Family Life

Six ways to stay awake (when you're just really REALLY tired)

Tiredness: the problem that we ALL battle all too regularly.

Perhaps once brought on by the likes of cramming for exams, and partying – these days the small ones are more than likely responsible. 

Teething, illness, or just that vague notion of 'sleep regression'… kids have a remarkable ability to keep you up all night (and if you assume it'll eventually go away – talk to the parent of a teenager at their first disco).

But beyond the basics of coffee (and LOTS of it) there are various tips and tricks that will help you power on through. 


1. Stay hydrated:

Especially if you're downing cups of caffeine, you need to make sure that you're hydrated too – so ensure you're having plenty of water to aid better focus and concentration. 

2. Get active:

Getting your heart pumping: a brisk walk, a dance around the sitting room to your favourite tunes, or skipping in the garden – working up a sweat will do wonders to keep you awake.

3. Don't overheat:

Keep the central heating on low (or better still, turn it off altogether) – being too warm will only make you more sleepy. 

4. Stay away from sugar:

It's tempting to hit a chocolate vending machine if you're working shifts or travelling early/late. But while sugar might give you a temporary hit, studies show it will only make matters worse longer-term. So choose your snacks wisely, opting for slow-burning carbs or protein-fuelled nibbles to keep you going.

5. Chew gem:

Bizarre – but apparently true: a study published in Nutritional Neuroscience shows that chewing gum can increase alertness.

6. Sing a song:

The Journal Of Music Therapy says that singing a song will help perk you up – so pop on your earphones and blast out a tune! 

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