Hacks for Managing Daytime Sleepiness at Work

When it comes to managing daytime sleepiness at work, it's essential to recognize that being a little sleepy during a lazy day at home is one thing, but feeling tired on the job can lead to significant consequences. Missing deadlines, falling behind on tasks, and at risk your job security are just a few potential outcomes of battling daytime sleepiness in the workplace. While addressing the root causes, such as sleep disorders like sleep apnea, can certainly boost your energy levels and cognitive function, the journey to conquer daytime sleepiness isn't an overnight fix. In this guide, we'll explore effective hacks and strategies for managing daytime sleepiness while at work, ensuring that you remain alert, productive, and successful in your professional endeavors.

Here are some ways to handle daytime sleepiness at your job.

1. A shot of caffeine

When you're feeling slow at work, a dose of caffeine can be just the energy kick you need to power through your tasks. Caffeine is a stimulant, meaning it advances your brain and nervous system, enhancing your thinking and mental performance while keeping sleepiness at bay. Whether it's a trip to the office coffee station or a quick walk to a nearby café, a caffeine fix can help you stay alert and focused.Don't overdo it. Too much caffeine can make you feel nervous and affect how much you get done.

2. Keep a consistent sleep schedule

Feeling the need for caffeine might be because your sleep schedule is off track. Typically, adults need 7 to 9 hours of sleep each night, but it can vary a bit from person to person. To keep your energy levels in check, aim for a consistent amount of sleep each night.

It's also a good idea to hit the hay and rise at roughly the same times daily. A regular sleep schedule can help you get more rest, which, in turn, keeps your mind alert and active throughout the day.

3. Snack on healthful foods

The food you choose to eat during the day can affect how alert or tired you feel. Healthy snacks are generally easier on your body's energy and can help maintain steady blood sugar levels compared to junk food or sugary drinks.

Here are some snack ideas to keep your body satisfied and energized during the day:

1. Nuts or trail mix

2. Granola

3. A hard-boiled egg

4. Natural yogurt

5. Vegetable slices with hummus

6. Fresh fruit like bananas, grapes, or apple

4. Listen to upbeat music

Feeling sleepy at work can be tough when you have to work in silence. It might feel like you'll nap off at any moment. To perk up your brain, try listening to upbeat music. Just make sure to check with your boss first to make sure it won't affect your work. If you can't use a radio, ask for permission to listen with earbuds, and go for music that's lively and energetic.

5. Keep your workspace bright

If you're lucky to have windows at your workplace, open the shades and let natural light in. Sunlight can boost your alertness and energy.

If you don't have a window nearby, ask if you can use a lightbox near your desk. It emits low UV light and can help regulate your wake cycle, reducing sleepiness.

6. Avoid blue light near bedtime

Like we said, blue light is good for keeping you awake during the day by helping your body's internal clock. But at night, too much of it can be a problem. It might make it hard for your body and mind to relax when it's time to rest and recover.
To reduce exposure to blue light at night, try spending less time in front of your computer, TV, or smartphone screens. It's also a good idea to steer clear of bright lamps in your home and consider using a softer light source in your bedroom.

7. Splash cold water on your face

If you're having trouble staying awake at work, head to the bathroom and splash cold water on your face. This quick and easy trick can wake you up and give you a boost. If it's a breezy day, step outside after splashing your face – the cool air can make you even more alert.

8. Turn on a fan

Consider getting a fan for your office or desk if you battle daytime sleepiness. When you're feeling sleepy, aim the fan toward you and switch it to high speed. Similar to a refreshing outdoor breeze, the cool fan air can boost your alertness.

9. Do deep breathing

Sitting for long stretches can make it hard to take full breaths. But if you practice deep breathing every day, you can get more oxygen into your body and fight fatigue. Even just a few slow, deep breaths into your belly can give you a quick energy boost, making you feel more alert.

10. Stay busy

Having too much free time at work can make daytime sleepiness worse. If you find yourself with little to do, you might start feeling even sleepier. If it's an option, consider asking your boss for some light tasks to keep you engaged. You could offer to help with any extra work that needs doing.

11. Inhale sharp smells

Strong and sharp scents can do wonders for waking up your senses and making you feel more awake. You can try inhaling essential oils with scents like eucalyptus, peppermint, bergamot, lemon, or camphor. And simply brewing coffee, even if you're not going to drink it, can fill the air with a pleasant aroma that might help you feel more alert.


In summary, learning how to manage daytime sleepiness not only boosts your work performance but also keeps your employer happy. When you feel drowsy, these hacks can help you get through the day. If your tiredness persists for more than a few weeks, it's essential to see a doctor to rule out any underlying issues.

Feeling tired at work is common, but it doesn't have to be permanent. By adding some of these daily habits, you can stay awake and alert. Making supportive lifestyle changes can provide long-term solutions to keep fatigue away, ensuring you perform at your best in the workplace.


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