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How to Stay Awake Without Caffeine

How to Stay Awake Without Caffeine - A Skeptic's Guide

Staying awake without caffeine requires will, the acceptance that you can stay awake without it, and requires you to follow some other methods that will work as well as the kick you get from caffeine to keep you awake. What are these methods? Let's take a look.
Puja Lalwani
Last Updated: Jun 3, 2018
Whenever we have big project deadlines or exams coming up, we tend to down cups after cups of coffee to keep ourselves awake, only to find that after a while, even the coffee stops working. Also, having so much coffee or caffeine from tea and soft drinks is a terrible idea for several reasons. For one, excessive intake of caffeine causes dehydration. Secondly, you are likely to get so addicted that you cannot stay without it. This causes a psychological tendency to believe that you will be lethargic and sleepy if you don't get your daily dose of caffeine, when actually you can very well survive without it. In any case, if you have realized that excessive caffeine is not doing your body any good and you want to get it out of your system, it is a positive sign. Now, if you are required to stay awake for whatever reason, and you don't want the caffeine to get into your system, there are certain ways that will help you stay awake without it. These have been discussed here.
Making it Through the Day/Night without Caffeine
As mentioned earlier, the association of caffeine with elevated energy levels is primarily psychological. Yes, caffeine is a stimulant no doubt, and can do wonders when consumed even in a small amount. However, when you overdo it and suddenly tend to withdraw, you will find that you are affected by headaches and feel weaker too. On the other hand, some of you may not be very tolerant towards it, or may not enjoy coffee or tea. So here are ways in which you can making it through the day/night without it. Each section has methods that you should ideally adopt in the long run to remain energized throughout the day, as well as quick fixes in emergency situations.
Sleep to Stay Awake
In the Long Run: As silly as it may sound to you at this very moment, understand that you have to sleep enough to be able to stay awake. Make sure that you get a minimum of 5-6 hours of quality sleep every day, and you will find that you don't need any other stimulant to keep you awake and energized.

For Immediate Results: Power naps have known to help a lot of people. A power nap involves sleeping for a very short amount of time, just enough to refresh you without making you feel groggy. A power nap should not exceed more than twenty minutes. Power naps may or may not work for you, but you may try one out and see how you feel.
Utilize the Power of Exercise
In the Long Run: Exercise should be a part of your daily routine in any case. It stimulates hormone production that keeps you feeling energized and positive all day. Do not overdo your exercise or you may find yourself feeling very tired later. A daily thirty minute brisk walk is good enough to get your body up and about. Engaging in yoga and deep breathing exercises will also help you remain energized in the long run.

For Immediate Results: If you find yourself feeling sleepy and have to stay awake to work or study, go for a short walk, climb up and down the stairs a couple of times, or perform some stretches. Dance to some music for about ten minutes before you get back to your study or work. Getting yourself to move about or perspire a little will awaken you and keep you functioning for a few more hours.
Watch What you Eat
In the Long Run: Isn't it unfortunate that even when you are not expected to lose weight or mind what you eat, you have to do it to stay fresh and awake? Your diet should consist of a substantial portion of fresh foods such as vegetables and fruits. Consume lean meats and enjoy them grilled or steamed. Try to avoid eating fried foods in excess. Also include complex carbohydrates in your diet such as brown rice, multigrain bread, and brown pasta, as they release sugar into the body slowly and keep you energized. Finally, ensure that you drink 8-10 glasses of water in a day. Dehydration is one of the main reasons we tend to feel tired and sleepy. Cut down on alcoholic drinks.

For Immediate Results: When you're already tired and sleepy, avoid eating anything that contains a high amount of sugar or oil. It may give you an instant rush but will make you feel worse after its effects wear off. Moreover, it is not a very healthy option. If possible, eat a bowl of oats (particularly if you have to stay awake all night) or a granola bar, sip on green tea, munch on a handful of nuts, or have a light sandwich. Eating an apple has also known to help people stay awake. Also keep sipping on water to keep yourself hydrated.
Other Tips that will Help
These are tips that will help you stay awake on an immediate basis:
  • Listen to some fast music for about ten to fifteen minutes to keep you awake.
  • Chewing gum has known to help a lot of people trying to stay awake.
  • Stop focusing on your sleep and focus on the task at hand instead. Imagine sleep to be your reward for working so hard.
  • Sometimes it is your state of mind that makes you feel sleepy. You may be stressed or depressed and this may deter you from working. Read something positive at that time and follow some of the aforementioned tips, and you will find an immediate difference in your demeanor and approach towards work.
  • Finally, ensure that the space you are working or studying in is well-lit. If you work under the light of one lamp, the darkness is obviously going to make you drowsy.
So you don't need to be a slave to caffeine to stay awake through the night. All you need to do is follow the above-mentioned tips, and make changes in your lifestyle in the long run, so that a couple of nights of staying awake does not mess with your entire system.