June 13, 2013 - Wellness

Falling Asleep in All the Wrong Places

Everyone is doing it

With news breaking of several security officers falling asleep at the JFK airport, lots of assumptions are called into question, like the level of commitment security guards have to, well, guarding our security. We put a lot of trust into them, but of course there is a level of sympathy for these guards making an all too human mistake. And they’re not the only ones to fall asleep in very public places.

While promoting his new film Now You See Me, Morgan Freeman dozed off right in the middle of a TV interview. Maybe movie-goers should take a hint?

I mean, I’ve been tired enough to doze off in a class or meeting, but how do you do it when someone is directly talking to you? On TV? The best part is, Morgan Freeman isn’t the only one to have done it during an interview or on TV. Honey Boo Boo, X-Factor winner James Arthur, Bill Clinton, and even other newsman have all been caught catching up on some z’s while on camera.

Since everyone is doing it, maybe being caught snoozing in the wrong place at the wrong time isn’t that big of a deal… until you remember that it definitely is. Sometimes you just don’t get a good sleep. Whether you’ve been up all night playing or just had too much on your mind, dealing with the demands of the next day is daunting when you haven't had adequate rest. So how do you stay awake when all that you want to do is sleep?

10 Ways to Combat Sleep without Caffeine

1. A good laugh

If things are getting a little monotonous at your desk, take a break and find something funny. Watch a YouTube clip, find your favorite website, or read a good comic strip. Laughing, even if it’s short or only internally, will stimulate your mind. That stimulation is needed for you to tackle those projects faster and more efficiently.

2. Tickle the top of your mouth cavity

Weird? Yes. Try it before you judge though. Running your tongue against the top front area of your mouth cavity will irritate those nerves. This quick jolt can be enough to get you focusing on what’s being covered in that meeting you’re in.

3. Eat a healthy snack

For better energy in the long run, stay away from caffeine, sugary snacks, breads or meats. Heavy food will pull your blood into your stomach to help with digestion, making you feel tired. That’s why a healthy snack like fruits or peanut butter is best to boost your alertness.

4. Listen to music

Listening to fast beat music can increase your pulse, helping to get that blood pumping through your body. Better blood circulation will get more oxygen to your brain fighting off that sleepiness.

5. Write or doodle

If you’re in class or a meeting where you need to be awake, try writing or doodling. Whether that’s really concentrating on what the speaker is saying or planning out your perfect vacation, do something to re-engage your brain. Try writing with your non-dominant hand. Try drawing something around you from a different angle. Draw squares then shade them in- doodling has actually been proven to help you pay better attention. Engage a co-worker in a game of hangman.

6. Drink cold water

Drink ice-cold water. Not only will the cold be refreshing, but it can help cool your internal body temperature. If you’re sitting in a warm, stuffy office, then cooling your insides will help fight the need for a doze. Not to mention standing up for a bathroom break is a great way to get the blood flowing.

7. Daylight

Exposing yourself to natural daylight can be a great way to revive your senses. Morning sunlight especially can help to regulate your inner clock that says when it’s time to sleep. 30 minutes a day is recommended, but even just a step outside will do you good.

8. Give your eyes a break

This mostly applies to those staring at a computer screen. Continuous fixation can strain your eyes, worsening fatigue. If you can, put up a nice picture to look at for a few minutes when you need to relax your eyes.

9. Get up and move

One study suggests that a brisk 10-minute walk can boost energy for two hours. The increased circulation will pump more oxygen into your brain and muscles, and you already know that more oxygen helps fight sleepiness.

Last but not Least

10. Sleep well the night before

Obvious, yes, but definitely one of the best suggestions. Having a regular sleep pattern of 6-8 hours is the best way to fight the drowsiness. Invest in a good night’s rest, and don’t be afraid to spend the extra money on a quality mattress, pillow, and sheets that will help you rest well so you feel good.

Hopefully these tips will stop you from falling asleep in a public place and ending up in someone else’s blog. What do you do to stay awake? Which of these tips would you try?