Staying awake is easy … five shots of espresso and a can of red bull is all you need. You’ll certainly be wide awake and wired, but you may also die from a heart attack a few hours later. In all seriousness, conquering drowsiness before it overwhelms your mind can be quite a challenge without the help of stimulants.
So the big question is: What are some healthy ways to stay awake when you must? Let’s take a look at seventeen possibilities.
1. Crank Up the AC: Warm, stuffy environments accelerate mental fatigue. If you need to stay awake in a lecture hall or meeting room find an open seat under an AC vent.
2. Cold Water: Splash some on your face and the pulse area of your wrists. Drinking an ice-cold glass of water can also help to wake you up, and if you drink enough of it you’ll be up on your feet using the restroom every thirty minutes as well.
3. Fasting at Mealtime: The human body expends a great deal of energy during the digestion process. This can create a great deal of fatigue when you are trying to stay awake. Fasting is a great way to avoid this natural fatigue. As long as you are drinking enough water, fasting for a meal or two is also a healthy way to detoxify your cells and rejuvenate organs.
4. Light Exercise Breaks: Take a break and take a walk or do a couple jumping jacks to get your blood moving. Even the slightest bit of exercise can act as a healthy way to energize your mind and body.
5. Chew Sugar-Free Peppermint Gum: It won’t rot your teeth and it will generate just enough physical activity to keep you awake. Strong peppermint flavors seem to work best for me; there’s just something about that refreshing minty taste.
6. Write: The idea is to keep your mind busy. If you are attending a lecture or business meeting, write down everything that is said. If you are simply trying to stay awake, create a detailed to-do list for the week or plan out your perfect weekend getaway.
7. A Good Laugh: Watch a funny video clip or read your favorite comic strip. A good chuckle will stimulate your mind and help you to stay awake a little while longer.
8. Inspirational and Motivational Material: Sometimes all you need is a little pep talk. Watch a video clip that inspires you.
9. Music: If it’s not too much of a distraction, listening to fast beat music can be a great way to keep your mind awake.
10. Tickle the Top of Your Mouth Cavity: Obviously, you’ll want to do this with your tongue. Rub your tongue against the top front area of your mouth cavity. It feels a little weird, but it does give you a quick, irritating nerve jolt that can actually help to keep you awake.
11. Turn On All the Lights: Darkness promotes sleepiness. Turn on every light in the room.
12. Hangout with a Friend: It’s so much easier to stay awake when you have someone else to interact with.
13. Play Video Games: First-person shooters, fast paced driving games, or online RPGs like the great World of Warcraft are sure to keep you wide awake.
14. Go Outdoors: Getting some fresh air outdoors is always a good way to rouse your senses.
15. Pull Down on Your Earlobes: This may sound strange, but pulling down on your earlobes can help you stay awake and alert when you’re feeling drowsy. Just try it.
16. Nutritious Low Carb Snacks: Low carb fruits such as raspberries, apples, oranges, and grapefruits are great energy boosters. Heaping scoops of spicy salsa on a few small crackers is another goodie. Stay away from meats, breads and dairy products.
17. Get Enough Sleep When You Can: This one should be obvious. The best way to stay awake is to be well rested. If you get enough sleep on a regular basis it will be much easier for you to stay awake or pull an all-nighter when you absolutely must.