Everyone loves to sleep, even if they don’t admit it. There’s nothing better than having plenty of hours in the day to relax and sleep and not have to worry about anything. There are people who go without proper sleep for days and weeks, owing to work and other commitments. But given a choice, these people would also love a good sleep.
It is widely regarded that’s sleep has every positive impact and no negative impact on living beings. Although it is not exactly clear why we need sleep, extensive research conducted over the years has found that while we sleep it is an opportunity for the body to recover from the stress of the day and repair the cells and tissues. In doing this, the body recharges the energy reserves and makes us active and alert for the next day. This process is not possible when we are awake. When we go without sleep for a long time, the body is unable to complete its healing, making us tired sluggish and unproductive.
But as good and beneficial as sleep is for us there are times when we cannot afford to fall asleep. For instance, we cannot fall asleep during a long lecture in college, no matter how sleepy it makes us. We cannot fall asleep while we are trying to prepare for an exam the next day. And we cannot fall asleep while we are driving a vehicle. This is when we must find ways to avoid sleep.
It is a fact that we feel sleepy when we are bored. A classic example is a church service on Sundays, where most people sleep the entire time. But there are certain situations when we must stay awake no matter how bored we are. This is when you need to find ways to avoid sleep and stay awake.
What Is the Best Way To Stay Awake?
No one is alien to the feeling of being sleepy when trying to focus on important work. It happens to the best of us, even when we get sufficient sleep at night. When we feel sleepy at work, the easiest way to stay awake is to reach for a cup of coffee or a Red Bull. However that jolt you give yourself to stay awake results in a vicious cycle. The effects of caffeine take more than 8 hours to wear off, and if you happen to be consuming it in the middle of the day, there are high chances of staying awake at night when you need to sleep. Caffeine can also interfere with your sleep quality and duration, and also prevent you from getting REM sleep.
Despite all the negative effects of consuming caffeine to stay awake, that is what most people do to avoid sleep at work. But to avoid sleep we need to address the root cause, and that is the lack of sufficient sleep at night. When a person is well-rested, daytime sleepiness does not come easily but most people do not get the required amount of sleep leading to sleepiness during the day.
Ask any sleep expert and you will find out that the recommended way to avoiding sleep is to get sufficient sleep at night so that you wake up feeling refreshed and energetic every day. To still keep yourself from ceiling tired and sluggish during the day, the following tips are often effective:
Get Up and Move About
Most people today work at a desk, which requires sitting for long hours in the same place. But being in the same position for a long time can cause sleepiness and fatigue. The trick to avoid sleepiness he’s to get up from your place every 30 minutes and move around. It isn’t without reason that exercise is believed to invigorate us. When you move around, it not only causes a change in scenery but also improves circulation and gives you a boost of energy. Whether or not you feel sleepy working at your desk, getting up and moving around frequently is one of the most effective ways to avoid sleep and drowsiness.
Being hungry often shows up as sleepiness. Eating healthy is important, but eating something every two hours is also essential for keeping away sleep. If you are on an empty stomach, you are more likely to feel tired and find it hard to focus. Whenever you feel hungry, you should get something to eat, even if it is just a candy bar. Eating something high in calories is the best way to keep away sleepiness boosting energy for a short while.
Engage in Conversation
When you’re working all alone at your desk with nobody to talk to, you’re more likely to feel sleepy. When you find yourself getting sleepy starting a conversation with a co-worker on a subject you feel deeply about can stimulate your mind instantly and make you feel more awake. Even just making random conversation with someone at the desk next to you can keep your mind stimulated and help you avoid sleepiness.
Take A Nap
Although this may not always be possible in the workplace, taking a short nap for a few minutes is one of the best ways to get an instant energy boost. If you do not have the opportunity to take a full-fledged nap resting with your eyes closed for 10 minutes can also feel refreshing and help make you less drowsy.
