It is not uncommon to get a bit drowsy throughout your day. For many, the common solution to this situation is to drink a cup of coffee or energy drink to give us the caffeine that will get us through. However, there are other ways to stay awake without reaching for our next caffeine hit.

Here is a list of ways to stay awake and alert moving forward:

  1. Water – Drinking water is a good idea in most situations. When you wake up you are almost always dehydrated since you haven’t drunk anything for 8 hours. Rehydrating your body can help get you going and feeling more awake. Some practical tips include: fill up  a glass or bottle of water and leave it near your bed for easy access in the morning, prepare your favorite water bottle full of water in the fridge overnight to grab and go with you out the door in the morning, and have a water source with you at your job that you can sip on throughout your entire day.
  2. Exercise – Getting out of your warm bed and going straight to the gym might seem like a chore when the alternative is staying in that warm cocoon until the last minute. But I promise, getting your blood moving and feeling your heart pumping is the key to having an amazing, energy-filled day. Exercise is not exclusively found in the gym. Pushups, squats, lunges, etc. can be done wherever you are. When your body moves, your heart and lungs love it. Even something as simple as going for a walk around the block or your office building can help keep you awake during your day. If you are struggling staying awake at your desk, do a quick set of 15-20 jumping jacks and I bet you won’t be tired anymore.
  3. Improve your sleep – This point may be worth writing an entire blog about. Getting quality sleep is the most important part of not reaching for the coffee all day long. Go to bed and wake up at nearly the same time everyday. Even on the weekends. Late nights and sleeping in mornings that are outside of your normal work day routines can make getting quality sleep extremely difficult. Your body loves repetition. According to the Sleep Foundation, the best bedroom temperature for sleep is between 60 – 67 degrees Fahrenheit. We often fall asleep best when our body temperature dips down. This also leads us to not overheat at night. Lastly, I will also suggest taking your bath or shower before going to bed. It is nice to be clean before falling asleep. The benefit of bathing also helps your body temperature to dip down, causing you to fall asleep easier.
  4. Breakfast – Getting your nutrition in order in the morning can help us stay awake throughout the day. Complex carbohydrates, healthy fats and lean protein can help us fill up our stomachs, give us sustained energy and help us not reach for the caffeine drink. What you eat for breakfast is completely up to you, but I would suggest eating fresh fruit or vegetables with a whole grain like bread or quinoa along with a healthy fat. For example: avocado toast, fruit smoothie with peanut butter oatmeal, or simply a banana and peanut butter toast.
  5. Never hit snooze – The snooze button is not your friend. Your body does its best to rid itself of your sleepy hormones like melatonin when you wake up for the first time. When you hit the snooze button and fall back asleep your body wants to respond appropriately and will reproduce this hormone to put you back to sleep. This will make waking up again even harder. When your alarm goes off, get up right away and stay away from that tempting bed!
  6. Power naps – Sometimes getting a break and taking a nap is the right answer. Please take your naps in appropriate areas and off the clock though. Naps can be beneficial for people who just need a quick boost to finish their day. Naps, however, do not need to be long. Again this is a huge topic, but 15 – 20 minutes is plenty for a great nap. Set a timer for 20 minutes and shut your eyes. Just like restarting your computer, that short nap can help reset your mind.
  7. Go outside – If you are feeling sleepy from working all day or just reading this blog, take a moment and go step outside for some fresh air. The journey to get there is a good break from your task and you may get some needed sunlight. I would even suggest going outside in the rain or cold, within reason of course. Getting the sunshine and fresh air is what our bodies crave.

There are many more ways you can stay awake and stay away from that caffeine drink throughout your day. If you feel like caffeine is a serious problem and you are addicted, there is no better remedy than talking to your Savior for help. A prayer is the best way to get all the things you need. Maybe not exactly what you want but definitely what you need. The Lord cares for the raven, so how much more does He care about you? Now go get some good sleep, eat well, walk, run and get outside to have your best day ever!