Thursday, November 5, 2009

Staying Awake at Work !

phew.. its always a terrible day at work when you are sleep deprived. You lose concentration, and productivity suffers overall . Its would be even more embarrassing to doze off in front of a whole bunch of students, or in your case your co-workers at your future work place. I also realise that some of our dear video instructors have aserenading voice that can gently lull you to sleep.

So here is a primer on " How to beat Sleep at Work/ School !"


  1. Use your sense of smell. A strong scent, good or bad, can make you more alert very quickly. Aromatherapists often recommend essential oils of the following plants to stimulate the nervous system and reduce fatigue (open the bottle and take a big whiff when you're feeling drowsy) :

    • Rosemary, Eucalyptus oil, Peppermint, Coffee (beans or brewed, study has shown that simply smelling coffee can awaken a person)

  2. Use acupressure. Massaging any of the following points will improve circulation and ease fatigue:

    • Top of your head (lightly tap with your fingertip)
    • Top of the back of your neck
    • Back of your hands (between thumb and index finger)
    • Just below the knees
    • Earlobes[5]
  3. Take a power nap. If you have the time, sleeping for just 15-20 minutes can increase your alertness by leaps and bounds if you have a cup of coffee (or any other form of caffeine) right before you fall asleep.
  4. Expose yourself to bright light, preferably natural daylight. Your body's internal clock, its circadian rhythms, are regulated by your exposure to sufficient light. Even if you're in an environment where there's artificial light, brighter is better. If you can step outside (even on a cloudy day) or look out the window for a full minute, you'll be more alert. Wherever you work, see if you can replace the light fixture or add a lamp that will brighten your workspace.
  5. Keep yourself uncomfortable.
    • Stay on your feet as much as possible. If you have to sit down, get the most uncomfortable chair you can find. Make sure the back is upright, forcing you to sit up very straight. Don't allow your head to rest on anything--your hands, the desk, the wall.
    • Stay cold. If it's a little cold, take off your sweater or jacket so you stay on the chilly side. Open a window or put on a small fan, pointed at your face.
  6. Exercise at your computer. Just because you're sitting down doesn't mean you can't use your muscles.
  7. Avoid a full stomach. Munch on snacks all day, rather than having a big meal. The key is to not get a spike of sugar intake (followed by the inevitable crash). The same goes for caffeine. Break your consumption down into small doses.

    • Apple - the sweetness and tartness in the flavor, along with the "crunch" will perk you up in a healthy way

    • Sunflower seeds still in the husk (put a small handful in your cheek and crack them open one at a time, using only your teeth and tongue; this will require just enough active thought and tongue movement to prevent you from dozing off, and the salt of the sunflower seeds is invigorating and stimulating; spit out the sunflower husks into a paper cup as you go, as quietly as possible so as to not disturb others around you)
    • Raisins
  8. Listen to music that's energizing to you; if possible, dance or sing along, even if you just bob your head or hum. Music that's irritating or jarring to you can also work. Just make sure to use headphones so you don't disturb your co-workers.
  9. Every thirty minutes, do one of the following:

    • Physical activity for 2-3 minutes (jumping jacks, push-ups, jogging in place, or walk around)
    • Splash cold water on your face
    • Drink an ice cold glass of water (the coldness picks you up, and guarantees you getting up every half hour or so to go to the bathroom; you won't fall asleep on a full bladder)
    • Brush your teeth
    • Chew gum. Chewing gum stimulates muscles in your face, increasing blood flow to your head, helping you stay alert and awake.

Hmm .. i tried steps 1, 5, 7 and 9 and did not drive to work. Worked so far. But i still don't think Rainer will appreciate anyone dancing in the classroom.


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