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How to Prevent Sleepiness at Work

Updated on August 29, 2013
Our Biological Clock
Our Biological Clock | Source
Man sleeping during business hours
Man sleeping during business hours | Source

What is Sleep?

Reduced consciousness, suspension of sensory activity and inactivity of voluntary muscles characterize sleep. It is an anabolic state where growth is accentuated by rejuvenating the immune, nervous, skeletal and muscular system. Sleep helps conserve energy and decreases metabolism by about 10%.

Sleep is observed in mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians and fishes.

Sleep pattern is controlled by circadian rhythms such as ambient temperatures, meal times, napping schedule, and a neurotransmitter called adenosine that inhibits body mechanics.

High levels of adenosine neurotransmitter can lead to sleepiness.

Amount of Sleep needed by each Age group

Age and Condition
Sleep Needs
Newborns (0-2 months)
12-18 hours
Infants (3-11 months)
14-15 hours
Toddlers (1-3 years)
12-14 hours
Preschoolers (3-5 years)
11-13 hours
School age children (5-10 years)
10-11 hours
Adolescents (10-17 years)
8.5 to 9.5 hours
7-9 hours

Genes play a pivotal role in the amount of sleep a person needs.

Sleep is a significant pattern of our lives. By sleeping, man gets rejuvenated physically and mentally and can take on the challenges of another day.

There are individuals who cannot sleep either due to some sleep disorders or working odd hours or working for long hours trying to finish off their workload to stay on top of things. This can result in fatigue during daytime.

Fatigue associates with sleepiness.

The Science of Sleep

How to prevent Fatigue

  • Sleep a Priority

Make Sleep a priority the night before you go to work. Avoid your phone, television, and computer near your bed. Try to listen to some soothing music while in bed. That might calm you to doze off. An average adult needs at least 6-8 hours of sleep. Try to get that.

  • A Balanced Diet

A healthy and balanced diet can help an individual fight fatigue and prevent sleepiness at work. Watch what your intake is. Try not to skip breakfast, and take protein and complex carbohydrates in your diet. Indulge in snacks in small intervals to get energy through out the day.

  • Ailment

Sleepiness also occurs when an individual is fatigued. Diseases such as Anemia, Depression, Hyperthyroidism, Heart Diseases usually indicate in that direction. Get help from a certified professional.

  • Dehydration

Dehydration is another cause of fatigue and results in sleepiness. An individual should try to drink 6-8 glasses of 8 ounces of water each day.

  • Excess Caffeine

Excess Caffeine can also make an individual’s heart beat high causing jitters. Consuming beverages such as Tea, coffee, chocolate, soft drinks in moderate amount are the key to avoid sluggishness.

  • Exercising

Exercising can help pump up the adrenaline in an individual thus, avoiding the feeling of sluggishness and making a person feel fresh through out the day.

How to prevent sleepiness at work?

An individual has taken up so many responsibilities that getting tired is now a common symptom. Since tiredness is associated with sleepiness.

Below are a few steps to cut sluggishness out of our body, and prevent sleep at work.

  • Short Breaks

Take periodic breaks from your work. Go out for a walk or mingle with your co-workers and share a laugh. This will rejuvenate your senses while allowing you take a step outside for a fresh breath of air.

  • Sleep Pattern

Make sure to sleep well before your workday. If that could not be possible; then have a bottle of water near you. Water keeps an individual hydrated and avoids the secretion of adenosine.

  • Lunch Break

Go out for lunch. But indulge in a light mid-day meal with proteins and complex carbohydrates. This will avoid sluggishness to creep in, and a change of environment for a small duration of time helps the body and mind.

  • Stretching

Stretching out can do wonders to the body. Blood flows to the mind and rejuvenates it by giving it an extra pump of oxygen.

  • Power Nap

Take a power nap. Time yourself on your phone, and snooze off for 15 minutes. You will feel the difference!

  • Meditate

Meditation can do wonders. Again, time yourself for 15-20 minutes. Sit straight with eyes closed. You will feel refreshed once the timer goes off.

  • Energy Drinks

Indulge in Energy drinks low, in sugar, and Caffeine in moderate amounts to get a grip on sleepiness help boost one’s energy.

What tactic do you practice to avoid sleepiness at work?

See results


Sleep is a natural phenomenon in mammals. But, to be able to time it is incredible. Study your body and take steps to improve upon your sleep pattern. There is a possibility that some steps work for some, and some don’t. Find your niche to control your sleep especially during work hours.


