Methods for Maintaining Alertness
As many as 25% of the population UpToDate More than 2 million healthcare providers use UpToDate to improve health outcomes through more informed care decisions. Clear, actionable, and full of real-world insights, UpToDate provides evidence-based clinical decision support. Source Citation feel so sleepy during the day that they can't concentrate on their tasks at hand Many people have trouble staying awake due to sleep disorders, working night shifts, or doing all-nighters. Even though zero equivalent Disease Prevention and Control Centers (CDC) CDC's mission as the nation's health protection agency is to prevent illness and save lives. Check It Out In order to get enough shut-eye, many people look for stimulants to use in the course of the day.
We discuss the optimal times for exercise and power naps, as well as ways to improve your morning routine. We discuss the importance of eating regularly and provide strategies for maintaining alertness in the classroom, at the office, and on the road.
Just as a regular routine before bed can help you drift off, the same holds true for a regular routine upon waking. Boost your morning efficiency by uniformly early morning waking up UpToDate More than 2 million healthcare providers use UpToDate to improve health outcomes through more informed care decisions. Clear, actionable, and full of real-world insights, UpToDate provides evidence-based clinical decision support. Check It Out daily, weekends included Maintaining a routine will help you wake up more easily and on time.
As soon as you can after waking up, go outside and soak up some sun. Superb illumination Med Guide After its humble beginnings as a pocket-sized resource for doctors and pharmacists in 1899, the Merck Manual has expanded to become one of the most comprehensive medical guides available. Source Citation impacts circadian rhythms in a significant way. Early morning wakefulness can be enhanced by exposing oneself to bright light. Light from the sun is ideal. On the other hand, waking up to natural light may not be an option if you work nights or reside in the polar regions of the world. If you can't get enough sun during the day, a light therapy box or visor can help you feel more alert and awake.
If you need a boost of energy, take a break and do some exercise. Exercise boosts serotonin levels Med Guide Manual grew from its modest beginnings as a reference book for doctors and pharmacists in 1899 to become one of the most comprehensive medical resources for both professionals and consumers alike. Read More in the brain that can boost energy, lift mood, and dull pain
An increase in energy that can last for hours is associated with even a brief walk. a minimum of two hours Medicine and Biology Bibliography, National Library of Medicine By making biomedical and genomic data more widely available, the National Center for Biotechnology Information helps improve human health. Check It Out when you're done working out Consistent exercise has been shown to boost cognition in people with chronic health conditions like narcolepsy UpToDate There are over 2 million doctors, nurses, and other medical professionals using UpToDate to improve patient outcomes through more informed care decisions. Clear, actionable, and full of real-world insights, UpToDate provides evidence-based clinical decision support. Check It Out and constant tiredness UpToDate UpToDate is used by over 2 million healthcare professionals around the world to make more informed treatment decisions and improve patient outcomes. UpToDate provides concise, practical, and in-depth evidence-based clinical decision support. Check It Out Additionally, regular exercise shortens the time it takes to nod off at bedtime and enhances the quality of sleep.
Selecting nutritious meals is one way to combat sleepiness. Don't let fatigue prevent you from eating, even if you're trying to stay awake. Low blood sugar levels have been linked to increased fatigue. If you skip a meal and then go to sleep, hunger may wake you up before you're ready.
Though you might experience a short-lived surge of energy after consuming sugary snacks, the long-term effects of eating and drinking lots of sugar are exhausting. To keep yourself alert and focused, try eating more protein and vegetables. Foods that are good for you include: fruits, vegetables, yogurt, eggs, nuts, fish, beans, and lean meats
Last but not least, remember to hydrate well if you're fighting sleepiness due to lack of shut-eye. Fatigue is one of the side effects of dehydration.
Coffee, tea, soda, and energy drinks all contain caffeine, a powerful stimulant. It has the potential to increase vigilance, less tired UpToDate UpToDate is used by over 2 million healthcare professionals around the world to make more informed treatment decisions and improve patient outcomes. Clear, actionable, and full of real-world insights, UpToDate provides evidence-based clinical decision support. Source Citation , and Focus more intently UpToDate UpToDate is used by over 2 million healthcare providers in 180 countries to help them make more informed decisions about patient care and improve health outcomes. Clear, actionable, and full of real-world insights, UpToDate provides evidence-based clinical decision support. Read More and energy The most popular stimulants in the world are coffee and tea.
Caffeine prevents the brain from releasing adenosine, which is responsible for the sedating effects of the chemical. Adenosine is a naturally occurring chemical that induces drowsiness. Caffeine stimulates your nervous system by blocking adenosine's effects, resulting in enhanced reaction time, heightened focus, and an overall elevated mood.
Caffeine takes about half an hour to start working, but its effects can last for several hours. One or two cups of coffee or tea may contain enough caffeine to keep you awake for an entire work or school shift. Caffeine can make it more difficult to get to sleep, so moderation is key. Put down the coffee Biotechnology Information Database, National Library of Medicine By making biomedical and genomic data more widely available, the National Center for Biotechnology Information helps improve human health. Check It Out within the previous eight hours of your intended bedtime
Caffeine may help you stay awake temporarily, but it shouldn't replace getting sufficient sleep every night. If you consume a lot of caffeine, you might find that it stops working as well or that you need more of it to achieve the same effects as before.
