How you can stay awake
Do you feel like nodding off at work on a regular basis? If you do, the boss probably isn’t giving you the nod since sleepiness at work can affect the quality and amount of work you complete. Facts show that there are many people who do get sleepy at work. A National Sleep Foundation study revealed that 51 percent of all U.S. workers report that sleepiness interferes with the amount of work they do.*
If you’re always sleepy at work, you may have a sleep disorder such as sleep apnea, narcolepsy or insomnia. Symptoms of sleep apnea include stopping breathing many times throughout the night, loud snoring at night and when you nap and excessive daytime sleepiness. Narcolepsy is characterized by sudden, uncontrollable sleep attacks throughout the day. Those with insomnia have difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep at night. Sleep disorders can lead to serious health problems, so if you think you may have one, see your doctor about treatment for the condition.
Give it a rest
What if you’re sleepy at work and don’t have a sleep disorder? Here are some eye-openers that can help keep you awake:
Drink a caffeinated cup of coffee, tea or can of sugar-free soda to increase your level of alertness and improve your reaction time.
- Try an energy drink that contains caffeine and taurine, an amino acid that can increase mental functioning.
- Consider over-the-counter stimulants that contain caffeine and use them in moderation.
- Take a power nap for 15 to 20 minutes to boost productivity, making sure it’s okay with your employer first.
- Move around by taking brisk five-minute walks to boost your mood and energy level.
- Wash your face with cold water and brush your teeth to feel more refreshed.
If you’re still sleepy at work after trying these tips, you may be suffering from sleep debt—getting too little sleep at night. Try going to bed an hour earlier each night to see if your sleepiness at work improves.
When you find out what’s making you sleepy on the job and get help, you can wake up and smell the coffee, and maybe drink a little less of it, too.