6. Monitor Drinking and Diet
- Caffeine can help ward off sleepiness temporarily, but watch out for prolonged effects that could disrupt your nighttime sleep.
- Avoid alcohol. Like caffeine, alcohol can actually disrupt your sleep. Sleep deprivation also magnifies the intoxicating effects of alcohol.
7. Listen to Your Body
- Tune into your circadian rhythm, which significantly determines when you are most likely to be sleepy or alert.
- Pinpoint your "slump times" to help you maximize your day.
8. For Women Only
- Learn how hormonal shifts/menstrual cycles can disrupt your sleep or make you feel sleepier at times.
- Remember that sleep loss accumulates, and sleepiness can overcome you rapidly.
- If you tend to sleep extra on the weekends, chances are you are not getting enough sleep during the week.
10. Recognize the Signs of Sleepiness
Some of the lesser-known signs include:
- Trouble with concentration, decision making or productivity
- Irritability, moodiness or difficulty getting along with others
- Problems listening to others or remembering
11. Physical Factors Can Influence Sleep
- Sleep disorders include sleep apnea, periodic limb movement disorder, restless legs syndrome and narcolepsy.
- Medications and other substances can either cause sleepiness directly (antihistamines, for example) or disrupt sleep (caffeine, nicotine and alcohol).
- Other, non-sleep disorder, medical conditions include some viruses and infections, as well as those that disrupt sleep, such as asthma, congestive heart failure, and disorders that cause chronic pain.