Some days, you are really, really tired but you can’t just go back to bed or even take a cat nap. Here is how to stay awake when tired!
Having babies is exhausting you guys. And while I don’t think anyone goes into becoming a parent thinking, “Man! This is going to be a breeze! I’ll never be tried,” I don’t think you can truly be prepared for the brand of exhaustion that comes with being a parent to a new baby. It’s a totally different kind of full, mind and body tired than I have ever felt before.
With Ryan, I was tired all the time. I took naps when he napped some days, but he had colic and would only really sleep for 45 minute bursts. I am extremely grateful that Owen is a pretty decent sleeper – while he doesn’t sleep though the night he usually just needs one quick change and nurse at 2 or 3 and he’s good. The real problem for me comes in the morning. Every morning, Owen wakes up between 5 and 6, usually closer to 5. Considering I don’t go to bed until 1 – Alex works night shift and I feel funny going to bed without him home – every morning is a struggle to wake up and how to stay awake when tired becomes my biggest challenge. But I have to, since I have a toddler who can smell weakness and uses that ability to get into the most trouble when I’m not paying attention. So how to stay awake when tired, you ask?
Today I am going to share with you all my tried and true tips for how to stay awake tired – really, really tired. Because parent or not, we all have one of those days at least a few times in life when taking a nap is just not an option.
Please note: some of these may seem extreme and kind of weird, but they work. And if you’re so tired you’re legit falling asleep at your kitchen table, (guilty) you’ll do anything.
How to Stay Awake When Tired
- QUICK! Do some jumping jacks!
No, really. If I don’t have to worry about being quiet, I’ll stand up and jump around to get my blood pumping quickly. It’s a great wake-up call! I always get annoyed when I’m reading tips for staying awake/waking up and they’re like.. Do a workout! Go on a run! Because, hello, if I had the time or freedom for an entire workout to wake me up, I would just take a nap. Instead, just 30 seconds or so of doing something to get your body moving helps tremendously. Repeat as necessary.
- Become a mouth breather.
I’m sure there is some kind of science behind this, but the cold air hitting my mouth gives me the tiniest little wake up. Warm, closed mouth = bad. Fresh air, open mouth = awake.
- Brush your teeth.
With the mintiest toothpaste possible. I’ve used Listerine. Also, using mouth wash works as well. The mint wakes everything up and the astringent burn makes sure you won’t fall asleep. This is why I try to brush my teeth a little earlier than right before bed.
- Drink all of the cold things.
Got ice cubes? Toss them in your drink. Iced coffee is your best friend. (Try my recipe for cold brew – your tired self will thank me for not having to wait for it to brew. You’re welcome. If you want a little loud noise to wake you up as well, check out my recipe for a sugar free frappuccino!)
- Take off some layers.
Being all warm and toasty is the kiss of death (or sleep, if you’re less dramatic than I am) for any tired soul. Being a little bit chilly fights off the sleepy vibes. I’m not saying open the windows in the middle of January, although that would DEFINITELY wake you up, but just take off your sweatshirt.
- Let there be light!
This may seem like common sense, but open up your blinds, turn on the lights. Let your body know that it’s day time! The light issue is why the 3 AM nursing session is much harder to resist falling asleep than the 3 PM nursing session or why gloomy days make you want to curl up in bed. Your body responds accordingly to light.
- Chat it up.
I talk to the dog. I talk to my toddler. I talk to my infant. I talk to myself. It doesn’t matter who you’re talking to. Talking out loud will help you stay awake. (though don’t try talking to your husband while laying down. You’ll start to fall asleep regardless and start saying absolute gibberish. Not that I would know or anything..
- Get up and DO something.
This might be my biggest one. Don’t sit down. Sure as hell don’t lay down. Go do the dishes or the laundry. Or if you really have something to do on your computer, put it on a counter and do it standing. (bonus points if you throw in some jumping jacks or squats.) Again, moving around gets your blog flowing and wakes you up. If there is one thing I can say in terms of how to stay awake when tired, it’s to not stop. Ever.
I hope that if you, like me, experience some kind of life altering level of exhaustion without the option to go sleep, these will help you learn how to stay awake when tired and get on with your day in a state of reasonable awakeness. Which, some days, is the best you can ask for.
So what are your greatest tips for how to stay awake when tired? Let me know in the comments!
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I agree with all of these! Light really helps perk me up as well as physical activity. Right now I’m feeling drowsy, but it’s not time to be asleep, so I think a workout will be in order soon. 🙂
Catherine @ foodiecology says
Going for walks or just going outside in general was big for me when I was home on maternity leave. Now when I’m falling asleep at work, I get up and walk to another office. These are all great suggestions, too. #thestruggleisreal 😉
Hannah @Sunshine and Spoons says
I wish I’d have seen these tips when my youngest son, Davy was a baby! He has special needs and only slept 3-4 hours total a night. Napping during the day wasn’t an option because I have three other kids and because Davy screamed pretty much all day and needed tube feedings every 3 hours sharp. Just talking about this makes me tired again…
Kristy @ Southern In Law says
Ummm, saving this for every single day of my life 😛
I am so with you. Do not think for a second that you can lie down and distract yourself when you’re tired. It doesn’t matter what you’re doing, you WILL doze off 😛
Ellen @ My Uncommon Everyday says
I so agree that talking to anyone and anything helps! Also, I sometimes shift to doing work while standing up instead of sitting just to make dozing off a little less likely. 🙂
The jumping jack tip is so true. I just have to convince my tired self to do them! Haha. I can think of many occasions where these tips will come in handy, so thank you!
Elizabeth @ Guilty Chocoholic Mama says
Great tips…which, I’m sorry to say, I need even more now that my girls are t(w)eens than I did when they were babies. This is also why I took up coffee-drinking. 😉 Thanks for sharing the advice moms REALLY need…stopping by from Mommy Moments!
Heather @ Polyglot Jot says
This is great! If I’m really tired at work I try to get up and move–easier said then done when youre in lazy im sleepy mode haha!
I find having mint works too, totally agree with you on that one!
Hahaha! I love these tips! I’ve been so tired today and had a horrible time trying to stay awake. It’s something that happens a lot lately. I love the “drink everything cold” and “jumping jacks.” I’ll be trying some of these today.
Anne Marie says
YES! I am a huge fan of the iced drinks and am currently sipping on flavored carbonated water with ice cubes. Brushing your teeth is an awesome suggestion I hadn’t thought of!
Mother of 3 says
I was totally unprepared for the tiredness that accompanied children! I am not a coffee drinker and had to find other ways to stay awake…. I found moving all the time helped. If I sat down I was sure to go out.
Jenny @ Unremarkable Files says
Ha! I love all of these tips! I know exactly how you feel – we just brought home Baby #6. And we don’t drink coffee!
These are some cool tips. Some of these totally surprised me. Thanks for sharing on Simply Natural Saturdays.
Nikki Frank-Hamilton says
I remember these days so well. Or at least I think I remember them, I was so tired perhaps I awake dreamed them! LOL These are great tips, the moving around especially. It does help and get your blood flowing, and if you do them often enough I think you get credit for an entire workout? Right? Just don’t plank, you can fall asleep planking, at least I’ve heard that! LOL
Linda Morris says
These are some really great ideas. I used to watch t.v. Those buy now advertisements, because they would always get me chuckling.
Thanks for some new tips! I can’t even tell you how well-timed this was today! It’s 5pm and I am still trying to finish my coffee from this morning. Four kids and a puppy, that is moving in next week, is enough to keep me busy from sun-up to way past sundown.