Working late can be exhausting. Not only can your performance and productivity suffer, but it can also potentially be hazardous if you’re working around dangerous machinery. Here are five tips for staying alert when working late.
1. Stick to a Consistent Sleep Schedule
Getting enough sleep is important regardless of how many hours you work. But it’s especially important when you’re putting in extra hours, and you’ll need plenty of energy to get you through the day. That’s why you should always try to stick to a consistent sleep schedule where you get seven to nine hours per night. This is the number adults need to function at their best, so do your best to go to bed and wake up at the same time each day — even on your days off.
2. Move Around on Breaks
Being sedentary can quickly sap your energy on long workdays. So if you have a job where you’re sitting behind a desk all day, you’ll want to make it a point to do some basic physical activity during breaks. Get up, move around and take a walk if possible, as this should increase your mental alertness and keep you sharp for longer.
3. Drink Water Throughout the Day
“Dehydration leads to fatigue because it impacts the flow of oxygen to the brain and causes your heart to work harder to pump oxygen to all your bodily organs, making you more tired and less alert,” explains running and sports resource ACTIVE. “By staying hydrated you stay energized.” And the best possible fluid you can drink is water. Doing so regularly should help you prevent dehydration and give you sustained energy.
4. Eat Healthy Snacks
It’s also vital that you supply your body with enough fuel. Eating healthy snacks should ensure you have enough nutrients to keep going and help you function at a higher level both mentally and physically. Here are some specific snacks that you should eat according to health and fitness site Greatest:
- Trail mix
- Peanut butter
- Hard-boiled eggs
- Whole-grain cereal
5. Ensure Your Workplace Has Adequate Lighting
Finally, it’s critical that your workplace is fully lit, especially once it’s dark outside. Not only does this help minimize issues like eyestrain and headaches, it also helps you stay alert and reduces drowsiness, says Cornell Department of Design and Environmental Analysis professor Alan Hedge.
It’s not easy working late, and it can be demanding on your mind and body. However, following these five tips should help you stay alert and productive.
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