How to Wake Yourself Up When Tired at Work

January 21, 2020 • Shannon Flynn


You might be wondering how to wake yourself up when tired at work. It’s hard to stay focused when you’re nodding off at your desk!

In the modern world of technology, there’s always something to do. When you get home from work, you have endless streaming options for TV shows and movies. You can play video games that download instantly with a click of your mouse. Maybe you borrow an ebook from the library to read before bed.

Whatever you enjoy doing, it’s easy to accidentally stay up too late and feel tired when you go into work the next day. Everyone experiences this once in a while, but it’s irritating when you’re still exhausted after your usual cup of coffee or tea. The sleepy fog that clouds your brain makes it hard to work or pay attention during meetings.

If this has been you lately, read about how to do work when you’re tired so you don’t feel that way again. These tips will help you wake up and stay awake, whether you just walked into work ready to go or feel the need for an afternoon nap before lunch.

Take a Stretch Break

It’s easy to get lost in your work when you have a busy schedule. The next time you’re too tired to work, look at the clock and think about how long it’s been since you last moved. It might be smart to put your work on hold and enjoy a stretch break.

Even if you don’t feel comfortable stretching in your open-office floorplan, you can go to the bathroom and stand in a stall for a minute. Strech your arms up above your head and rotate your spine side to side. Your body should wake right back up and you’ll feel ready to tackle whatever comes next in your day.

Skip the Unhealthy Snacks

When you get to work, you might unwrap a pre-packed breakfast pastry while you log into your computer. In a desk drawer, you have a collection of candy and bags of chips waiting for your snack. That could be what causes you to feel so tired.

Studies show that people eating high-carb meals or foods loaded with sugar experience a sugar crash within four hours of when they last ate. It disrupts your mood, tanks your energy and generally makes you feel lousy.

Swap your unhealthy food for better alternatives like peanuts or apple slices for a fibrous snack that will fill you right up.

Walk Around the Office

Maybe you already have a healthy diet and tried stretching without feeling any different. As soon as you find a break in your schedule, get up and walk around the office.

Moving your body gets your heart pumping faster which will wake your mind up immediately as it rushes to catch up with where you’re going. Take a lap or two around the office or even the building. Throw in a stairwell for extra exercise.

Play Upbeat Music

While you work away at your desk, you should think about what you hear around you. Is there the constant buzz of florescent lights or a printer that never stops?

Monotonous sounds can lull you to sleep, so put on your headphones and listen to upbeat music. You won’t be able to resist tapping your foot along with a catchy song, waking you up in the process.

Work Standing Up

As you struggle not to doze off at work, are you slouched in your chair? Getting too comfortable could feed into your regular morning exhaustion. If you can, work standing up by raising your desk or putting your laptop on a high countertop.

A recent study found that people who used standing desks felt less stress and fatigue than those who sat at standard desks. Even if you work while you stand at a tall table in the office kitchen, you’ll feel unable to slip back into sleepiness.

Drink More Water

You might feel tempted to grab another can of your favorite soda but reach for a glass of water instead. Staying hydrated will increase your energy levels by restoring oxygen to your organs.

The next time you feel tired, it might be your body asking for an ice-cold water as a pick-me-up.

Try Something New

If you’re struggling with how to wake yourself up when tired at work, try one of these tips to banish your exhaustion. Drink water, listen to fun music or walk around the office to see how much better you feel when you sit back down to work.