Skip to content

Here's How to Stay Awake When You're Tired

Health Tips for Staying Alert When You Feel Tired

Insufficient sleep can make you feel miserable, especially if you are dealing with a full plate of responsibilities. Instead of pounding energy drinks, consider these healthy strategies for staying alert and awake when you're feeling tired and rundown.

Chew gum. Research suggests you can increase alertness by chewing gum . What's more, gum chewing has been linked to improved memory and better cognitive performance.

Control stress. Stress-induced emotions eat up massive amounts of energy. If you struggle with stress, talk to a friend, see a therapist or join a support group. Relaxation therapies such as yoga, meditation and tai chi are also great strategies for reducing stress.

Lighten your load. Too many responsibilities can increase mental fatigue. If you are feeling overwhelmed by family, professional and social obligations; try to streamline your day by putting off everything but essential activities. If you can't pare down your schedule, try asking for help.

Take a walk. Although it may seem counterintuitive to engage in physical activity when you are feeling tired; the results can be powerful. A simple lunchtime walk can instantly boost focus, while enhancing your ability to cope with stress. If you regularly experience an afternoon slump, consider taking a short walk to re-energize your mind and body .

Eat smartly. You can help ward off fatigue by eating several small meals throughout the day. That said, you should avoid sugar and simple carbohydrates, which produce sudden spikes in energy, followed by a debilitating crash. Instead, opt for slow-digesting whole-grains, high-fiber vegetables and high-protein meats, which provide steady streams of energy all day long.

Take a cold shower. According to researchers, there is evidence that a three-minute long cold shower can help counteract some of the negative effects of chronic fatigue . If at all possible, try taking a cold shower to enliven your senses and invigorate your brain.

Try some deep-breathing exercises. Studies suggest that deep diaphragmatic breathing can help improve attention, while reducing the negative effects of stress. If you are feeling tired and rundown, try sitting up in your chair and take several slow, deep breaths to see if it helps sharpen your focus.

Focus on your posture. Research indicates that adopting a healthy, upright posture can reduce fatigue , while decreasing self-focus in people with depression. If you find yourself slouching at your desk, throw your shoulders back and straighten your spine.

When Fatigue Becomes Chronic

According to surveys, at least 40 percent of Americans feel tired most of the time. If you experience fatigue on a regular basis, visit your doctor for a blood test and checkup. There are a variety of underlying health issues that can cause chronic fatigue. These include anemia, diabetes, sleep apnea, thyroid disease and more.

If sleeping difficulties are behind your fatigue, there are some things you can do to improve your sleep hygiene . These include avoiding caffeine in the afternoon and creating a consistent bedtime routine. You should also go to bed and get up at the same time every day.

If anxiety, depression and emotional difficulties are contributing to your fatigue and/or sleeping difficulties, consider sleep disorder counseling to explore effective ways to improve your mental health.

Our caring therapists can help you live your best life. Contact us today!