Promising Practices Promising PracticesPromising Practices
A forum for government's best ideas and most innovative leaders.

The Caffeine-Free Guide to Staying Sharp at Work

ARCHIVES
OtnaYdur/Shutterstock.com

Coffee may be the workplace standard for staying alert, but it has its tradeoffs: it raises the heart rate, increases blood pressure, and inflates stress. Caffeine makes it harder to fall asleep at night, which is the last thing most of us need—one in three US workers, or 40.6 million people, aren’t getting enough sleep. Fatigue is also a growing problem in the workplace. Poor sleep paired with longer hours means that tired workers have less self control and are more hostile—hardly a recipe for productivity. So how do you stay awake without that cup of joe? Here’s our complete guide to staying alert at work, without caffeine:

Get some exercise

Thirty seconds of blood-pumping exercise can give you the same mental boost as an espresso, because of the link between aerobic activity and cognition. A study also found that eating breakfast and working out improved mood and mental alertness later in the day (compared to various combinations of skipping food and exercise), and that morning exercise banished post-breakfast sluggishness.

Keep it cool

The average room temperature is around 70°F, but lowering this just by a couple of degrees can keep workers awake. Cooler air has been found to increase levels of an enzyme that correlates with higher mental alertness, and make workers slightly uncomfortable, which keeps them from getting drowsy. When people are warmer, they can feel grumpier, be less motivated to work hard, and show a decrease in job performance.

Turn up the lights

A study of college students taking night classes found that exposure to bright lightboosts alertness and reduces sleepiness. Depending on the time of day, the effects were visible after about 30 minutes to an hour. Another study found that LED lighting is better than fluorescent lighting for beating fatigue, since it leads to clearer vision, faster response times, and improved memory.

Read more at Quartz.

(Image via OtnaYdur/Shutterstock.com)

FROM OUR SPONSORS
JOIN THE DISCUSSION
Close [ x ] More from GovExec
 
 

Thank you for subscribing to newsletters from GovExec.com.
We think these reports might interest you:

  • Sponsored by Brocade

    Best of 2016 Federal Forum eBook

    Earlier this summer, Federal and tech industry leaders convened to talk security, machine learning, network modernization, DevOps, and much more at the 2016 Federal Forum. This eBook includes a useful summary highlighting the best content shared at the 2016 Federal Forum to help agencies modernize their network infrastructure.

    Download
  • Sponsored by CDW-G

    GBC Flash Poll Series: Merger & Acquisitions

    Download this GBC Flash Poll to learn more about federal perspectives on the impact of industry consolidation.

    Download
  • Sponsored by One Identity

    One Nation Under Guard: Securing User Identities Across State and Local Government

    In 2016, the government can expect even more sophisticated threats on the horizon, making it all the more imperative that agencies enforce proper identity and access management (IAM) practices. In order to better measure the current state of IAM at the state and local level, Government Business Council (GBC) conducted an in-depth research study of state and local employees.

    Download
  • Sponsored by Aquilent

    The Next Federal Evolution of Cloud

    This GBC report explains the evolution of cloud computing in federal government, and provides an outlook for the future of the cloud in government IT.

    Download
  • Sponsored by Aquilent

    A DevOps Roadmap for the Federal Government

    This GBC Report discusses how DevOps is steadily gaining traction among some of government's leading IT developers and agencies.

    Download
  • Sponsored by LTC Partners, administrators of the Federal Long Term Care Insurance Program

    Approaching the Brink of Federal Retirement

    Approximately 10,000 baby boomers are reaching retirement age per day, and a growing number of federal employees are preparing themselves for the next chapter of their lives. Learn how to tackle the challenges that today's workforce faces in laying the groundwork for a smooth and secure retirement.

    Download
  • Sponsored by Hewlett Packard Enterprise

    Cyber Defense 101: Arming the Next Generation of Government Employees

    Read this issue brief to learn about the sector's most potent challenges in the new cyber landscape and how government organizations are building a robust, threat-aware infrastructure

    Download
  • Sponsored by Aquilent

    GBC Issue Brief: Cultivating Digital Services in the Federal Landscape

    Read this GBC issue brief to learn more about the current state of digital services in the government, and how key players are pushing enhancements towards a user-centric approach.

    Download
  • Sponsored by CDW-G

    Joint Enterprise Licensing Agreements

    Read this eBook to learn how defense agencies can achieve savings and efficiencies with an Enterprise Software Agreement.

    Download
  • Sponsored by Cloudera

    Government Forum Content Library

    Get all the essential resources needed for effective technology strategies in the federal landscape.

    Download

When you download a report, your information may be shared with the underwriters of that document.