The Best Ways to Stay Awake at Work Without Caffeine

Maybe you had a rough night. Perhaps sleep eluded you. It could be your job tasks are just plain boring.

Whatever the reason, if you find your eyes closing at work, the first thing you likely do is reach for a Starbucks coffee, Mountain Dew or Red Bull. But before relying on too much of that, try some of these tactics for staying awake at work without caffeine.

Get Out of the Dark

Light helps regulate the body’s internal rhythm. Expose yourself to as much natural or artificial light as possible. Open shades and curtains. Turn on the lights and lamps. Stand by a window for a few minutes or go outside.

Turn up the Volume

If it’s allowed, plug in the earphones and listen to some upbeat rock, rap or jazz.


Get up and talk with coworkers about projects or personal interests. The stimulation will make you more alert.

Splash Cold Water

Stay awake at work without caffeine by simply running cold water over your face whenever you can. It will adjust your internal temperature, which can help keep you awake.

Open Your Eyes

Take breaks and exercise the eyes (usually the first to fall victim to fatigue). Exercise the eyes, rolling them, squeezing, blinking, looking up and down, and widening them several times.

Eat Well

A good, healthy, light breakfast can provide energy. Think whole-grain breads, fruits, and bran cereals. Heavy foods like scrambled eggs, sausages, and pancakes contribute to lethargy. It’s also helpful to eat energy-boosting snacks like celery sticks with peanut butter, granola and yogurt, baby carrots with low-fat cream cheese, and strawberries.

Stay Hydrated

Being dehydrated can make you sluggish, tired, and sleepy. So now you have one more reason to drink water regularly.


Movement is a great way to stay awake at work without caffeine. Get up, stretch, walk, jog in place, climb stairs, do some push-ups, rotate your feet, or scrunch your toes. But don’t overdo it and feed your exhaustion.

Use LiveCareer to Stay Awake at Work Without Caffeine

If you do find yourself falling asleep because of boredom, perhaps it’s time to look for a new job. LiveCareer has thousands of local job listings as well as a click-through Resume Builder that can make getting a more exciting position a cinch.

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