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How to Stop Feeling Sleepy

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Update: May 11, 2023
6 min read

Written by

Payal Singh
Content Writer
How To Stop Feeling Sleepy

At one time or the other, we all experience days when our productivity is hampered due to us feeling sleepy. It could be due to various reasons like less sleep time, burning the midnight oil due to work pressure, and other similar reasons.  

If you ask anybody, “How to stop feeling sleepy?” most would recommend an energy drink or a cup of coffee for the eternal caffeine kick. But do you know that it creates a vicious cycle? Usually, the caffeine effect lasts up to five hours. Consequently, you experience consecutive sleepless nights and less quality sleep.  

But things need not be so gloomy. Here, we share some vital tips on how to stay awake naturally when you are sleepy. Read on! 

What Causes Us to Feel Sleepy During the Day? 

Before we learn about how to combat sleep, it is vital to understand why you feel sleepy during the daytime in the first place. A few culprits are listed below.  

1. Not Enough/Too Much Sleep 

Do you wake up feeling edgy or sleepy? It could be because of too little sleep. Its impact is similar to alcohol. You might experience symptoms like agitation and temper, decreased productivity and inability to perform usual physical activities, shortened reaction time, and impaired mental judgement.  

Likewise, people who oversleep also experience more adverse symptoms than benefitting from them.  

2. Poor Sleep 

A restless night of sleep with tossing and turning and frequent wakeups means you have not rested properly. Quality and restful sleep are crucial to stop feeling sleepy in the morning.  

3. Overstimulation Due to Caffeine and Sugar 

Caffeine and sugar might give you the energy boost you need during the day, but they leave you tired and restless when their effects wear off. The condition is medically termed a caffeine crash and causes sleepless nights.  

4. Boredom 

Boredom might leave you mentally frustrated and restless. It would naturally lead to a sleepless night and daytime sleepiness.  

5. Lack of Physical Activity 

A sedentary day or lifestyle is likely to cause intense fatigue, mental agitation, and sleep problems.  

6. Irregular Eating Habits  

Have you ever wondered, ‘Why do I get tired after I eat?’ Your irregular eating habits might be the culprit. It keeps your energy level ups and obstructs sleep. 

7. Habit 

If you have a habit of napping during the day, you would naturally feel sleepy at about the same time.  

8. Stress 

Stress is one of the major causes of sleepless nights and daytime sleepiness.  

9. Not Drinking Enough Water 

It has been found that inadequate water consumption can also cause less night sleep, which causes daytime sleepiness.  

How to Stop Feeling Sleepy?

Now let’s walk through some useful strategies to combat daytime sleepiness and find practical solutions to “How to stop feeling sleepy at work?” or “How to stop feeling sleepy in class?” 

1. Get Adequate Night-Time Sleep 

We often compromise on our sleep time to care for our duties and work. It means sleeping less by an hour or more. But even this tiny sleep deprivation and the restriction would make you feel sleepy and fatigued during the day.  

Hence, blocking your sleep hours and not compromising with them is imperative. An average adult needs seven to nine hours of sleep, while a teenager and younger child need nine to twelve hours of sleep daily.  

2. Keep Distractions Out of Bed 

At bedtime, you must avoid distractions that alert your brain and keep you awake. You would inevitably experience disturbed sleep and feel sleepy the next day. Your bedtime should be reserved exclusively for sex and sleep.  

3. Set a Consistent Wake-up Time 

Going to bed and waking up at the same time, even on weekends, is a terrific way to combat insomnia and other sleep disorders. It sets your body’s circadian rhythm in harmony and gives the cue to your body to sleep at the right time. Irregular hours can build inner frustration and cause sleep troubles.  

4. Gradually Move to An Earlier Bedtime 

How to stop feeling sleepy is not an overnight exercise. You cannot set your inner circadian rhythm right overnight.  

The right approach is to try sleeping 15 minutes earlier each night for a minimum of four days and then stick to it until your body gets used to it. Once you are comfortable with it, you can again move the clock to 15 minutes earlier.  

The method gives more effective results than suddenly trying to sleep an hour earlier.  

5. Set Consistent, Healthy Mealtimes 

If you are wondering how to stop feeling sleepy after eating, try digging into what you eat and the time you eat. Eating healthy food on time helps regulate your body’s circadian rhythm.  

