought that adults should get around eight hours of slumber every night, so if you’re guilty of staying up all hours, it might help to change your bedtime routine. To set yourself up for a great night’s sleep, you could take some time to unwind. For example, you could indulge yourself with a warm bubble bath or kick back with your favourite book. It also helps if your sleep space is up to scratch, including having a comfortable and supportive bed. Simply fine tuning your approach to bedtime should mean that you’re able to wake up each morning feeling refreshed and ready to face another busy day at the office.
- Drink plenty of fluids
Between attending meetings and sending emails, it can be easy to get wrapped up in your work – so much so that you may forget to keep yourself hydrated. While you might not think too much of it, skimping on your daily intake could be to blame for your exhaustion, so if you’re keen to banish your tiredness for good, it’s time to drink up. Staying hydrated keeps your oxygen levels up, helping you feel awake and keeping your mind sharp. Ideally, you should be having around six to eight glasses of hydrating fluid every day. Water is a healthy option, but if you’re craving some flavour, you could also try sipping on fruit juice or sugar-free drinks too. While you may be tempted to indulge in a cup of tea or mug of coffee, it’s important to keep your caffeine consumption to a minimum. Although a kick of caffeine might give you an instant boost, getting hooked is bad news for your health and could just end up making you feel more tired over time.
- Take regular breaks away from your desk
As soon as you start to feel tiredness set in, get up. Taking regular breaks away from your desk is crucial, especially if you want to stay feeling alert all day. Whether you go for a bathroom break, head to the kitchen to make a drink or visit the photocopier, a quick breather could help clear your mind, as well as give you an opportunity to stretch your legs. Getting your body moving, even if it’s only briefly, could help you perk up. To really wake yourself up, you could even take yourself outdoors for some fresh air on your lunch break.
4. Give your eyes a rest
Sitting at a desk in front of a computer screen for long periods of time can wreak havoc on your eyes. The bright lights can strain your peepers, leaving them feeling sore and itchy. This is more commonly referred to as eye fatigue. In turn, you might find that you begin to get heavy-eyed and generally feel tired. So, if your eyes start to feel uncomfortable, it’s important to give them a rest. You could practice the 20-20-20 rule. Every 20 minutes, avert your gaze to look at something that is approximately 20 feet away for 20 seconds. Using this technique could help you focus better on the task at hand.
5. Communicate with your colleagues
In the workplace, it’s no secret that good communication with your colleagues is extremely important, but did you know that engaging in conversation can also help lift you up when you’re tired? If you feel yourself starting to flag, you could try engaging with the people around you for an instant mood boost. The social contact of a discussion with others could be enough to wake up your brain, putting you in a much better frame of mind to get on with your work.
- Fuel up with a nutritious snack
If you’re starting to feel sleepy at work, you could try fuelling up with a nutritious snack. There are a plethora of healthy treats you could try to give yourself a boost of energy. For example, certain types of fruit can make for the perfect pick-me-up, such as bananas, apples, melon and oranges, while nuts and seeds are also meant to be good for fighting fatigue. If you find you’ve a hit a wall of tiredness mid-morning or you’re sinking into an afternoon slump, there are foods you can snack on to help you stay alert throughout your working day.
- Make an effort to sit up straight
When a wave a tiredness hits, it can be easy to give into the sleepiness and slump into your office chair. However, relaxing your body in this way isn’t going to help you feel anything but drowsy. Instead, it pays to make a conscious effort to sit up straight. In 2015, a group of researchers at the University of Auckland carried out a study that looked at the link between posture and energy levels. They discovered that people who sit up straight tend to feel more energetic compared to those who hunch over their desks.