Skip to comments.TIPS & TRICKS TO FIGHT OFF FATIGUE
Posted on 11/03/2004 10:14:20 AM PST by Jaysun
I frequently pull all-nighters because I like to trade foreign currency. It occurred to me that there might be several of you that skipped the sack last night as I did because of the elections. Here are some things that Ive found helpful in fighting off fatigue from lack of sleep.
Some advise against large amounts of caffeine in this situation. I disagree. I actually have a feedbag of coffee on my shoulder at all times. Try not to get out of hand though because drinking too much will make you feel irritated rather than more energetic.
Eat. In addition to the three basic meals each day, try to consume some snacks. The best snacks tend to be saltine crackers, pretzels, animal crackers, and other such munchies. My drug of choice is peanut M&Ms. Snacking is indispensable for feeding your body and mind. Three meals are usually sufficient for someone who sleeps, but remember that your body is working when it would rather be resting, and therefore needs the extra energy to keep it going.
Have plenty of water and juice, and drink whenever you're thirsty. Apple juice is a phenomenal energy booster, and for most people it works better than caffeine. You could substitute an apple if you dont have any juice on hand. Ive also heard lots of my fellow insomniacs ballyhoo orange juice as a superman tonic, but Ive not found it as effective as apple juice.
Wear Comfortable Clothes and remove your shoes when possible.
Short naps (10-15 minutes, 20 minutes max) are great for short-term alertness boosts. Stay away from 1-hour naps. Due to the way your sleep patterns run, a 1-hour nap will often leave you feeling groggy and tired, when a shorter nap will not.
I have had some success with combining caffeine and a short nap. I guzzle a nauseatingly strong cup of the black stuff and then immediately go sleep for 10-20 minutes. The effect of the caffeine and the nap seem to compliment each other as a way of getting some rest and yet waking up with a clear head.
Exposure to sunlight and other bright light helps to keep you alert. Open the blinds or curtains on your windows or add extra light to the room with lamps. Keeping the room bright works surprisingly well. Your eyes are likely to be red and tired. You can try eye drops or simply splash and wash your face and eyes with cool water for a few minutes. Not only will this perk you up, it may help to make you look less like a corpse.
If your job involves sitting in one place, such as at a computer desk, take frequent walks, even if it's only in the immediate area. Sitting in one place for hours at a time will most certainly add to sleepiness.
If its impractical for you to get up and wander around several times a day you can try the two exercises below. Now, youll look ridiculous as hell while doing them so its best to do them in privacy:
Exercise One: This helps especially for long hours sitting at a desk or in front of a computer. It increases your oxygen intake, relaxes your neck and shoulder muscles, and wakes up your nervous system and brain. Place your palms flat on the desk in front of you then lower your chin to your chest. Let your head go forward as far as you can without pain, just into a comfortable stretch. Allow your shoulders to droop. As you take a deep breath through your nose, draw a semi-circle using the tip of your nose as the pen to move your head forward, up and back arching over your shoulders. Also allow your back to arch like a bow and allow your ribs to open and expand. Then as you exhale curve the back forward like a cat arching its back and once again rest the chin on or near the chest. Repeat this 3-5 times.
Exercise Two: Place one hand over the navel. This brings your attention to your center of gravity and your breath. Breathe into this hand. With your other hand gently press the indentations directly under your collarbone to the left and right of your breastbone. These "buttons" lie just above where the carotid arteries branch off to the brain and can stimulate blood flow to your brain. Stop and hold then press again. This wakes up your brain for new incoming information. It also gets your eyes moving again and out of ocular lock, which happens when you get on overload or stare at computer screens for too long a time.
I do that all the time. It does work well but you have to have a major caffeine tolerance to pull it off.
yeah saved my life many many times driving at night across country
Thanks for the info - I called it a night around 2:35 last night - had to get up by 6:30 - haven't done that in quite some time!!!
Snacks , M&M's, coffee is good to me. Also try to consume protein to avois those sugary dips.
Thanks. I am dragging today. I was up until 3 am. At least I work out of my home and can rest when I want to.
Bed death? Ahhhh. Clinton happens, you know.
Sunflower seeds are the greatest way to stay awake while driving. David and Sons are too salty--you get lip burns on too long of a trip (also you have to eat too many bitter worms) Frito-Lay are pretty good. Wal-Mart--dreadful! Switched to Spitz brand on recommendation from a highway patrol accident investigator. (We were talking about how good sf seeds are at keeping you awake.) Spitz seeds are plump, tasty and virtually worm-free (maybe because they're a Canadian product and worms don't live that far north????
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