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10 Tips (& 5 Freaky Facts) on How to Stay Alert and Awake

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There are many reasons why you might want to know how to stay awake longer and be more alert while doing so. Your reasons might range from just not getting good quality sleep to an occasional need to do productive work during “crunch times” before deadlines to fluctuating schedules dictated by work or other life demands.

We’ll explore several suggestions that may help you stay awake and alert in various situations, even if you need to know how to stay up all night and how to keep yourself awake the next morning. For those of you who are into learning something new, we sprinkled in five facts that are just a bit weird (and some terms you can bolster your vocabulary with as well).

Stay Alert and Awake

Adjust Your Internal Clock

Try to adjust your “internal clock” if staying up all night will be a regular part of your schedule. Circadian Rhythm Disorders (the name for problems sleeping due to your internal biological clock) can be caused by many triggers, according to Sleepeducation.org, including jet lag and shift work. 

Do Something Physical

One of the best ways to stay awake is to do something very physical. Walking and sleeping are hard to achieve at the same time unless you have somnambulism (as sleepwalking used to be called). According to WebMD, a 10-minute walk can increase your energy for two hours because walking gets oxygen pumping through your veins to your brain and muscles.

Freaky Fact:  Besides sleepwalking, sleep talking is a thing, and it’s actually fairly common. 
(source: Sleepeducation.org

Make Sure to Give Yourself Breaks

If you do need to pull an all-nighter that involves using a computer, make sure to give your eyes frequent breaks to reduce fatigue. When you find yourself getting sleepy during research or an extended writing session at night, set an alarm for every 20 minutes to remind you to look away from the screen and refocus. Better yet, at the 20-minute intervals, get up and stretch, as advised above!

Put on the Bright Lights

If you’re searching in advance for how to stay awake at night,  purchase an LED bulb that simulates sunlight and a lamp that illuminates the whole room. Darkness triggers the production of the hormone melatonin, which causes you to feel sleepy. As Healthline.com notes, if you’re going to be routinely working nights and sleeping during the day, using this type of lighting at night while darkening your room during the day can help you adjust.

Freaky Fact:  12% of people dream entirely in black and white.   (source: The New York Times)

Watch What and How Much You Eat and Drink

Drinking water and other nonalcoholic beverages will help you avoid dehydration, which can make you tired even when you’re rested.

If you’re interested in knowing how to wake up when driving, starting a conversion or listening to an engaging podcast can keep you alert. Just be sure if it’s a phone conversation to use Bluetooth or another hands-free headset.

Freaky Fact:  There’s a term for being a sleepyhead who can’t get out of bed. It’s called dysania (but it’s not medically recognized yet).  (source: The BBC)

Take Lunchtime Naps

If you’re struggling to figure out how to stay awake at work, consider whether finding a private place to pop off for a restful lunchtime nap is an option. To be discreet, perhaps drive two to three minutes away from the workplace and nap in your car. How to wake yourself up in time to be back at your desk? Simple. Just be sure to bring your cell phone with an alarm app.

Freaky Fact:  Sleep experts have found a link between a person’s personality and their sleep position. (source: The Huffington Post)

For Staying Awake in Class

In case you want to learn how to stay awake in class, Healthline has a few tactics worth sharing.

1)  Choose a different seat at the beginning of the class.

2) Quietly pop some mini mints or chew some mint gum.

3) Dress up in more formal clothes.

The change of clothes or seating venue can shake up your variety to keep you alert for the hour, while the mint is a natural stimulant.

Maybe You’re Wondering How to Stay Awake After an All-Nighter?

From time to time, you may need to resort to other, more potent stimulants. WebMD recommends coffee or even over-the-counter caffeine pills after an all-nighter when you need to keep functioning. 

Freaky Fact:  The record for the longest time without sleep is approximately 264 hours—just over 11 consecutive days.   (source: Healthline.com)

Try Kratom

If you want to stay awake, kratom may be a natural solution to learn about. Kratom refers to the powder or tea made from a Mitragyna speciosa tree native to Southeast Asia. Kratom has long been used for herbal medicines in this region of the world. Staff members at Organa Kratom have selected several kratom strains in the energy category. They’ve identified these kratom products as those that may help support alertness, focus, and energy. Users report they feel the effects of kratom within 10 minutes of ingestion, and they generally last up to 90 minutes.

Takeaway

Sleep is a necessary function for physical and mental well-being. If you’re wondering how long can you stay awake without it, you will probably discover you’re getting cranky, jittery, and irritable after more than 24 hours awake. Check with a physician if you’re experiencing sleep disorders or want to try any stimulants for keeping awake if you’re pregnant or have a health condition.

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