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Overcome Sleepiness When it is Time to Write

Updated on January 29, 2016

Combat sleepiness before, during, and even after writing. See, sentences have periods and commas, why not in our writing time, seriously. Let us stop and pause without losing the momentum.

Think of power naps in between corporate jobs. A power nap, according to a study, helps the mind work sharper and faster. How much time and what time we should take a nap in a day depends on various researches and claims. Fifteen minutes for some is already beneficial, others say 20 minutes is good to go, and another group suggests 90 minutes. What is important to know is that a power nap contributes to more productive outputs at work. Some companies even put up what they call a nap spa.

Sleeping Beauty | Diego F. Garcia P.
Sleeping Beauty | Diego F. Garcia P. | Source

In that note, breaks in between serious writing gives the mind creative space, don't you think so? It is a writing "nap." Yes?

How long should you take a writing nap? Maximum time allowance is 30 minutes for me. Sleeping of course might be an option here, but it is strongly tempting to prolong this break and make up for lost sleep days before. If you are that strong willed to wake up when time is up, absolutely there is no problem with it.

These are routines that might help you fellow hubbers, but attack the sleepiness hassle more creatively in your terms. It is fun and rewarding.

at the terrace | Chelle (silkwomry)
at the terrace | Chelle (silkwomry) | Source

Creative spot

Away from the temptations of the bed and couch. Head to your creative spots. A creative spot is a place where you are inclined to write some more, where ideas spark the brightest. It could be in front of a sunset on a beach, in a tree house, a cafe, park, library, anywhere to your creative taste but preferably not on the bed, beside it, or on a soft couch at home. No, no. Remember the point here: writing needs serious thinking and a not so "drowsing" environment.

up and down the stairs | Chelle (silkwormy)
up and down the stairs | Chelle (silkwormy) | Source


When my head starts to sway with eyes drooping in the middle of writing, I stand up right away! Go walk for a few minutes to the kitchen, around the room, anywhere you can be and just walk a distance. Stand up and walk around the house, outside in the backyard, or up and down the stairs. Movement changes the pace of thinking, giving the mind time to unwind from too much thinking.

Water break

I keep a glass and jar of water near my writing station. When we get pumped up with inspiration and ideas pop out in our heads here and there, we sometimes get consumed writing them all down and forget everything else, including our thirst. This usually happens when we love what we do, even the passing of the long hours seems short.

How many glasses of water have you drank in the last three hours? Water break does the healthy trick. When one glass is up, take another break, stand up, walk to the kitchen for a refill. Better still, prepare freshly squeezed fruit juice, get some ice, reserve a glass, and pour some more for the family.

Drink water. | Chelle (silkwormy)
Drink water. | Chelle (silkwormy) | Source
Wash the dishes. | Chelle (silkwormy)
Wash the dishes. | Chelle (silkwormy) | Source

Household chore

It is okay to leave plates, cauldrons, saucers unwashed for a while especially when an article needs to be finished on the dot. Downside to beating the deadline is when the mind is forced to think, ideas come a bit slow. It signals a break actually. Go wash the dishes, sweep the floor in your writing area, water the plants, collect trash to the bin, and more simple chores that will give you 15-30 minutes mental space.

Disney's Frozen soundtrack "Let It Go" stroke a chord in kids and adults' hearts worldwide. No wonder it became the best song awardee in the 86th Academy Awards. Filipino-American composer Robert Lopez, with wife, Kristen-Anderson Lopez, mentioned their two daughters inspired them to write this song and how they want it to teach them courage to be who and what they want to be. American singer, songwriter, and Tony awardee Idina Menzel is the powerful voice behind the song.

Frozen broke record as it reached more than $1 billion ticket sales worldwide.


Mindful of those asleep, plug your earphones and search through your playlists some upbeat songs. Upbeat songs make you move while sitting. Semi-rock songs also wake you up from slumber. The trick here is to tune in to your playlists and you will find yourself singing while writing. Did I just write singing while writing? Yes. Okay, hum a tune or so and sleep will find you later not just as yet when writing time is done.

Seriously, writing is thinking and listening to music might not help in the process for some, while the rest even find inspiration in doing so. It is simply to keep you awake for a few minutes, enough to keep you writing and writing. After playing a few songs, return to the quiet mode. Music has a way of livening up one's spirit and get you grooving for a few minutes at least.

Break time with our dog means giving him a brief shower and drinking water. Also, a tap or a gentle touch on the head he likes so much while I talk to him.  | Chelle (silkwormy)
Break time with our dog means giving him a brief shower and drinking water. Also, a tap or a gentle touch on the head he likes so much while I talk to him. | Chelle (silkwormy) | Source


Take a break, too, to greet and chat with a loved one present at home, especially with your children who might just be glued on the television or more likely playing video games or are hooked into their iPads and smart phones. A simple greeting is enough for them to notice your presence. If nobody is around, bonding moment with your pet is an alternative. We do talk to them, right, and they make us feel and know their own ways of responding.

Wet feet. | Chelle (silkwormy)
Wet feet. | Chelle (silkwormy) | Source
shower | Chelle (silkwormy)
shower | Chelle (silkwormy) | Source

Feet wash

Wet your feet, not soak, preferably with cold water for a few seconds. It gives a bit of a tingling sensation that helps you stay awake. Only after then, you may wash them clean with tap water, but be mindful of time spent doing this. Better yet, if you have a cool fix for a 10-15 minute foot spa formula, this is the moment. Get that pampered feet with a relaxed mind.


A quick shower may put some in sleeping mode afterwards but not all the time, and it does not happen for everybody. It is definitely a refreshing break both for the mind and body, head to feet finished in less than 30 minutes.

Beauty ritual

Armed with a lotion, facial wash, toner, or moisturizer, this break is a favorite. It depends if you are a morning or night person, if you are more productive early in a day or late at night. This trick works early to mid-afternoon when the body seems to fight off sleep after eating lunch with more activities done in the morning, or during midnight until dawn when we usually put on some beauty aids to our face. Imagine the beauty and brain set up here, you as a writer pouring your creativity on paper while feeling beautiful on the side. Sweet.

Human Heart Nature Philippines | Berry Bliss Healthy Lotion - Moisturizer (with jojoba and plant collagen - Tomato Nourishing Facial Toner | Chelle (silkwormy)
Human Heart Nature Philippines | Berry Bliss Healthy Lotion - Moisturizer (with jojoba and plant collagen - Tomato Nourishing Facial Toner | Chelle (silkwormy) | Source
apples and grapes | Chelle (silkwormy)
apples and grapes | Chelle (silkwormy) | Source

Healthy snack

The trick here is to prepare your snack only when there's the urge. Yes. All the cooking preparation makes this break effective. One, you are away from your working table. Two, walking and standing also happen here. Have bread spread with nutella. Fruits are way better. Veggies can be snacks, too, say, raw carrots or blanched broccoli and cauliflower with butter. Crunch. What a break! We all have our comfort foods, anyway. But of course, there are bottled and packed snacks we can grab and eat to our delight.

Physical exercise

What better way to spend the much needed mental break than to do some stretches, lifting, push-ups, turns, even biking among others. A set of stretches that goes with mindful breathing is a brain-body booster.

Dumbbells come in handy at home for a 5-10 minute weight lifting exercises. | Chelle (silkwormy)
Dumbbells come in handy at home for a 5-10 minute weight lifting exercises. | Chelle (silkwormy) | Source

© 2016 chelle


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