Tips to Stay Awake on the Job

sleep at workWe got a good chuckle when we started researching this piece, especially on rainy days when it’s tempting to want to take a quick snooze at work!

Well, it’s more relevant for media folks who work the night shift such as a radio DJ or an overnight breaking news correspondent. According to the National Sleep Foundation, there are several pointers to keep in mind to stay alert at work.

1. Take a walk during your shift. If you clock evening hours, take a walk right before your shift. Hopefully taking a walk when the sun is still out will alert your body. This may help you feel more awake when you’re at work.

2. Take strategic naps. The foundation recommends taking a nap before your shift and if you can take a break during your actual work time, a 15 to 20-minute nap can improve alertness. (We always knew George Costanza was onto something with napping under his desk on Seinfeld! Seriously.)

3. Drink caffeine. Limit the intake, of course — we’re not condoning chugging countless coffee cups but we are all about boosting that energy. The foundation says you should limit caffeine to the first part of your shift and then taper it off during the last half. Remember, caffeine will stay in your system for several hours.

4. Keep moving! If you’re doing a live shot at 6 a.m., remember the importance of movement. When you’re sedentary for a long period of time like in a news van or at a desk, you’ll probably become more drowsy. When your body is active, your mind will feel more alert. So, before that live shot, do a few jumping jacks or walk in place. And if you work at a desk during the graveyard shift, take a 15-minute break to walk around the halls. Whatever you do, try to stay in motion.