Ways to Wake Up When You Feel Like the Walking Dead

tired ladySecretly, I've always believed I might be narcoleptic. No matter how much sleep I get, I'm always nodding off at very inconvenient times: During movies, at work, and -- absolutely WORST of all -- while driving, which scares the living daylights out of me. And next to nothing helps. No amount of coffee wakes me up, no energy drink does the trick. (I think I've developed a caffeine immunity.)

So what is a sleepytime gal supposed to do when darkness is closing in and a nap is NOT an option? Besides taping my eyelids open? (Which I haven't done, but I have considered. More than once.)

I'm not talking about lifestyle changes here, either (like what time of day to eat carbs or how many hours to sleep at night), I'm talking about Oh my god, I almost drove off the road! How do I wake up NOW?

Here are a few shortcuts that supposedly take us walking dead types to the land of the living, instantly. I'm definitely going to give these a shot the next time I'm dozing ...

1. Take a whiff of peppermint oil. Apparently this essential oil works kind of like smelling salts. Which is cool, cause then you get to pretend you're a Southern Belle wilting in the summer heat.

2. Chew on ice. I guess the thought here is that it's pretty hard to fall asleep when there's something freezing and loud crunching in your mouth. Sure, why not.

3. Try acupressure. Apparently stimulating certain pulse points, such as the earlobes, the backs of your calves (about 2 inches below your knees), and the back of your hand between your thumb and index finger can make you more alert.

4. Take deep yoga breaths. Your poor brain is tired because it needs more oxygen! Breathe in and out through your nose rapidly, pulling in your abdomen with every exhale/inhale.

Do you fall asleep at inconvenient or dangerous times? How do you wake yourself up?


Image via Dave C/Flickr

energy & fatigue, sleep


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dreamsky dreamsky

OMG my husband works crazy hours and he always calls me when he's driving home cause he's falling asleep. It scares me too!!

doodl... doodlebut

I have that as well. I take nuvigil , only a half but it works great. I don't take it every day, just when im literally falling asleep an hour after I woke up

fraoch fraoch

Get your blood sugar checked too, it makes you so tired you'll fall asleep leaning against a wall!!

SofiePR SofiePR

I too was like you. Falling asleep everywhere... Movie theatres, a Bruce Springsteen concert (yup true), university lectures etc. I'd even gouge my finger nails into the fleshy part of my hand to try to stay alert. My one pot of coffee before 9:00 am didn't help, either.  I tried many of your tips, but didn't meet with tremendous success.

What did help? Well, I started to have atypical migraines and needed a variety of tests done. Fortunately, one neurologist lead to another, and I ended up seeing a sleep specialist and getting tested. Yup. I had a sleep disorder. I didn't have narcolepsy, but I do suffer from excessive sleepiness disorder (and I can fall asleep almost instantly in most circumstances). I was prescribed  a medication to help keep me awake.I felt like Dorothy; it was truly like going from black and white to colour.

One more thing to note: the neurologist strongly advised to stay away from energy beverages, which he said did more harm than good.

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