Sleeping on the Job? 3 Tips to Perk Up

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There’s a reason your body craves eight hours of sleep every night: This allows your brain to perform essential functions, and reset your mind and body for the next day. When you sleep well, you’re more productive, creative, motivated, happy, and healthy.

When you don’t get sufficient rest, you may struggle in certain areas, such as lack of energy or reduced productivity. For some, inadequate sleep at home means they fall asleep on the job.

In fact, a study from Amerisleep, a top U.S. online mattress retailer, revealed that a high percentage of people in high-paying and high-stress jobs sleep at work. The firm polled a thousand people in various industries and discovered that 70 percent of employees in the tech industry catch a nap on the job, followed closely by 68 percent in construction.

Most respondents reported napping on the job, even when it was prohibited. Many offices encourage workers to take a short siesta between projects so they can return to their desks refreshed. Others are less keen on the idea, and you don’t want to get yourself in trouble.

You also don’t want to fall behind or struggle with an energy lag after your nap. Instead of catching some shuteye, try these tips to stay alert.

1. Eat Energy-Inducing Foods and Supplements

What you put into your body has a profound impact on your sleep habits. Watching what you eat and when you eat it is worthwhile.

Caffeinated beverages and sweets will clearly kick-start your energy level, but they’ll also lead to a crash at some point during the day. If you want to maintain a more dependable level of alertness, turn to this list of beneficial foods for consumption on a daily basis:

  • Nuts
  • Spinach
  • Eggs
  • Avocado
  • Oatmeal
  • Blueberries
  • Quinoa
  • Sweet potatoes
  • Bananas
  • Brown rice
  • Edamame
  • Tuna fish
  • Beans and lentils
  • Whole grain cereal
  • Green tea
  • Oranges
  • Yogurt

Look into high-energy and nutrient-rich foods you love, so you’re more likely to eat them. You might also take supplements that contain a vitamin B complex, which combats fatigue.

Eat a healthy breakfast, as well. It really is the most important meal of the day, but donuts and muffins won’t do. They’ll give you energy at first, but you’re more likely to crash all too soon. Healthy foods – such as fruits, granola, whole grains, and dairy – give your body the energy it needs from the get-go.

A lighter lunch is also a smart move. A full stomach can often cause that dragging feeling you get between two and four every afternoon. Try to eat salads, vegetables, whole grains, and other foods that aren’t processed or full of trans fats and sugars.

2. Get Active

When you’re sleepy, getting out of your chair is probably the last thing you want to do. But that’s the key to eliminating fatigue, and, it turns out, you don’t have to work out strenuously to boost energy levels.

In 2008, the University of Georgia performed a study on the effectiveness of exercise on fatigue. The researchers split 36 volunteers into three groups.

The first did 20 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic exercise three times a week for six weeks; the second performed low-intensity aerobic exercise for the same period; and the third did not exercise, to serve as a control group.

The findings indicated a 20-percent increase in energy levels for the two groups who exercised regularly. The study also found that people who worked out at a moderately intense level reported a 49 percent drop in lethargy while the low-intensity group reported a 65 percent drop.

This means you don’t have to move a lot to boost your energy levels. When you’re feeling sleepy, do a lap or two around the office building. Just spend 10 to 20 minutes doing something besides sitting stationary, and your energy levels are sure to increase.

3. Adjust Your Sleep Schedule

Everyone is equipped with a circadian rhythm: a pattern your body follows to monitor proper sleep and wake cycles. This “internal clock” tells you when you should sleep and awaken, but if you haven’t been abiding by this tool, your rhythm could be off, which would result in you waking up tired.

According to research from an online blinds company, there’s an ideal time to go to sleep every night if you need to wake up around 7:00 a.m. Their research suggests one should go to bed between 9:45 and 11:15 p.m. to wake up feeling refreshed.

You may adjust this schedule to fit your needs, but try to avoid late nights when you face an early morning. If you don’t, that could be a big reason you’re struggling to stay alert throughout the day.

The above three tips are the most basic and essential steps for combatting a sleepy pattern and staying alert throughout the day. If you apply them, you’re certain to enjoy immense benefits in productivity and overall life satisfaction.

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Melissa Thompson

Melissa is a mother of 2, lives in Utah, and writes for a multitude of sites. She is currently the EIC of and writes about health, wellness, and business topics.