How to Stay Awake After a Terrible Night’s Sleep

Feeling a bit bleary this morning? Here are five tricks that could help blow away the cobwebs.

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How to stay awake - yawning woman holding coffee cup
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How to Stay Awake

There are ideals and then there’s real life. In truth, you will at times find yourself tired but still obligated to stay alert. Here’s how to stay awake and make those moments as painless as possible.

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How to stay awake - happy man listening to music
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Play music

This brain hack works best if you opt for something cheery, with a beat that’s strong and fast but not exhausting (100 to 130 beats per minute). Music with heart-rate lowering tempos—think 60 beats per minute or less—can actually induce sleep, so consider yourself warned.

Tonight, make it a point to add these sleep-promoting podcasts to your playlist.

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Woman opening shutters and letting sunshine in
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Go outside or place yourself near a bright light

Your body takes its sleep-wake cues from light, so draw back the drapes to let the sunshine in. If it’s not high noon on a sunny day, fool your system into thinking it is by cranking that dimmer switch up to maximum, and ensuring your workspace is properly illuminated with task lighting.

When you’re ready to catch some Zzz’s, check out these natural sleep aids that actually work.

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Woman drinking water
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Drink water

Dehydration increases sleepiness. According to Harvard Health, keeping yourself hydrated can help to curb fatigue. It doesn’t necessarily have to be water, either—there are plenty of hydrating drinks that can count toward your daily fluid intake—even caffeinated beverages!

Here’s how much water you need to drink daily to stay hydrated.

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Woman nordic walking on boardwalk
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Aerobic activity pumps oxygen through your system and releases hormones that give you energy. There are plenty of other health benefits from increasing your physical activity level, of course. Find out what can happen to your body when you start walking 10,000 steps a day.

Learn to spot the silent signs you need to move more.

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Hipster man reading a book at a bookstore
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Stimulate your mind

Boredom itself promotes fatigue. Break the cycle by starting a conversation, engaging in a new activity, or reading an article about a topic that interests you.

Now that you know how to stay awake, use this sleep hygiene checklist to get the deep, restful sleep of your dreams.

Reader's Digest Canada
Originally Published in Reader's Digest Canada

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