The one major difference in being an adult and a child (aside from the thousand other major differences) is that as a child, you get rewarded for going to bed, but you get punished for it as an adult. It’s a workaholic world, and the less time you spend on sleep, the more you feel like Superwoman.
Although it’s detrimental to your health to skip snoozing–your body repairs itself during sleep, and some people have actually died from exhaustion-related heart attacks–it just can’t be avoided sometimes.
Here are 6 tried-and-true tricks to keep your eyes open. Print, frame, and hang on your office desk. Break in case of emergency.
1. Munch on snacks
Food is energy, but big meals will only make you more drowsy. Munch on chocolate bars, sushi, and anything relatively healthy. Avoid salt and simple carbs, like french fries.
2. Take a stroll
Walking, or jogging for that matter, releases endorphins. You will find yourself wide-eyed and fresh after a few minutes of physical activity. Just don’t overdo it–exercise eats up energy, which you’re already on low supply of.
3. Listen to music
Music stimulates the brain, which keeps those synapses firing. Experiment on which type of music pumps you up–it could be classical, hiphop, R&B, techno, pop–it’s a personal thing.
4. Catnap for 20 minutes
Quick naps allow you to rest without going into the deeper stages of sleep. 20 minutes is the sweet spot for stages 1 & 2, but anything longer than that takes you to stages 3, 4, and REM. Waking up from deep sleep makes you want to sleep more, so make sure you have an exceptionally loud 20-minute alarm.
5. Drink espresso shots
Self-explanatory. But too much coffee will make you acidic, so limit it to 3 cups a day. Caffeine will also speed up your heart rate by approximately 3 beats per minute, so tread carefully. It can kick in 15 minutes after the first shot, and last up to 6 hours.
6. Splash Your Face with Cold Water
If all else fails, splash ice-cold water on your face. Hello world!