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How to Feel More Awake With Less Sleep

Robert is an author, artist, graphic designer, and photographer. He writes about Survivalism and Futurism.


It is Hard to Get Sleep These Days.

I work two jobs: one during the day and one at night. I also have a family and I try to spend as much time with them as possible. This means I get sleep whenever I can. Sometimes I only get two or three hours of sleep, but there are usually two nights a week I can get 9 hours of sleep. This throws my body all out of whack.

I'm going to use this Squidoo Lens to research different ways to get more rest and to have more energy when I am awake.

Disclaimer: What is written here are just ways I have used or found other people have used to get through a day when they get very little sleep. I do suggest discussing any treatment you might want to try with your doctor. I am not in any way responsible for anything you may try. This is just what has worked for me.

Take a Daily Vitamin

To Make Sure You are Getting Them All

Most people today don't get all the nutrition they need to stay healthy these days. If you are working all the time and find very little time to eat and sleep, you will end up taking short cuts. You will eat fast food or TV dinners. These things can have nutrition, but they will rarely have everything your body needs.

Most fast food contains protein and carbs. This is enough to keep you going, but doesn't contain the vitamins and minerals you need over the long term. If you take a multi vitamin everyday, you will find you feel better over all.

If you work a lot, your body will use a lot more resources. You will need to replenish these resources if you want to get through the day. My second job is a hard labor position where I am sweating most of the night. I found that I eat a whole lot more since I started this job. My body wants to replenish what it is using during these times. I find if I take a vitamin, I don't eat nearly as much.

The more you work the more you vitamins and minerals you will need.


Nap on Your Lunch Break

Take a Short Power Nap

I might not be like most people, but my body has learned to sleep any time anywhere. My schedule is never the same. I have found if I can sleep for short periods of time, I can get through the day a whole lot easier.

I have taken short ten minute breaks throughout the work day. Most jobs give you these breaks on a regular basis. If you don't get them, you should as for them. Most states require businesses to give them to all employees. Be careful though. If you force the issue, they can find reasons to either give you fewer hours are get rid of you all together. Basically, if I find I need to lay my head down for a few minutes, I can ask for a break on that day and most bosses are lenient enough to give you the break, especially when they see how bloodshot your eyes are.

If you plan your lunch correctly, you can take 5-10 minutes to cook and eat your lunch, and then lay your head down for twenty minutes. I like the little microwave meals you can shove in the microwave for 90 seconds. I find them on the isle with the canned pasta. I have done the cup of noodles thing, but the noodles need about 5 minutes to absorb the water and the sodium in these things are extremely high.

Make sure you set an alarm. I set the alarm on my cell phone. I set it every time without fail. If I am extra tired, I set more than one alarm, five minutes apart. It would be a bad thing if you wake up hours after you were supposed to return from your lunch.

Insomnia Might Help You Sleep Better

Believe it or not, I used the Novel by Stephen King called Insomnia to help me get some sleep. I love Stephen King. I had every one of his books at one time in my reading career. Insomnia just happens to be my least favorite. I was never able to finish it. I kept falling asleep.

Eat Good Fruits and Vegetables

If you can find something good to eat as you are working, that will help you stay awake. Some businesses do not allow you to eat on the job, so this may not be an option for you, but if you can eat something quickly on your break, it may help you.

I have been known to eat cookies or chex mix or chips or something like that to keep myself awake. The problem with these things is the temporary rush you get. You will have energy for a short period of time, then you will crash and be even more tired than when you started.

If you eat something healthy, your energy level will last longer. Apples are a great choice. They are sweet and are a great source of energy. Raw carrots are a favorite of mine mostly because you can chew on them for a long time. They will keep you awake, they are portable and they don’t leave any kind of juice of grease on your fingers.

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Run Before You Get Started

Exercise is an extremely important part of life. If you stop being active, you will ultimately die. If you can make one of your jobs an active one, your body will greatly benefit from it. You will have more energy. You could lose weight, if you don’t intake too much more food (You will most likely eat more if you have a job that is more active, be careful not to overeat).

If you don’t have an active job, find twenty minutes of your day where you can go for a quick run around the block. If you don’t exercise on a regular basis, you will have to work your way up to a run. If you can go for that run everyday, you will not only find you have more energy throughout the rest of the day, you will start to see your body get more toned (among other health benefits).

Caffinate Smartly

I know people who drink coffee first thing in the morning. They don't give their bodies a chance to wake up naturally. For some that works fine. I personally find that if I wait till I need the caffeine, the caffeine actually works better.

When I wake from a good nights sleep, I start my day off with a good breakfast. When I do that, I usually have the energy to get through a lot of the day.

When I start to get tired, that is when I know it is time to make that pot of coffee or break open the cold coffee that is in the mug I brought with me. I will most of the time drink it cold. I don't like the taste of coffee, so I will usually chug it trying desperately not to taste it.

About 20 minutes after I drink the coffee, I am usually good to go for another few hours. Because I chugged it, all the caffeine is being absorbed all at once instead of gradually as I drink it.

Be careful when you drink caffeine. Different people react different ways. Try different things till you find something that works for you.


Routine is a Good Thing

I find that if I can get myself on the same schedule everyday without fail, my body tends sleep better when it is supposed to be sleeping and works better when it is supposed to be working. With my work schedule, this is not always possible. In fact it is nearly impossible.

If you can sleep at the same time everyday, try to do that. It will help a lot.

Use Your Time Wisely

Do you find yourself watching TV or sitting in front of the computer not really doing anything constructive? These are times that you could be using to make something or completing a project. Take the time to sit down and make a list of the things you should be getting done. When you find yourself in front of the TV, refer back to the list and try to get something done.

What other ways do you find more energy?

BarbaraCasey on June 21, 2012:

Meditation and doing work I love as opposed to work I am required to do gives me energy. If I don't take my vitamin supplements daily, I notice it for sure. Have you researched Steve Pavlina's blog posts on polyphasic sleep?

desa999 lm on May 29, 2012:

Go for a walk before breakfast, I find invigorating and sets you up for a good day before any distractions.

crstnblue on March 17, 2012:

Very nice & informative lens for "staying awake" lovers! :)

Thanks for sharing!

Fay Favored from USA on February 29, 2012:

I need to be more faithful to some of these things you pointed out here, but I find that liquid B Complex helps me. If I need a boost I take a little more. It does help. Going to bed early would be better.

Fay Favored from USA on February 29, 2012:

I need to be more faithful to some of these things you pointed out here, but I find that liquid B Complex helps me. If I need a boost I take a little more. It does help. Going to bed early would be better.

LaurieKristensen on April 01, 2011:

Some really solid advice here. I never thought about waiting till later in the day for my caffeine, even though I only usually take it when awaking and once later in the afternoon... I might try that!

Annamadagan on March 31, 2011:

I know one thing, I need more sleep! Coffee! Haha, no. I love sleep and having cool dreams, but I love to read and get lost in time! :P cool lens.

darciefrench lm on January 03, 2011:

Sounds like you're really good at managing sleep and the social schedule. I meditate/nap and refresh frequently as needed. I get up in the night if lying down is uncomfortable, and then compensate the next day. My body's not been wired properly for sleep since my last baby had colic so I go hour to hour vs day to night in terms of managing energy levels. And water, lots of hydration helps. Good article about sleep.

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