Eating to stay awake is one way to sustain depleted energy levels. The human body harvests energy from two sources: sleeping and eating. When you don't get enough sleep, you reach for stimulants (coffee) and sugar (sweet foods), sometimes the two are mingled in very sweet coffee, tea or soda.
About Eating to Stay Awake
If you aren't getting enough sleep at night, you will have a tendency to overeat particularly if you rely on foods with heavy sugars. Sugar can give you fast energy, but it will cause an even larger crash, which can have you reaching for more. Consuming that many empty calories can cause other health issues, including the discomfort of weight gain. Many diets recommend getting plenty of sleep as part of their plan for success. By getting regular sleep, you reduce the need to eat to stay awake.
College students, new parents and even employees working long hours will push themselves to their limits. It's during this time that your appetite will begin to grow, you will eat more because your body needs more energy and if it can't get it through sleeping, then it will get it through eating. If you do need to eat, choose fresh fruit versus dairy, turkey or whole grains. Fresh fruit will hydrate you and provide you with natural energy, which is a better way stay awake than eating chocolate.
If you eat to stay awake, you add far too many calories to your diet. A fatigued body will fight to compensate for lost sleep. Unfortunately, when you lose sleep, you also have a tendency to avoid exercise which means all those extra calories just add on the pounds for a few precious minutes of energy. The best way to avoid compensating is to sleep regularly and when your sleep is reduced or interrupted, make positive food choices to stay awake rather than eating heavy sugars.
How to Eat to Stay Awake
If you have to eat to stay awake or to help stay awake, then learn to make positive choices. Eating fruit is a great way to provide your body with sugar, water and fiber - all sources of natural energy and all easily digested while adding few calories. Other options for staying awake include:
- Chewing gum - Chewing gum may seem like a no-brainer, but chewing sugar free gum gives your mouth something to do, causes your mouth to salivate and can actually increase your mental focus by distracting you from the need to eat. This is not a great measure for staying awake, but I can help you stave off the need to eat until you have something healthy to munch on.
- Drink water. Ice-cold water can have a bracing effect on the body, waking it up and kick starting the digestion to warm the water up. Thirst may be misinterpreted as hunger, filling the stomach with water can abate hunger for a time, help wake you up and is completely calorie free.
- Energy drinks - In a pinch, an energy drink can give you just enough oomph to accomplish your tasks so you can get to your meeting, get the shopping done or finish that project. The key is to not rely on energy drinks as a regular source, go for the sugar free variety and do your best to get a good night's sleep as soon as possible.
Learn more about healthy eating habits at LoveToKnow Diet, remember, that food is one of two sources of energy, and get some sleep.