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Dorothy Le

Office Survival: How to Stay Awake

Mar 10 2014, 06:00 AM by

Office Survival


It’s like something out of a movie: you are slouched in your chair with your arms folded across your chest, and your head hanging low with your mouth slightly agape. All of a sudden, you head pops up and you see ten other associates sitting around you at the conference table, all looking at you and waiting to hear your answer as to why profits failed to exceed expectations from the campaign.

Falling asleep during a class, church, or a movie tends to be a regular occurrence, but it is almost detrimental to be caught snoring away at your office desk, or worse, right in the middle of a meeting with your superiors and clients.

If your heart was telling you to finish the first season of House of Cards at 2 in the morning, you are going to have to deal with the sleep deprivation the next day. Luckily, there are some tips that can help you stay up and alert at your desk:

  • Stretch and twist your body in our chair, and roll your neck to improve blood circulation
  • Drink cold water
  • Take a break and step outside to get some sun
  • Listen to upbeat music
  • Graze on some light protein snacks every 30 minutes or an hour that require chewing (apples, nuts, whole grain crackers)
  • Do some small chat with your cubicle neighbor for a minute
  • Break up monotonous work and switch over to a new task
  • Chew mint gum
  • Crank up the AC


Now, in situations where you are stuck in a meeting or surrounded by co-workers, it wouldn’t be a good idea to be chewing gum and what not. There are still some discreet ways to stay awake whilst sitting in your chair by using acupressure. There are certain pulse points on your body that when pressed down on, will stimulate your brain and instantly make you alert, which includes your earlobes, the back of your hand, and the back of your neck.

For your earlobes, just pretend that you have an itch or your ear muscles are just so sore that you need to massage them, and just slightly rub between your thumb and index finger. Likewise, the area on your hand right between your thumb and index finger is also a good place to massage. This is the most discreet of all, and advantageous because if you massage your hand, tilt your head, and narrow your eyes just a bit, it would look like you are really pondering about how to improve sales this quarter. Lastly, you can massage the back of your neck; but don’t do it for too long or else it’s just distracting to other people.

Good luck!

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