It may seem counterproductive to take a nap in order to stay awake, but research has shown that even a short nap can increase alertness for several hours. It has been scientifically proven that napping makes people more alert and less sleepy. However, napping is not a replacement for getting sufficient sleep at regular intervals. If you nap too much, you may find it more challenging to sleep off the day
Naps during the day should be kept to no more than 20 minutes, according to health experts. Due to sleep inertia, a longer nap may leave you feeling more sleepy than a shorter one. Due to sleep inertia, you may feel groggy, confused, or irritable upon waking from a deep sleep. Depending on how sleep deprived you are, sleep inertia could last for several hours. Sleep inertia may be reduced by exposure to bright light, washing the face, or consuming caffeine.
The best times of day to take a nap are between 9 a.m. and 3 p.m. m Closer to your ideal bedtime, a nap may prevent you from going to sleep when you should UpToDate UpToDate is used by over 2 million healthcare professionals around the world to make more informed treatment decisions and improve patient outcomes. Clear, actionable, and full of real-world insights, UpToDate provides evidence-based clinical decision support. Check It Out
Keep your brain functioning with a portable low-carbohydrate snack, water, and some light pre-class exercise. Increasing students' alertness, concentration, and focus through physical activity in the classroom has been linked to improved academic performance. Primary level Medical Research Database, Biotechnology Information By making biomedical and genomic data more widely available, the National Center for Biotechnology Information helps improve human health. Source Citation to university Information on Biotechnology at the National Library of Medicine By making biomedical and genomic data more widely available, the National Center for Biotechnology Information helps improve human health. Read More Five to ten minutes of exercise in between classes has been shown to improve concentration and alertness.
Keeping alert on the job can be difficult if you have little say over your schedule or surroundings. Tired workers are more likely to make mistakes on the job, have accidents, and get hurt. There are a few things you can try if you're struggling to stay awake at work.
Brighten up the office by turning on all available lights. A portable light box can be useful if the lighting in the room is inadequate.
Change up your routine, as studies have shown that doing the same thing over and over can lead to mental decline. as bad as that Information on Biotechnology at the National Library of Medicine By making biomedical and genomic data more widely available, the National Center for Biotechnology Information helps improve human health. Read More in terms of how alert you feel as a result of lack of sleep
Follow the guidelines for good sleep hygiene and get plenty of shut-eye before heading into the office by sleeping in a cool, dark room. Napping for a few hours before a night shift may help you stay awake and productive.
Caffeine should be consumed only at the beginning of the shift; taking it near the end of the shift can disrupt sleep in the hours following work. One study found that drinking a single cup of coffee or tea before starting work was more effective than spreading out several smaller cups throughout the day.
If you're driving and find yourself getting sleepy, pull over as soon as it's safe to do so. Sleepy driving is just as risky as drunk driving. Sleepy driving is a major contributor to vehicular accidents every year. 90,000+ car wrecks The Department of Transportation's Office of Traffic Safety (NHTSA) NHTSA's mission is to reduce deaths, injuries, and economic losses caused by motor vehicle crashes through the enforcement of vehicle performance standards and partnerships with state and local governments. Check It Out plus nearly 800 fatalities Identifying when you are too tired to drive safely may be more difficult than you think, according to the research. Avoid driving while sleepy by making plans to share a ride, taking public transportation, or rescheduling your trip if you can. Signs of drowsy driving include blurred vision, heavy eyelids, a loss of awareness of time or distance, increased blinking or yawning, and lane drifting.
A nap of just 20 minutes can do wonders for driver alertness and safety. Caffeine has a chance of helping as well, though its effects may be diminished in those who are chronic caffeine users or severely sleep deprived. Drowsy driving cannot be prevented by exposure to cold air, eating, drinking non-caffeinated beverages, or listening to music.
Staying up late for work or school may seem like a good idea at the time, but it can have negative effects on your performance and increase your risk of accidents the next day. One long night of work can disrupt your train of thought UpToDate UpToDate is used by over 2 million healthcare professionals around the world to make more informed treatment decisions and improve patient outcomes. UpToDate provides concise, practical, and in-depth evidence-based clinical decision support. Read More judgment, and psychological well-being Chronic sleep deprivation has been linked to an increased risk of several diseases and conditions, including diabetes, heart disease, and obesity.
The best way to recover from an all-nighter is to get plenty of sleep as soon as possible. Get back on track with your normal sleep and wake times as soon as possible. Don't let your afternoon nap keep you up late. Do some exercise (in the sun, if possible), eat fewer carbohydrates, and up your water intake. Caffeine in the morning can help you stay awake, but stopping consumption eight hours before bedtime is recommended.
Making healthy decisions can help you stay awake if you are unable or unwilling to consume caffeine.
Instead of relying on caffeine, try filling your day with as much bright light, preferably sunlight. Set aside 5-10 minutes for some exercise. Get some water and a healthy, low-carb snack. Finally, you can try taking a 20-minute nap, but keep in mind that naps that are too long or late in the day can make it more difficult to fall asleep later.
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