That 2am flight. That all-nighter. That five-hour transit past midnight.
Credit: giphySometimes we just have to stay awake.
I remembered the first time I had to go home to Sydney from Singapore and my flight was delayed to 3.30am, I had so much trouble staying awake that I nearly missed my flight.
Don't do that to yourself! Here are 5 super simple ways to naturally stay awake without any stimulants (yes, caffeine excluded) the next time you have to stay up... Because it happens!
1. Learn how to breathe properly and take breathers
Breathing helps. As we get tired, our breathing naturally gets shallow and small. This prepares us for sleep... But we don't want to sleep! So the answer? Take deep good breaths. Credit: giphy
There are two ways that you can breathe to feel more alert. The first is to take a deep breath through your abdomen (not your chest!). To do this, simply put your hands where on your belly just under your ribs and the other hand on your chest.
Inhale through your nose and feel your belly move. Exhale through your mouth with a pursed lip.
Another method of breathing is called stimulating breath, often used in yoga. You take short breaths through your nose doing about three cycle in a second — up to a minute. If my Math is anywhere great, that means you should be taking 180 very short breaths in that minute. Now go do your oms!
2. Take a nap!Credit: giphy
I know, you might be thinking where on Earth can you even slot in a nap when your plan was to stay up all night. The answer is — just nap. Your body will wake up refreshed and you will definitely feel much better as you edge off the sleepiness. Ever seen people laying around the airport sleeping on their bag packs? That's what they're doing.
Make sure you nap appropriately though. If you're finding yourself hard to concentrate, get a nap no longer than 20 minutes. If your energy is dipping down low, rest for about 45 minutes.
I advise you to download any Sleeping apps if you're using a smartphone. I personally use the Power Nap app and it's so convenient, all I have to do is tell them how long of a nap I want and they will wake me up gently like a mother when it's time to get up.
3. Stay in the brightest side of the airport or room
The idea here is to fake your body telling them that it's not time to sleep yet. If you can find a spot where light is the brightest, stay there. Otherwise, switch your smart phone to its highest brightness and watch some YouTube videos. The light emitted from your phone is enough to reset your internal clock.
4. Do some light exercises
You may have heard that exercise increases your adrenaline levels, boosting your energy? If you're really finding yourself struggling to stay up, do 3-5 sets of the following exercises. It's super simple and you don't need much space at all.
30 secs of push-ups
30 secs of jumping jacks
30 secs of squats
Exercise is super effective in increasing energy and reducing fatigue so give that a go and stay awake!
5. Prepare some healthy snacks that boosts energy
Finally, eat! First things first, I know it's tempting but number one — avoid sugar. Yes, you'll probably feel high for a while (and who doesn't know what the sugar high feels like) but you'll fall into sugar lows in no time. If you did point number four above, eat your snack right after your quick workout session.
I've included some very simple snacks you can make, grab and go below so feel free to make some and eat every 2-3 hours to keep your metabolism running.
Avocado, Salmon and Cheese CornthinsCredit: bonappetitMakes 2 corn thins in 5 mins
Super quick and easy to make and did I say it is delicious? Have it for your snacks and also pack it up to share with your travel buddies!
Here's what you need:
- 2 pieces Real Food Multigrain Corn Thins
- 50g smoked salmon
- 1 slice of Swiss cheese
- ½ ripe avocado
Slice avocado and cut it in half. Place cheese, followed by salmon and then avocado.
Scrambled Eggs on ToastMakes 1 in 5 mins
Eggs are an excellent source of protein and fats and having them as a snack means it’ll keep you fuller for longer. I love this on days I feel like having something warm in between my meals, but really you can have it any time.
Here's what you need:
- 1 whole egg
- 1 slice Gardenia Original Wholemeal bread
- 1 tsp extra virgin olive oil
Heat a non-stick pan with oil on medium-high. Crack egg in a bowl and vigorously whisk it. Cook egg up to your liking and toast bread. Serve egg on top of bread.
I know sometimes you just have no choice but to stay awake but always remember that sleep is important and good for you. But if your flight is a red-eye flight, stay awake and look forward to an amazing destination wherever that is. Sleep can wait!