A few hours after clocking into work, you find yourself dozing. You’re aware that your manager’s office is close by and being caught napping can spell doom. You try your best to stay awake yet nothing seems to be working.
Does this sound like you? Well, we’ve all been there. Sleeping during working hours happens to the very best among us. And in most cases, you feel powerless to stop it.
How Common Is Sleeping On The Job?
The saying “you cannot cheat nature” probably rings true for sleep more than anything else in this life. When fatigue kicks in, you’re bound to sleep no matter where you find yourself.
This is the reason why police officers and security personnel have been caught napping on the job. Even when protecting somebody or something valuable, they end up catching some Zs unintentionally due to fatigue.
According to the National Sleep Foundation, the average working adult requires 7-9 hours of sleep for optimum functionality. Anything more or less, and you’re looking at developing a sleep disorder.
The majority of firms around the world have a no-napping rule. From verbal warnings in the first instance to official warning letters and even dismissals, different organizations have different penalties for flouting this rule.
And yet employees are inadvertently breaking it anyway.
Amerisleeep, a Scottsdale, Arizona mattress manufacturer conducted a study of over 1,000 employees across various industries. 21% of respondents confessed to being caught sleeping on the job even though it is against their employer’s regulations.
Perhaps this is why Tech companies like Uber and Google have incorporated nap pods into their offices. These pods encourage workers to take short naps to recharge their brains.
21 Insane Ways To Avoid Napping On The Job
Nap-friendly company employees are free to walk into one of the on-site sleep pods whenever you start dozing at work.
But if your employer frowns upon it then getting caught sleeping during working hours can get you into a lot of trouble.
You could even find yourself out of a job if you’re repeatedly caught snoozing during work hours.
Here are 21 insane ways to stay awake during your work shift.
1. Regular Exercise
Fatigue is the number one cause of feeling sleepy at the workplace. If you live a sedentary life then the thought of exercising may sound crazy because physical activity can get exhausting for you.
However, a lack of exercise lowers your stamina and tires you easily. Undertaking aerobic exercises and strength training can transform your resistance to breathtaking levels. This guarantees higher stamina which translates to the ability to withstand physical exertion for longer periods.
Once you reach peak condition, you become more energized during working hours. This should eliminate the need for quick daytime shut-eyes even if your workload increases and sleeping time plummets or remains the same.
2. Check Your DNA
Scientists say the average adult requires 7-9 hours of sleep to function optimally. But those figures are not set in stone because there are individuals with bodies that naturally require more or less sleep.
What if you were one of those? That could explain why you feel sleepy at work even though you spend the recommended number of hours in bed. This is why diving more into your DNA is so rewarding. It could help you find out the exact number of hours your body requires for optimum rest.
Who knows? Dozing off at the office could finally be a thing of the past once you start getting the amount of sleep your body specifically requires.
3. Stay On Your Feet
Have you ever tried to watch a boring movie in bed or on the couch? You almost always end up dozing off and the same principle holds at the workplace. People involved in mundane professions are more likely to sleep on the job. Hence, getting on your feet regularly while working can be a great way to sustain your focus all day.
This may be easier said than done for those of us with boring desk jobs. But creativity is the name of the game right? Sometimes, a short 2-minute walk to a colleague’s office could be all the action you need to bring yourself back from Snoozeland.
3. Ask For A Raise
Demoralized workers are more likely to sleep on the job. And nothing depresses employees as much as a meager paycheck.
A study conducted by the Sleep Judge has revealed a correlation between salary and the probability of an employee sleeping during working hours.
77% of employees at Executive Levels (with significantly higher remuneration) said they were satisfied with their sleep. This was in sharp contrast to Entry-Level employees, 54% of whom reported sleep satisfaction.
Thus, asking for more money can be a great way to improve your motivation and focus during office hours.
4. Get A Pregnancy Test
One of the early signs of pregnancy is fatigue and sleepiness. If you’re a sexually active woman of child-bearing age, you should test for pregnancy regularly.
This is especially recommended if you’ve started dozing off at work all of a sudden. The early stages of pregnancy involve rapid changes in hormone levels which can result in sleepiness.
An early pregnancy test can help you make the necessary changes to your diet and overall lifestyle to improve energy levels. Also, the test results can protect you from punitive action should your employer catch u napping in the office.
5. Seek Paternity Leave.
A new baby can be an exciting time in the lives of expectant parents. Unfortunately, newborns struggle to sleep which means mothers do not get much sleep. And neither do their partners.
It is mandatory in every organization for new mothers to receive several months off work. But it is rare for new fathers to be afforded the same courtesies.
But, men also experience a considerable amount of fatigue during this exciting period in their lives. From cuddling the baby in the middle of the night to feeding him or her, their sleep quality suffers.