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    • Lady_E profile image

      Elena 4 years ago from London, UK

      Very useful. I always ensure I have a very light lunch at work, othewise I will feel tired and sleepy after lunch time. Thanks.

    • teaches12345 profile image

      Dianna Mendez 4 years ago

      These are really good suggestions for reboosting energy. I don't have this problem very often since I have a regular exercise routine, eat and sleep well. But, I can remember when I did have the problem and your mention of the caffeine, exercise and diet was the reason.

    • Vinaya Ghimire profile image

      Vinaya Ghimire 4 years ago from Nepal

      Power naps and energy drinks help me overcome sleepiness.

    • Nell Rose profile image

      Nell Rose 4 years ago from England

      I totally agree with you about dehydration, especially at work, even if you drink coffee it can make you tired, so hitting the water bottles is the best idea, I have nearly fallen asleep quite a few times! lol! voted and shared, nell

    • midget38 profile image

      Michelle Liew 4 years ago from Singapore

      I find that periodic breaks help a lot in concentrating on work. Sharing again, Ruchira!

    • prasetio30 profile image

      prasetio30 4 years ago from malang-indonesia

      Very inspiring hub. I had the same problem with this during my teaching time. So, I often make a cup of coffee. My friend, you come up with solutions. Thanks for writing and share with us. Voted up!


    • rajan jolly profile image

      Rajan Singh Jolly 4 years ago from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar,INDIA.

      Ruchira, I'm lucky in that I can get by by 5 to 6 hours of sleep. These are good helpful suggestions.

      voting up.

    • Vellur profile image

      Nithya Venkat 4 years ago from Dubai

      Great hub, power naps and meditation really helps. Avoiding sleepiness is quite a tough task!!

    • Ruchira profile image

      Ruchira 4 years ago from United States

      Thanks Ruby. I am glad you sleep like a baby :) hugs!

    • Ruchira profile image

      Ruchira 4 years ago from United States

      Thank you Nilesh, DDE, Audrey, Rasta1. I am glad it was helpful. Water and meditation helps me :) cheers!

    • rasta1 profile image

      Marvin Parke 4 years ago from Jamaica

      I try very hard to stay awake while working. After 6 hours, I am blazed. My best defense is a good nights sleep.

    • AudreyHowitt profile image

      Audrey Howitt 4 years ago from California

      Great hub! I am a fan of the power nap--15 or 20 minutes and I am set

    • DDE profile image

      Devika Primić 4 years ago from Dubrovnik, Croatia

      Stretching is beneficial and definitely make sleep a priority the night before the working day.

    • always exploring profile image

      Ruby Jean Fuller 4 years ago from Southern Illinois

      Great article Ruchira. I am retired but a good night's sleep is always the best. I really never had any problems sleeping. I have always needed more than eight hours sleep to function well...

    • Nilesh Pandit profile image

      Nilesh Pandit 4 years ago from Navi Mumbai (New Mumbai), India

      Thanks Ruchira!Thanks for such a fantastic post.This will help me to to avoid sleepiness at Work

    • Ruchira profile image

      Ruchira 4 years ago from United States

      Thanks Frank, Bill, Michelle, Susan and Jeannieina bottle :)

      Appreciate you stopping by!

    • Jeannieinabottle profile image

      Jeannie InABottle 4 years ago from Baltimore, MD

      Thanks for the advice. I am often sleepy around 3 o'clock each day at work. I will try stretching and maybe drinking more water. Voted up!

    • sholland10 profile image

      Susan Holland 4 years ago from Southwest Missouri

      Hi Ruchira! I think my worst habit that causes me to feel sleepy during the day is that I forget to eat. I feel fatigued and shaky. Eating a light lunch, as you suggests would be the best thing for me - plus, maybe a little exercise just to get me moving.

      Great hub! Votes and shares! :-)

    • midget38 profile image

      Michelle Liew 4 years ago from Singapore

      This can be so important for us! Thanks for sharing, Ruchira, passing it on.

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Good suggestions but they don't apply to me. I work from home and can take breaks for walks any old time I feel like I have a very regular sleep pattern at night so I am rarely tired during the daytime.

    • Frank Atanacio profile image

      Frank Atanacio 4 years ago from Shelton

      again you prove to be worthy of your hubs.. yeah this one will help me :) bless you