How to Stay Awake Without Caffeine
When people need to stay awake all night for any reason, they think of caffeine as their first ammunition against sleep. But other people are more interested in knowing how to stay awake without caffeine. Caffeine is a potent drug that quickly stimulates blood circulation by raising blood pressure. It stimulates the cortex of the brain so there is increased alertness too. For these reasons, caffeine is an easy choice for people having trouble staying awake during a work shift, a meeting or a long study period. Caffeine is mostly found in coffee, soda, tea and some over-the-counter drugs.
On the other hand, people prefer going caffeine-free because of the unwanted side effects it may cause. Remember that people have different bodily reactions to caffeine. Some get pumped up with the use of caffeine, some people don’t. Other side effects from caffeine intoxication may include nervousness, palpitations, insomnia, nausea, vomiting, headache, gastric irritation and dehydration.
While some people will get the desired energy boost with no problems, others may experience an elevated heart rate as well as increased blood pressure. Both of these factors put you at risk for blood clots which can actually be life threatening. People with known high blood pressure and certainly with a history of heart disease should never drink energy drinks. Healthy people are OK most of the time but studies have shown that they do experience the physiological boosts mentioned above which are not healthy on a regular basis.
Caffeine withdrawal is a real physiological response to changing your caffeine intake. If you get used to caffeine as a way to stay awake or to wake up, when you don’t have any you can get a withdrawal headache. If you are used to drinking 5 cups of coffee a day to stay awake during your night shift, when your day off comes around and you don’t drink as much, you very well may get a nasty withdrawal headache.
If you want to go all-nighter without having to deal with these side effects, here are some caffeine-free ways to stay awake:
Get as much sleep as you can before staying up very late at night. Remember that when you have enough sleep, your body won’t ask for it. Power naps are also effective in giving your mind and body a little rest they need.
Drink a lot of water. Cold water can help wake you up a bit, hydrates your body and maintain alertness. Take a cold shower, or if not feasible, splash cold water on your face to wake you up.
Eat snacks but skip the junks. Natural foods as part of an overall good diet promote good nutrition and keep your vitamin and mineral levels up preventing fatigue caused by a deficiency in certain vitamins or minerals. Fruits, especially apple, are a good source of glucose. Glucose, as we all know, is the source of food for our cells. So if you feed your cells well, they also function properly, giving you improved concentration and performance. If you feel like a drink other then water the drink decaf beverages.
Stand up and exercise or walk around the office when you start to feel drowsy. A little shake will increase your vital signs, and thus maintain your awake and alert state.
There are many other ways to answer you question of how to stay awake without caffeine. All of them are effective and free with no side effects to worry about.