I firmly believe adequate sleep is essential for a disciplined lifestyle. A disciplined lifestyle helps to win at work and succeed in life. Excessive sleep however is a curse especially if you fall asleep at work. It’s humiliating, counterproductive, and could derail your career. Trust me. I know because I used to fall asleep across the table from my boss! Sounds familiar? Keep on reading to learn how I conquered excessive sleepiness at work.
Warning: If you are suffering from a serious sleeping disorder this post is not for you. Please consult a sleep specialist at your earliest convenience. Also, some of these instructions may not be suitable for patients with heart conditions.
Falling asleep at work? Exercise Matters
Exercising is the main remedy that helps me stay awake at work. You can hire a professional fitness trainer or join a fitness center if you need to. However, walking twice, a week for 45 minutes helped me not to fall asleep at work. This can vary from one person to another depending on their physical state and age.
Falling asleep at work? Don’t Dehydrate
I work in a fully air-conditioned office. Air conditioning causes dehydration. Dehydration decreases blood pressure, which causes poor circulation and reduced blood flow to the brain. Sleepiness sets in as a result of this. The solution is to drink plenty of water. Usually, we drink water only when we feel thirsty. Thirst however is a signal that the body has already dehydrated. Then we must drink water before we feel thirsty. I achieve this by drinking a sip of water every 15 minutes. While these two remedies have served me well the undermentioned remedies are helpful also.
Falling asleep at work? Eat a Light Lunch
Our ancestors said, “Eat breakfast like a king, share your lunch and eat dinner like a beggar.” Unfortunately, we eat breakfast like a beggar, lunch like a king, and skip dinner. A typical Sri Lankan lunch is 2/3 of refined rice, 1/3 protein, and vegetables. It’s a recipe guaranteed to make you fall asleep at work! Since refined grains are easily digested, blood sugar levels rise and fall, leading to fatigue. Choose energizing meals rich in iron (leafy green vegetables), lean proteins (lean meat, fish, and eggs), and complex carbohydrates (whole grains and legumes) in fewer quantities.
Falling asleep at work? Stay Caffeinated
Although exercise and hydration work well for me Caffeine is the remedy for sleepiness resulting from sleep deprivation. You can drink Coke, Pepsi, a glass of Ice Coffee, or even a warm cup of Coffee. Still, none of these beats a cold can of Red Bull. A 250ml can give me an energy boost that lasts up to 9 hours. It’s expensive and doctors often frown upon it for its side effects. Nevertheless, I don’t mind the occasional cost and the side effect if it helps me stay wide awake at work even after a night of inadequate sleep.
Falling asleep at work? Take a “Killer Nap”
You conquer sleepiness by giving into it. Not by fighting it. The renowned author Michael Hyatt says it is his secret weapon for extra energy at work. He calls it “Killer Nap”. In a killer nap, you give in to sleep for 10-20 minutes instead of trying to stay awake. This way you get to kill the urge to fall asleep. Not by fighting it but by giving in to it. Just be sure to set an alarm since taking a nap for more than 90 minutes might cause you to feel sleepier than before.
The remedies I mentioned above may not work if you miss sleep regularly. If that is the case you need to adjust your lifestyle. There’s absolutely nothing you can do to substitute sleep. If you still fall asleep at work even after exercising and drinking plenty of water then it’s time to see a doctor who will run a few tests on you to determine the cause of the problem. You can fall asleep at work for different reasons. These reasons can be emotional as well as physical. [Read my previous post “Ground Rules for using PickMe and Uber” in the event you missed it]
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