And inadequate sleep can lead to snoozing at the office. This is why seeking paternity leave after the birth of a newborn makes a lot of sense. The time off can be great for your health. And you get back to work well-rested and ready to conquer the world.
6. Lay Off The Smartphone
Many of us text on our phones, check social media pages of friends and watch YouTube videos late into the night. It is easy to lose track of time when playing with your smartphone. By the time you realize, it is way past your regular bedtime. This can deprive you of several hours of much-needed sleep.
Thus, you arrive in the office already tired from the sleep deficit acquired the night before. This makes you more likely to catch some Zs during the day when you’re supposed to be working.
7. Get A New Mattress
A bad mattress can be a nightmare. It can affect the duration and quality of your sleep. If you seem to be doing everything else right but finding it hard to sleep, you should change your mattress.
Choosing a mattress that suits your sleeping style is critical during shopping. If you’re suffering from a specific medical condition such as Fibromyalgia, order a mattress suitable for it. Click here for the article we wrote on finding the best mattress for Fibromyalgia patients.
Additionally, make sure to choose a mattress that fits your body style. I recommend that you read the detailed article we wrote about choosing a mattress when you’re overweight.
8. Get The Right Sheets
Lying on the right sheets can transform the quality of your sleep. And getting the necessary level of rest is the key to staying awake during office hours.
If you’ve been sleeping on your mattress without sheets, it is time to start looking for suitable sheets. I recommend that you read the article we wrote on sleeping without sheets.
Take into account your climate as well as what time of year it is. If you live in the tropics, choose sheets that allow optimum airflow. This will enable you to sleep better so you can walk into the office energized and ready to go.
Egyptian cotton sheets are the most luxurious bed sheets available. Unfortunately, they can be expensive and this is why many manufacturers resort to mislabeling their products as Egyptian cotton when it is not.
I was used to paying over $100 for real Egyptian cotton sheets until I came across this 100% Egyptian Cotton sheets available at a huge discount on Amazon.
9. Seek Therapy
Excessive daytime sleeping is one of the main signs of depression. In a study of 67 patients diagnosed with depression in Nigeria, 57% reported usually feeling sleepy during the daytime.
Although each participant slept for 7-8 hours a night, they couldn’t help but feel sleepy during the day.
If you’re suffering from anxiety or depression, you’re more likely to doze off during office hours. Speaking to a therapist and seeking treatment early can help reverse the symptoms.
10.Ditch The Prescription Drugs
Drowsiness is a common side effect of prescription drugs. From anti-depressants to benzodiazepines and antipsychotics, the drugs prescribed for treating certain conditions may make you feel tired.
This could be the reason why you cannot keep your eyes open during working hours. Do you experience fatigue whenever you take specific drugs? The best way to remedy the situation is to speak to your physician.
Sometimes the solution may be as simple as changing your current dose. Your doctor may also decide to change the prescription altogether or even alter the time for taking the medication.
This should minimize the drowsiness and help you stay awake while at work.
11. Stop Overeating
Are you constantly dozing off at work right after a meal? It could be due to overeating. Chemical changes that occur in preparation for the digestion process can make you feel sleepy. Many of us recall this happening at one point or another.
But, if you feel sleepy immediately after lunch, then it may be because your stomach is full. Nutrition experts indeed recommend eating your heaviest meals during lunch. But, that shouldn’t mean filling up your tummy to the limit.
The type of meals you consume can also lead to sleepiness. For instance, protein-rich foods such as beef, pork, poultry, and soya increase your chances of dozing off. Rice, potatoes, and other carbohydrates can also cause you to nap at work.
This is because protein and carbs trigger the body to produce serotonin, which induces drowsiness.
No wonder experts recommend sticking to small portions of chow during working hours. Additionally, you should go light on the proteins and carbs during working hours if you want to stay awake.
12. Ease Up On The Late Night Drinking
A big night of drinking almost always interrupts with the quality of your sleep. It increases your chances of waking up in the morning with a hangover.
The body usually tries to make up for the sleep disruption that happened on the previous night with a day-time nap. This leads to a feeling of weakness and sleepiness at some point in the office.
A common-sense approach is to avoid heavy drinking during weekday nights. This can save you a lot of headaches and the embarrassment of snoozing at the office. Doing drugs on weekday nights is another surefire way to keep you dozing off at work. If you’re serious about staying awake during working hours, you should avoid narcotics..
13. Skip The Coffee
Coffee dependence is a real problem in the world right now. In the United States alone, residents consume 400 million cups of coffee daily. Drinking a lot of coffee can make you prone to napping on the job.
This is because coffee blocks adenosine from transmitting messages to your brain. Known as the fatigue hormone, adenosine is responsible for telling sending alerts to the brain whenever tiredness kicks in.
