Ah yes, the age old solution to being tired! Many people start their day with a cup of coffee or indulge in an afternoon energy drink. If you need a more portable source of energy that doesn’t need to be kept hot or cold, chocolate covered coffee beans are delicious. (Caffeine AND chocolate? Yes please!)
Taking vitamins regularly is an underrated way to stay alert. Studies have shown that giving your body the proper nutrients enables people of all ages to think more clearly and focus better. By keeping healthy, you also ward off things like colds and allergies that can make you feel drained. So plan ahead and take vitamins regularly to give yourself an extra little edge for when you don’t get enough sleep and really need it.
Some natural supplements also contain caffeine contributed by things like green tea extract, taurine and ginseng. Think of these types of supplements as drinking a tiny non-liquid cup of tea in one gulp. So if you want the benefit of caffeine without having to drink coffee, these are a good alternative that will wake you up. Supplements have far fewer calories than coffee or energy drinks. Additionally, since supplements do not contain sugar, they do not give you the same crash when the caffeine wears off.
Exercise produces endorphins and endorphins make you feel more alert and energized. As a result, you can conclude that regular physical activity can help you to feel more awake and be more productive while working. From my own anecdotal evidence, however, I do think that there’s a threshold where this stops being true. For example, if you leave your desk and take a half mile walk every day at lunchtime, you'll probably feel more awake as you work all afternoon. If you leave your desk and go for a 30 mile run, you'll probably return to work exhausted and want to curl up and nap in your desk chair. Take this point with a grain of salt and don’t overdo it or you will most likely achieve the opposite outcome.
I’m not sure why this is true but listening to music while working tends to keep people focused. Perhaps it’s because background noise downs out the little sounds that would normally get our attention and annoy us. Sounds like a coworker biting his nails or a car pulling up slowly get drown out when there’s music to occupy our curious ears. This effect seems to be amplified as the volume gets turned up. (See what I did there?) So the next time you’re feeling sleepy and need to concentrate, put on your headphones and turn up the music a little.
Remember, there’s some evidence that creativity can actually be born out of slight sleep deprivation, so the next time you wake up tired, just tell yourself that you’re going to be extra creative that day!
Legal Warning: Clearly I’m not a doctor (read the profile below). This is not medical advice and should not be taken as such. Please consult your medical doctor (and perhaps a shrink) before binge drinking Red Bulls, rubbing your body down with taro root, running a marathon or listening to music above 125 decibels.
Kate Pierce is not a doctor. She is, however, the owner of LionShark Digital Marketing LLC, a West Michigan internet marketing company. Her areas of expertise include Paid Search, Search Engine Optimization, Social Media, Web Consulting for small businesses, Copywriting and Local Online Marketing. She lives in the Grand Rapids area with her husband and enjoys cooking, watching sports and spending time outdoors. Like a true digital marketing expert (i.e. geek), she loves talking about marketing theory and SEM trends… so don’t say you weren’t warned!