Go Outside for A Breather
Getting some fresh air is open an instant boost for energy. In a study by the University of California, participants were given a candy bar and ask to go outside for a walk in order to stay awake. The ones who went outside for a walk felt more energetic and stayed awake for a longer time compared to those who ate a candy bar. One of the best opportunities for a short break is to walk somewhere for lunch and then back to the office. This short walk will boost your energy and make you feel alert.
Pull Up If Driving
It isn’t unusual to feel sleepy when driving for a long time, but drowsy driving is as dangerous as driving under the influence of alcohol. If you feel sleepy at the wheel, the best thing you can do is pull up by the side and take a short nap. Drinking coffee, turning up the music or opening the windows is not going to help you stay up for a long time.
How to Stay Awake When Studying?
If you are in the habit of burning the midnight oil for memorizing your lessons, you must be familiar with the sleepiness that threatens to overcome you within a short while. It does not help if you are going to bed late and waking up early. It causes sleep deficiency and makes you feel sleepier when you’re trying to focus on your lessons.
If you have to, there are a few ways so help yourself avoid sleep when trying to study at night.
Turn on Bright Lights
Instead of keeping only a small table lamp switched on, turn on the bright lights in the room. Sleep is caused by the production of melatonin, which can be slowed down by exposing yourself to bright lights. Unfortunately, this is only possible if you are alone in the room and no one else is trying to sleep while you study. If you share the room with someone, you must find another room where you can turn on all the bright lights while you study.
That’s right, reading your lessons allowed is one of the easiest ways to keep your mind stimulated and avoid sleep. The physical action of reading aloud plus your voice reaching into your ears is a combination that’s effective in helping you stay awake longer than what reading silently would have done.
It goes without saying that getting up and walking around the place very frequently is a surefire way the boosting energy and stimulating your mind. The best you can do is walk around the room while studying and reading aloud. This whole combination gives some massive stimuli to the brain making it focus more on all three tasks and avoid sleep in the process.
Sleepy? Try doing ten pushups or a few jumping jacks for a quick boost of energy. Exercising close to bedtime is usually not recommended because it boosts alertness and makes falling asleep harder. If that is what you need to be able to stay awake while you study at night, you may want to do a little bit of exercise before you start studying.
Use A Sun Lamp
Typically used for light therapy, a sun lamp is a bright light source that mimics natural light. It is said to prevent people from feeling sleepy and also in the treatment of the seasonal affective disorder. There’s no reason why you cannot use such a light to help yourself stay awake when you need to, especially if you cannot turn on the bright lights in the room at night.
Can You Control Sleep?
There are people who want to sleep more and there are those who want to sleep less. When you travel to a new time zone, the body finds it hard to switch to a different circadian rhythm than what it was so long used to. This is when people wonder if there was a way to control the sleep cycle so it could easily adjust to any time zone or location.
Don’t be surprised, because there are ways you can take back control over your sleep. Some of the easiest ways to do so are:
Skip A Few Meals
When you go without food for eight or more hours (when you’re sleeping) and then sit down for breakfast, your body thinks it’s starting a new day. You can use this trick anytime to adjust to a new time zone. Simply skip eating for ten or twelve hours, and then eat to fool your body into thinking it’s a brand new day (even if it’s not).
Practice Sleep Hygiene
The trick to sticking to set the duration of sleep every single day lies in good sleep hygiene. Going to bed and waking up at the same time every day trains your body to a set routine. You can sleep as much or as little as you want. Training your body is the way some people get by with only five hours of sleep. When your body is used to a routine, it’s hard to disturb it.
Skip the Bright Lights
The brain starts to produce melatonin after 7 in the evening. Once the brain starts to produce melatonin, you should try to avoid exposure to bright lights to help yourself get into sleep mode. This includes turning out the bright lights in the house, avoiding exposure to electronic devices and cutting down on TV time at night.
Sleep isn’t what should govern your routine; your sleep cycle should be governed by your daily routine. With practice and patience, it is possible to train your body to stick to a certain sleep routine. However, before you aim for less sleep, make sure you understand the importance of proper sleep and the dangers of insufficient sleep.