6 Tricks To Feeling More Awake When You Can Barely Keep Your Eyes Open
Whether you're studying for a test that's just hours away, fighting fatigue during the last scheduled meeting of your work day, or just trying to stay up so you can make it to your BFF's birthday party, chances are, there have been times you've needed to find a few tricks to help you feel more awake when you're drowsy AF. Let's be real, here: There are only so many cups of coffee you can drink before you get jittery. Plus, real life is busy, and you simply don't always have the time or space to take a quick, half-hour power nap, as great as a small snooze truly is for your energy levels.
Rest assured, you're far from alone in feeling habitually fatigued throughout the day. In fact, according to the American Sleep Association, nearly 40 percent of adults have said they've unintentionally fallen asleep during the daytime at least once in the last month. That's kind of a lot, no?
While nothing beats being fully well-rested, there will always be times when you just need that extra somethin'-somethin' when your energy is tanking and your eyelids are heavy. Here are some wake-up tips to keep in the back of your mind when you've got too much to do before you can actually hit the sack.
1. Get Up And Move
According to holistic health coach, Stephanie Powers, getting up and moving your body — even if it's just to take a stroll around the block — will help you shake the cobwebs away.
Your energy becomes stagnant when you're sitting in the same position for a long time, Powers tells me in an interview with Elite Daily, so "whether it's getting up and walking around the room, doing jumping jacks, or stretching," she says, that movement is key to helping you feel more awake.
Combine your low-key dose of movement with a tall glass of water, she adds, and your ability to focus will definitely improve.
2. Use Your Breath To Guide You
New York-based therapist, Julia Colangelo, LCSW, recommends using your breath as a booster by taking some "profound, deep breaths" when you feel yourself nodding off.
There are lots of energizing breathing techniques you can find online, like the video above, but Colangelo tells me in an interview with Elite Daily that the simple method of inhaling through your nose, then exhaling through your mouth, is really all you need to help you keep your eyes open when you're sleepy.
Be sure to count to five or 10 with each inhale and exhale, and notice how your energy shifts as you focus your attention on your breathing.
3. Make Sure You Stay Hydrated
"Stay hydrated by making sure you’re drinking enough water and other fluids throughout the day [even before you get sleepy]," he tells me in an interview with Elite Daily.
Keep in mind, he explains, many foods, like fruits and vegetables, contain water, so you can also boost your hydration level by eating more of these things throughout the day.
Another pro tip: Supplement your water with a drink that boosts some electrolytes, too. Opt out of drinks with high fructose corn syrup, Dr. Axe suggests, and try coconut water, or a little water with lemon and honey, instead.
4. Drink Some Vegetable Juice
Dr. Axe also recommends drinking fresh vegetable juice when you're super sleepy, as he says it acts as a "shock" to your body — but in a good way.
Vegetable juice, he explains, is "easier for your body to absorb and digest, and because less work is required for your body to reap the nutritional benefits, you’ll notice an increase in energy."
But the nutrition expert says to keep it fresh, since store-bought juices are usually loaded with sugar and preservatives — aka stuff that will probably just leave you feeling even more exhausted.
5. Take A Deep Whiff Of Peppermint Essential Oil
"This refreshing essential oil increases oxygen to the brain," Dr. Axe tells Elite Daily, "which heightens focus and stimulates the mind."
Try dabbing a few drops on your wrists when you find your energy lagging, he suggests, or add several drops to a steam diffuser to breathe in while you're trying to finish your work.
6. Experiment With Energizing Pressure Points On Your Body
Try out a little DIY acupressure to wake yourself up when you're feeling like a sleep-deprived zombie. The above video says pressing the point at the very crown of your head while practicing deep breaths is helpful, but there are many pressure points on the body that can give you a little pop, like kneading the tops of your calves just below the knees.