How to stop yourself from falling asleep: easy tricks to stay awake

How to stop yourself from falling asleep: easy tricks to stay awake

Do you have a lot of work to do that you want to stay up all night? Are you are disappointed that you keep feeling sleepy? I’d say that it is normal. Your body is not a machine to work without rest. It will always tend to shut down and within time, you won’t realize that you have fallen asleep.

The good thing is, you can avoid sleep in certain situations. Now that you are here, I’ll show you the best tricks that will help yourself stay awake naturally (without sleep pills) so that you can finish your schedule.

If you have been a student anytime in your life, you’d understand how hard it was to stay awake. Maybe you have a test is coming up or you have long homework or if you are a worker who has a lot on the to-do list, staying awake is part of the lifestyle.

It is just frustrating that with all the work, sleep always creeps in the head. It doesn’t matter your situation. Well, don’t worry. Here are the tips on how to avoid sleep.

Tips on how to not fall back asleep while working

How to not feel sleepy
credit: ketut subiyanto

1. Drink coffee or soft drinks.

Coffee is well known for its ability to keep people awake. If you understand what it contains, you’d know why. Coffee and most soft drinks contain caffeine which is responsible for keeping the brain active. Caffeine is thought to block the adenosine receptor responsible for sleep homeostatic system.

This research shows that most people drink coffee to stay awake, and that is what happens. But that is not the case, the caffeine always fades not long enough. So the study suggests that for this method to be effective, the coffee should be taken in small doses at different times of the day. Instead of taking one big cup at once, take small ones with intervals.

Despite coffee being helpful, you should not abuse it by drinking a lot. Caffeine is addictive. You will need it even when you want to sleep. Also it is associated with cardiovascular diseases, diabetes and obesity.

Just take it when there is a huge need. Not every day.

2. Avoid a quiet and calm environment

Calmness and quiet are a big stimulator of sleep. So if you are in a place that has no noise, your brain will perceive inactivity and eventually, you will sleep.

Instead you should stay in a place with noise or you can put a loud music (a bit of rock and roll might do). Through this, you will keep yourself active and be able to accomplish what you planned to do.

3. Do something active

This might be an alternative to a noisy place. Sometimes the place you are in might be just quiet. No people around or you don’t have music. This will not stop you from dozing.

To stay awake, you can try doing exercise to keep your body active. For example, a bit of running or jogging. If you are not a fan of exercise you can try working while standing. This will help you not to fall asleep.

How to stay awake naturally

4. Eat rich and sugary foods or don’t eat anything.

Rich foods are mostly composed of a lot of carbohydrates which is converted to sugar that is broken down to provide energy. Eating sugary stuff promotes sleep loss. Many researchers have tried to find the truth behind this. This research shows sugary foods to be associated with more arousals in sleep and late sleep achievements.

Some other researches have gone far to explain that not eating anything can deprive you of sleep. This study was done by observing the behavior of starving fruit flies.

Sugar is mainly stored as fat, that is lipids. The scientists found that a gene responsible for lipid storage was disabled during starvation. This in turn caused sleep loss.

So if you want to stay awake all night, I’d say you have nothing to lose if you eat these kinds of foods. On the other hand, sugary foods are unhealthy for your body, so you should still consider that too.

5. Sleep during the daytime

Back during the days in school, people used to refer to this as a law (as it was compared to one of the energy laws in physics). The old joke goes “sleep can’t be created nor destroyed but it can be transformed from one time to the next” That means when you don’t sleep now, you will make up for it later.

So if you want to stay up during the night, you better sleep during the day and vice versa. This means you have restored the time for the brain to rest and it is good for your mental health.

Compensating sleep will help to keep you active during the time you want to stay awake. It’s easy. Just don’t forget you always have to sleep your sleep. So sleep when you are not busy.

Tips to staying awake and not fall asleep
credit: cottonbro

6. Wash your face

Washing the face is like washing the sleep away. This keeps the body active and your eyes open. This is very effective for a short time. If you want to stay awake for a longer time, you can try the other techniques.

7. Stay under bright lights.

Bright lights are known to cause mental stimulation. It is like they are telling your brain to stay awake and to work. So it is important that if you don’t want to take that nap, don’t stay in a dark place.

This study explains that bright light causes certain receptors in the eyes to send messages to the brain as light signals. After a light stimulation, It might be difficult to get sleep especially when you are not tired.

Stay in an open room with bright lights, to keep you focused.

How to not fall asleep while working
Credit: Daria shevtsova

8. Watch lively shows or movies

Watching something that is active helps you to also stay active. This is because your brain has to stay focused and what you are watching will keep you awake.

You can watch movies that are lively, comedies or interesting shows like games or concerts.

9. Use a room with a cooler temperature.

Sitting in room with a normal or a bit higher temperature can stimulate sleep. In order to stay active and awake, work in a room that has a cooler temperature.

The chills will help you stay away from sleeping as you work your way through to what you were doing.

10. Work with friends

It is easy to stay awake when with company than alone. You can take part in small talks or play games. You can also put some music on to light up the place. This will make you mind alive as you finish what you have been doing.


These few tips can help you stay up late and accomplish what you want to do. You just have to make sure you get enough sleep after that. An adult requires about eight hours to sleep and a child even more, lesser than that is harmful to your health. In order for the body to work efficiently, it needs rest and so does your brain. If you have another idea let me know in the comments.

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Hi, I am a radiation therapist who loves writing about health, beauty and fitness. I also like book reviewing and socializing with people. Hope to share ideas and experiences with you.

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