7 Amazing Tips to Stay Awake Without Coffee
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We all need our caffeine fix from time to time – and what better way than a hot cup of delicious coffee to kick start the day. Drinking coffee instantly boosts your energy and helps you stay awake, thanks to its caffeine content. However, it might not be the healthiest choice for your body. Excessive coffee consumption can cause unpleasant side effects which may include restlessness, stomach upset, palpitations, headaches, anxiety, and it may even contribute to insomnia. If you’re looking for ways to stay awake without coffee, here are some alternatives that you should consider.
- Eat Breakfast
The food that you eat can be the deciding factor between a sluggish day and an energetic one. Many people tend to skip breakfast and opt for a quick fix because they’re in a hurry, but a hearty breakfast gives you the energy that you need to focus at school or at work.
Make sure that you’re eating a balanced mix of nutrients, and try to include protein and complex carbs in each meal. Fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean protein, and nuts are all excellent options. The key here is to aim for balanced blood sugar levels so you’ll have consistent energy levels, making you less likely to feel sluggish throughout the day.
- Get Moving
One of the leading causes of fatigue among deskbound workers is the inability to move around much in your seat. Fortunately, there are several exercises that you can do in your seat; techniques to trick your body into thinking it’s somewhere else other than stuck at your desk. Point and release your toes, roll your shoulders, do some neck rolls, ankle circles, or heel lifts. These simple motions – ones that you can do even while sitting down – can stretch your muscles and keep the blood flowing in your body.
Aside from doing some simple exercises in your seat, make sure to get up and move around too. Step outside and go for a quick walk. Take the stairs instead of the elevator. Get up and do some stretches. Step away from your desk for a few minutes, move around, keep your body alert, and get your blood pumping.
- Stay Hydrated
Did you know? Fatigue is also a symptom of dehydration. When you skimp on water, the cells in your body shrink so they can’t function properly, triggering feelings of fatigue. Some of the side effects of mild dehydration include sleepiness, headache, increased fatigue, and concentration problems. The solution is easy: drink water throughout the day. Staying hydrated will help your blood transport oxygen and other nutrients to your cells, boosting your energy and keeping you energized throughout the day.
- Have a Power Snack
Have a small, healthy snack every 4 hours throughout the day – it’s much better to continually refuel your body before it runs ‘empty’ than to wait until you’re exhausted and hungry and overdo it. Large meals can make you feel lethargic and foggy because digestion requires energy. On the other hand, eating small snacks packed with certain vitamins and nutrients such as protein, fiber, and iron (iron deficiency is a common cause of fatigue) will give you sustained energy throughout the day.
- Switch Tasks
Find yourself nodding off? Switch to a more engaging and interesting task to help stimulate your mind. Believe it or not, you may even want to pause your day to watch an entertaining YouTube clip. Tuning in to something fun and engaging can help you get rid of that foggy, zoned-out feeling from staring at a computer screen for too long. If you change your focus for just a few minutes to something more pleasurable, you can perk up. You can also switch to more engaging work tasks when you feel yourself nodding off.
- Take a Nap
When it comes to taking naps, here are two things you need to remember: Don’t take more than one and don’t nap too close to your bedtime. Experts recommend napping between 5 and 25 minutes. Also, it’s best to nap around 6 or 7 hours before you would normally go to bed. If you must take a nap close to your bedtime, make it a short one.
Napping on the job can be a touchy subject. If you need to nap at work, make sure to do it during your break and use an alarm clock (if necessary) to make sure you don’t go beyond your break time. Usually, sleeping at your desk isn’t a good idea, but many companies provide nap rooms for employees. If you can’t nap, even resting quietly with your eyes closed for at least 10 minutes will help.
- Practice Deep Breathing Exercises
Deep breathing can raise blood oxygen levels in the body. This lowers blood pressure, slows your heart rate, and improves circulation, ultimately supporting mental performance and boosting energy. The idea of deep breathing exercises is to inhale to your abdomen, not the chest. You can do them at your desk. Sit up a straight and try these exercises up to 10 times:
- Put one hand on your belly (just below your ribs) and the other on your chest. Then, inhale deeply through your nose and let your belly push your hand out. Your chest shouldn’t move.
- Breathe out through pursed lips as if you’re whistling. You can use the hand on your belly to help push the air out.
Another technique that you can try is stimulating breath – a technique that’s commonly used in yoga for increased alertness and a quick energy boost. You simply have to inhale and exhale rapidly through your nose, while keeping your mouth closed but relaxed. Make your in-and-out breaths short – do around three of each cycle in a second, then breathe normally. You can do this for up to 15 seconds.
The Bottom Line
Drinking coffee instantly boosts your energy and helps you stay awake, thanks to its caffeine content. However, it might not be the healthiest choice for your body. Excessive caffeine consumption can lead to unpleasant side effects such as restlessness, stomach upset, palpitations, headaches, and anxiety, to name a few.If you’re looking for ways to stay awake without coffee, there are several strategies that you can try. Eat a healthy breakfast.
Get up and get moving. Stay hydrated. Have a power snack. Switch to more engaging tasks. Take a quick nap. Practice deep breathing exercises. Any of these strategies can give you that much-needed energy boost without the caffeine.
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