Kelly Sonora at the Nursing Online Education Database (NOEDb) recently sent me an article by Christina Laun, entitled "50 Ways to Boost Your Energy Without Caffeine." The complete article is available on the NOEDb web site. If you are making an effort to decrease reliance on coffee, Laun writes, the suggestions will "give you a boost when you're feeling sleepy or prevent tiredness altogether."

Herewith, a sampling:

--Turn on the lights. Your body responds naturally to changes in light, so if it's unnaturally dark where you're working or sleeping it may make staying alert a lot harder. Try keeping your blinds open a bit so you'll wake up naturally in the morning or adding a few extra lights to your workspace to keep you from feeling sleepy throughout the day.

--Examine your emotions. Stress, depression and other negative emotions can take a heavy toll on your energy levels. Your exhaustion may have a lot to do with how you're feeling mentally, so take the time to deal with your emotions or get help if you need it.

--Don't linger in bed. Hitting the snooze button in the morning may delay the inevitable time when you do have to get up, but it's not doing you any favors in the long run. Challenge yourself to get up and move around for at least 10 minutes to see if you're still super tired. Chances are, once you get up you'll be ready to start your day.

--Eat smaller, more frequent meals. Eating meals that are infrequent can cause your blood glucose to spike and crash, leaving you tired and hungry. And digesting huge meals can steal energy you need for other things. Instead, eat smaller meals throughout the day so you can keep your energy level and keep yourself feeling great.

-- Cut down on alcohol. Alcohol may appear to make you sleepy, but it can actually ensure that you get a much lower quality of sleep than you would otherwise. Keep it in moderation so it won't affect your sleep and make you groggy the next day.

--Get out of the house. Sunlight can help wake you up and help you stay up, so take a trip outside to catch some rays and get some fresh air.

--Get away from your desk. Hours upon hours of sitting at your desk can start to sap your energy and make you plead for it to be 5 o'clock already. Give yourself a quick pick-me-up by stepping away from your desk for a bit for a trip to the water fountain, a walk around the office or just a short break.

--Listen to your favorite up-tempo songs. If you can listen to music at work, why not put on some tunes that will get your heart pumping and make you want to dance? It's a surefire way to beat the mid-afternoon slump.

--Stop slouching. Slumping down at your desk isn't doing you any favors in the alertness category. Sitting up at your desk, in an ergonomically friendly way, can make you feel more alert and ready to work.

--Avoid coworkers who sap your energy. Everyone has that one coworker who is so glum, negative or boring that they just suck the energy right out of you. When it's possible, keep this person away from you to save your energy and maybe your sanity too.

Author's Bio: 

Dirk Hanson is a freelance science reporter and novelist who lives in Minnesota. He has written two previous books—The New Alchemists: Silicon Valley and the Microlectronics Revolution, and The Incursion: A Novel. He has written for California Magazine, Omni, CoEvolution Quarterly, Willamette Week, the Whole Mind Newsletter, and other magazines. He has also worked as a business and technology reporter for the Des Moines Register and for numerous trade publications. He currently edits the Addiction Inbox blog.