It’s best to eat a combination of healthy carbohydrates and high-protein foods at fixed times instead of grabbing quick-fix meals like burgers, sandwiches, pizzas, etc. Unhealthy meals are often carbohydrate-rich and tend to have a similar effect to caffeine and high sugar.  

You should also eat a light and healthy meal and never a heavy meal at dinner. Moreover, it should be completed at least three hours before bed to allow your body to digest it. It will eliminate digestive problems and promote more restful sleep.  

6. Exercise 

A minimum of 30 minutes of exercise, primarily aerobic, is crucial to good health and deep restorative sleep. It keeps you energized, active, and alert throughout the day and keeps your thinking sharp.  

If you are in a dilemma of how to wake up when tired at work, try taking and break and brisk walking for about 10 to 15 minutes. You would return energized and active without any feeling of snoozing. 

Moreover, sunlight exposure would go the extra mile to regulate your sleep pattern.  

7. Declutter Your Schedule 

A leading reason for sleep deprivation is sacrificing sleep time for work. But this does you more harm than good. Hence, you must declutter your schedule and organize it for adequate sleep. 

You should look at your work schedule and organize it methodically. All tedious and time-consuming jobs should preferably be executed in the morning. The unimportant tasks should be shifted to days when your work calendar is light, or you can even delegate them, if possible. 

Getting adequate sleep will help you do your work faster and more efficiently. 

8. Don’t Go To Bed Until You Are Sleepy 

It is vital to understand the difference between tiredness and feeling sleepy. If you go to bed with just tiredness, you will end up tossing and turning in bed with almost no sleep. It would leave you frustrated and make sleeping more difficult.  

It’s best to go to bed when you can fall asleep in less than ten minutes.  

9. Don’t Nap Late in The Day 

Napping late in the day would leave you energized and active at night. An obvious consequence would be a restless and sleepless night and daytime sleepiness. If you want to nap, it should be done in the earlier part of the day and preferably less than 30 minutes.  

10. Create a Relaxing Bedtime Ritual  

Overstimulation, active and alert brain, stress, anxiety, depression, etc., are all obstacles to a good night’s sleep.  

A relaxing bedroom ambience and ritual are vital to eliminating them. Activities like meditation, a warm bath, reading a book, sleep-inducing breathing, and other exercises, etc., are a few of the activities that can quickly become your bedtime ritual and help you sleep better.  

11. Avoid Nightcaps 

Many love to have a cup of coffee or a glass of alcohol before retiring to bed, believing it would help them sleep. But that would make sleep difficult. The consequent sleepless night would make you feel sleepy the next day. It’s better to have herbal tea or other sleep-inducing food and drink as nightcaps if you feel the craving for it.  

When To Consult Your Doctor?

If your daytime sleepiness is triggered by a restless night, all the above panacea will resolve them. But if it is still not resolved, you might be a victim of any sleep disorders like narcolepsy or sleep apnoea, insomnia, etc. It could also be a side-effect of some medications you might be consuming. So if you experience signs like excessive daytime sleepiness, falling asleep without warning during the day, etc., it’s best to consult a doctor and seek the right treatment. 


A sleepless night and poor lifestyle and dietary habits are the culprits of daytime sleepiness. Being conscious about them and making small, meaningful changes would help you sleep better and be energized and productive throughout the day. Medical expert help is a must for extreme symptoms. 

You can only lead a healthy and satisfying life and combat daytime sleepiness. 


How do you get rid of feeling sleepy?

Sleep adequately at night, maintain a schedule, and work out regularly. Also, please don’t go to bed when it’s not your sleep time, and avoid daytime naps.

Why do I feel too sleepy?

You might be too worn out to handle simple daily tasks. Most of the time, there is a cause for fatigue. It could be a bacterial or viral infection, allergic rhinitis, anaemia, depression, fibromyalgia, chronic kidney disease, liver disease, lung disease (COPD), or another medical condition.

How do I get rid of sleepiness in 5 minutes?

Get up and move around as soon as you feel sleepy but want to overcome it. You’ll feel fresh and active.

Why do I always feel sleepy at work?

You might experience times when you have fewer responsibilities depending on the nature of your position. You might feel even more worn out if there isn’t much to do. If you can, request some small tasks from your boss.


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Written by

Payal Singh
Content Writer
Bachelor's in English Literature and Health Sciences Previously wrote blog articles for various Doctors for their websites Familiarity with various content management systems and SEO best practices

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