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If you’ve ever wondered how to stay awake and fight off the urge of sleeping, you’re not alone. There’s a very good chance that we all experience some sort of fatigue throughout the day, whether we’re at work, hanging out with friends or just ready to hit the gym. Yep, that exhaustion really doesn’t care about your plans, guys.

However, just because you’re tired AF and are wondering how to stay awake doesn’t mean you need to give in and let it frustrate you, because there are some tricks to get yourself some energy and make it through the day. You just need to know them and incorporate them into your daily routine.

Like most things in life, knowing how to stay awake when that fatigue hits you is all about practicing before perfecting, so use these little suggestions to keep your mind sharp and get a second or third wind when that “out of it” feeling seems to bite you in the ass.

Stay awake by stimulating your senses

Activate your mind and senses by playing with your ear lobe, eating something sweet, seeing something bright, listening to something soothing or smelling something pleasant, because these can all help you stay awake and avoid that tired feeling. Sure, some of these may sound strange, but these habits will help send a refreshing signal to your brain, which can help wake you up before you dose off.

Exercise to increase blood flow

Sure, exercising is important for your physical health, but we’ve said time and time again about why getting your body moving and the blood flowing is critical for good mental health, too. And, to help you stay awake and fight off sleepiness, sneaking in a little workout can certainly help.

You don’t need to go all maxed out, but simply doing some of these simple exercises will help wake your mind and body up a bit, so incorporate them into your daily routine to be more alert throughout the work day.

  • Squats
  • Push-ups
  • Dips on your desk
  • Lunges
  • Heel lifts
  • Walk around the building

None of those are too strenuous — or shouldn’t be — but spending about 15-20 minutes on a couple of them can help you stay awake by getting your muscles moving and the blood in your body to flow.

Drink lots of water

Most people want to grab coffee or energy drinks when they’re tired, but it’s actually water they should choose when trying to stave off that sleepy feeling, as it helps keep your heart pumping properly, your body temperature level and helping your muscles avoid from cramping up. When you drink half your body weight in water, you’re going to provide tons of benefits, but adding a little sea salt to each glass is a good way to stay hydrated even better, so don’t be afraid to dump a little sodium in there.

Start a conversation to sharpen your mind

It’s not always the easiest thing to do, but if you want to stay awake, talking to someone can actually help, as it sharpens your mind and forces you to actually think. So many of us rely on communicating through text and such, but physically talking to a person is a better alternative, so put down the phone or laptop and get to using your words, guys.

Another positive of talking to someone is that it creates a break from your work, which is another good way to sharpen your mind, which, in effect, helps you stay awake. See, talking a lot can be a good thing.

Go for a walk outside for some fresh air

Not only does the sun provide your internal clock a signal to help regulate your circadian rhythm, but fresh air is good for your brain, too, helping you slow down any anxiety that’s happening due to tiredness. In addition to the whole internal clock thing from the sunshine, it also provides vitamin D, which is important for your body as well. Much like exercise, walking around can also increase blood flow, which is a natural way of staying awake. Plus, walking outside is a nice break from staring at a screen all day long.

Just go to sleep already

OK, so this isn’t really a way to help you stay awake, but, when you just can’t fight the urge any longer, taking a power nap and giving yourself a break from everything is fine. All too often, we’re working under someone else’s schedule, with that whole 9-6 thing in our minds. But, sometimes, just taking a break and napping is a good way to recharge the batteries before getting back to work later — if you absolutely need to. It’s important not to sleep for too long, though, as you can do more damage than good if it throws off your regular sleep schedule, but a good 60 minutes can do the trick if you have time.

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