If you can, stand up! "If you've been sitting throughout the day, that can be mind-numbing," says Kalle Simpson, the founder of Night, an innovative pillow company. "When you're standing up, your body pumps blood and that's important for remaining alert." Check your office or school space to see if standing desks are available or just find a high surface that you can both stand and work at.
"Food is one of the biggest factors in telling your body whether it should be awake or asleep," Simpson says. "Calories are synonymous with energy, so you should eat when your body needs to stay awake." Curb your hunger before it gets bad, too. "When you get hungry around lunchtime, don't ignore it just to get five more emails done—go get yourself something that is nutritious and will keep your body regulated throughout the rest of the day as well."
"Food is one of the biggest factors in telling your body whether it should be awake or asleep." —Kalle Simpson
That means: load up on some good carbs and protein! "A lot of people think that sugar will give them a quick energy fix," says Dr. Alexandra Sowa, an internist at Weill Cornell Medicine and New York Presbyterian in New York City. "The better thing to do is consistently eat meals that have a combination of protein and complex carbohydrates because when your body releases excess insulin, your blood sugar can drop, which results in terrible lethargy or a sugar crash."
During the day, in addition to sugar, you should avoid foods with tryptophan, a chemical found in dairy and turkey, which can cause drowsiness.
During the day, in addition to sugar, you should avoid foods with tryptophan, a chemical found in dairy and turkey, which can cause drowsiness. Ah, so that's why you're always so tired on Thanksgiving! "I would suggest regular meals with small snacks at regular intervals, with a little bit of protein and fat to keep up your energy," Dr. Sowa says.