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Marek Struszczyk

Co-Founder ManagerUp

Last modified: June 7th, 2023

Almost everyone has moments throughout the day when their energy wanes according to a poll conducted by YouGov, and the only thing that sounds appealing is a nap.

However, unless you work at Google’s campus equipped with nap pods, you’ll need a better method to avoid the midday slump. Read on to discover these tried and true methods to avoid feeling sleepy at work.

Dropping energy levels might not seem like a big deal, but constantly feeling sleepy at work can interfere with your productivity and eventually result in undesirable consequences.

Known as hypersomnia, feeling sleepy at work often results from inadequate quantity or poor quality of sleep at night. Addressing the root causes of feeling sleepy at work actually begins at home.

sleepy at work

1. Root Causes of Being Sleepy at Work

Before you can fix the problem of becoming sleepy at work, you must examine potential root causes:

1.1. Lack of Sleep

It seems obvious enough, but staying up just an hour later to watch a movie or scroll through your social media feed leads to an overall reduction in resting hours that adds up over time. Aim to log between seven to nine hours each night in order to be adequately rested for your workday and not get sleepy at work.

1.2. Cluttered Castle

Your bedroom should be a sleep sanctuary. It must serve as a peaceful and inviting atmosphere that exudes relaxing vibes. Piles of unfinished work will only keep your brain in overdrive. Your beds for sleeping not sorting laundry. Eliminate clutter and promote tranquility with calming colors, scents or an aromatherapy diffuser with lavender oil.

1.3Inconsistent Schedule

Consistency is key to achieve quality rest. Strive to go to bed and wake up at the same time each day. Contrary to popular belief, your body does not contain a sleep bank from which you can withdraw and deposit a few hours here and there. Sleeping in on the weekends doesn’t make up for lack of sleep throughout the work week. Not feeling sleepy at work begins at home.

2. How to Regain Energy When You Are Sleepy at Work

2.1. Walk it out

Exercise has an immediate effect on energy and mood. Take a walk outside if possible to boost vitamin D levels. If you can’t make it outside, a couple of brisk strolls around the office or up and down the stairwell will also do the trick.

Aromatherapy may be useful too. Eucalyptus and citrus essential oils provide executives with an energizing mist to use during a long day of work.


2.2. Graze

Eating throughout the day rather than consuming a large lunch can stave off the afternoon desire to laze. Keep a high-protein snack stash in your desk. Nuts, for example, have healthy fats and are high in protein, which will stabilize your blood sugar levels. Additionally, the crunching action keeps you awake as you chew.

2.3. Kick the Can

High sugar snacks and beverages, such as sodas and energy drinks, will give you an instant burst of energy followed by a rapid crash that will inevitably leave you sleepy at work. Rather than putting your body through this unhealthy roller coaster that also leads to weight gain and metabolic syndrome, opt for complex carbs, healthy fats, and protein to ward off blood sugar spikes. Remember to stay hydrated with plenty of water as well.


2.4. Sip a Strong Brew

Whether it’s coffee or tea, choose a natural source of caffeine for a jolt of energy that won’t send your blood sugar soaring. When consuming coffee, avoid the syrups and sugars that pack a detrimental punch of insulin-spiking junk.

2.5. Have a Jam Session

Pop in a pair of headphones and listen to some upbeat music. Music can positively distract you from the monotonous task as it stimulates your mind and body. If you feel so inspired, head to the break room and dance out your tiredness. Just be sure to warn your coworkers, or invite them to the wakeup party.

2.6. Get Your Ginseng

If tea and coffee don’t appeal to your palette, try ginseng capsules. This Asian herb has energy-boosting properties and is great for your immune system. Plus, you avoid the sugar spikes and calorie binges.

2.7. Give In and Go for It

Sometimes your body simply won’t cooperate until you give it what it needs. You might need to cozy up on a couch in the break room or lay your head on your desk and grab a quick 10 to 20-minute power nap to refresh your mind and recharge your batteries.

Better to catch a quick snooze than continue feeling sluggish and sleepy at work. Your productivity and mood will actually increase after this brief respite.

Do you know other tips to avoid staying sleepy at work? Share your experiences with us!


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