Once the effects of the coffee wear off, adenosine resumes its transmissions to the brain. The result is an instant feeling of tiredness and sleepiness. Also, the fact that coffee is a mild diuretic means it can make you pee more which leads to dehydration and tiredness.
Drinking coffee before or during working hours means an on-the-job nap will be staring you right in the face.
14. Sleep In A Separate Bedroom
Having a snoring partner can be very annoying. The sound of your significant other snoring loudly in the middle of the night can disturb the heaviest of sleepers.
Unfortunately, light sleepers with snoring partners suffer the most. An inability to get peaceful sleep the night before increases your probability of dozing off at work.
There are several remedies for snoring so encourage your partner to try them. But if none works, you should consider sleeping in a separate bedroom. This can give you the nighttime tranquility to wake up fully recharged.
Your chances of napping at work will reduce significantly once you begin getting enough sleep.
15. Unclutter Your Bedroom
If you’re serious about keeping your eyes open during working hours, you’ll need all the help you can get. One of the easiest yet rewarding ways to enjoy better sleep is to unclutter your bedroom.
This is because a messy room stresses the brain. And a less-than-relaxed brain deprives the body of a good night’s sleep. It is common knowledge that you’re more likely to doze off at work when robbed of the right amounts of sleep.
Thus, organizing and tidying up your bedroom can ease up the brain’s stress levels. This can transform the quality of your sleep. Then, staying awake during working hours becomes a lot easier.
16. Get More Bedroom Action
Whether you’re male or female, you probably know that Sex drifts you off to sleep. It is safe to assume that you may have a first-hand experience of that.
But how does sex make you feel sleepy? Well, getting some bedroom action releases Oxytocin which is known as the sleep hormone. Oxytocin also builds a deeper connection with your partner.
Those freaky moments of passion can also suppress Cortisol, which is known as the stress hormone. Besides, the physical exhaustion from getting busy between the sheets makes it easy for you to fall and stay asleep.
Having sex regularly has proven to reduce the effects of insomnia. You’re more likely to sleep with little effort and deeper too after a few minutes of sex. And a good night’s sleep enables you to wake up fully rested and ready to survive 8 hours of work without blinking an eye.
17. Put On Your Earphones
Do you know why many security men and night-shift employees always wear earphones? Keeping the ears busy is a tried and tested technique that makes you stay alert.
It could be your favorite album or your radio station. It could even be your favorite podcast. Listening to anything at all can help you stay alert and awake.
Unless it is against your workplace regulations, earphones are a must-have. But what if your company’s policy bans the use of earphones? Perhaps you can listen to something playing at low volume to keep you on your toes.
This simple trick can save you from that warning or dismissal letter your boss will write to you for sleeping at work.
18. Avoid Oversleeping
It is no secret that a lack of adequate sleep can lead to daytime sleepiness. But did you know that oversleeping increases the chances of napping at work too?
Everyone has an idea of how much sleep he or she needs to function optimally. If you’re used to sleeping 7 hours a night, lying down for 10 hours straight can be counterproductive. It can even build up your fatigue levels to the point where you’ll need more sleep to function properly.
Thus, sticking to your normal sleeping routine can help keep your eyes open during working hours.
19. Sleep On The Floor
Moving out of your bed onto the floor can be rewarding for your sleep. There are times when the brain needs a change of environment to relax. Your hard floor can represent the perfect change of scenery to boost sleep.
Floor sleeping also lowers your body temperature which can be great for those who suffer night sweats. This is because the coolest part of every room is the floor. Whether it is summertime or you live in a tropical climate, you should consider moving to the floor.
I recommend this article we wrote on the benefits of sleeping on the floor.
20. Ditch The Sleeping Pills
Long-term insomnia can be frustrating. Sometimes, resorting to sleeping pills may feel like the only way out.
However, sleeping pill-dependence distorts your natural ability to sleep in the long-term. This can lead to chronic daytime sleepiness in the future. Thus sleeping pill addiction can lead to dozing off during working hours.
21. Munch On A Bedtime Snack
Eating a bedtime snack can help put you to sleep with ease. This is because several foods such as green tea and milk relax the brain. And a relaxed brain translates to quality sleep.
The key is to eat a couple of hours before you sleep. Also, make sure the food is light and in moderate quantity because overeating can inhibit sleep.
Congratulations on reaching this milestone. You just completed our 21 insane tips for preventing napping on the job.
Following these tips outlined above can improve the quality of your sleep significantly. We’ve outlined practical tips such as having more sex and uncluttering your bedroom. We also revealed how sleeping tablets and excessive coffee contributes to your on-the-job napping.
As long as you adhere to these tips, you can stay clear of flouting your employer’s no-napping rules.