What do you do to stay awake?

Discussion in 'General Q&A' started by remnant, Jun 13, 2016.

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  1. remnant

    remnant Expert Member
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    Some situations require a person to stay alert especially during the night like in war or when one is in insecure locations in the wild. There are also some assignments that have strict deadlines. Some situations also create troublesome drowsiness the next day. What are your strategies of staying awake?
     
  2. lonewolf

    lonewolf Legendary Survivalist Staff Member
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    I don't, we all need proper amounts of rest or our health will suffer. I've slept in some strange places I can tell you.
     
  3. ToTang45

    ToTang45 Expert Member
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    Get sleep when it's available is basically all you can do.
    If you wanna stay alert and capable you need sleep, there is absolutely no substitute.
     
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  4. lucidcuber

    lucidcuber New Member
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    Exercise. Exercise is explicitly given as an example of something you shouldn't do right before bed for those with insomnia, because it will keep you awake, but on the flip side if you are intentionally trying to stay awake then this is a positive thing. Tea is good too because of the caffeine.
     
  5. Coputere

    Coputere New Member
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    Focusing on keeping a body part raised like an arm or even a finger can stop you from mindlessly falling to sleep. I have been doing this weird trick for a while now. Every time that I have some assignment to do and it is a little on the late side, I lie down and raise my hand straight up while I brainstorm and write all of my ideas down.

    I am not sure how this will work for anyone else, but it is definitely something that I was able to use to help myself. I hope that it can make a difference for you. Best of luck.
     
  6. cluckeyo

    cluckeyo Well-Known Member
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    I have been in the prediciment more than once, where I had to drive a long distance. Invariably, the task of driving will put me too sleep. There are two things that I have run across that truly do help with this situation:
    1. Pull over and take a 20 minute power nap.
    2. Chug down a 5 hour energy
    The nap is probably the best one, but when I combined the two, I was good to go for 7 more hours without drowsiness.
     
  7. Vladimir Logos

    Vladimir Logos New Member
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    Hurt yourself. Pain will keep you alert and awake. If you are with someone, tell them slap you or punch you a couple of times. If you are alone, use pliers or a similar tool to squeeze your toe hard. But, like others have said before me, try not to push yourself in this way except when you find yourself in a really dire situation. Sleep deprivation leads to all sorts of serious problems.
     
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  8. Keith H.

    Keith H. Moderator Staff Member
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    Before I retired, I was a security operative. The best method I found was to stay on my feet.
    Keith.
     
  9. Moroccanbeauty2266

    Moroccanbeauty2266 Active Member
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    I am used to staying up late so in a way I would be used to it.
    However, if I would have to be in such a situation where I have to stay up longer,
    for example, through the whole night , then I would drink some black tea or strong coffee around midnight.
    I would also try to walk around instead of sitting the whole time.
    Reading a book would just make me sleepy. Instead I would take notes of what I need to do next or what my plans are.
    Now Vladimir made a good point about watching out that you do not end up sleep deprived. This definitely can get you in more danger than you want to be in.
     
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  10. ToTang45

    ToTang45 Expert Member
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    All of these solutions are great, as incredibly temporary, short term ones. But you'll just crash even harder when you finally do crash, in almost every scenario. You need sustained patterns to stay alert while you're awake and get the most of your time being conscious. Which is definitely the better option when in survival mode, and also an argument for not being a lone Wolf after the SHTF. This way someone can always be awake an conscious and can alert sleeping party members of impending danger and which of many plans they should have to execute.
    If you're looking to stay awake long term, though, as I said before there's really no way.
     
  11. crmeche2

    crmeche2 New Member
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    I agree with others. You need sleep to be at your best. Your body also repairs itself when you sleep. Going without sleep for too long weakens your immune system. But, if you have to stay awake for a longer than normal period of time, find something to chew on. Moving your jaw helps to keep you awake. I know it worked for me during long hours on watch in the Navy.
     
  12. AlexM

    AlexM New Member
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    Eating coffee beans is the most effective thing I've done to keep myself awake. In the long term, it's probably not the healthiest thing. A more natural method I use to keep myself awake is just to keep my body moving. This could be something as simple as putting on some loud music and nodding my head back and forth to the tempo, or something more energetic like jogging in place or calmly pacing around my room.
     
  13. John Snort

    John Snort Well-Known Member
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    I've seen people who try real hard not to fall asleep but end up falling asleep anyway. If you can't stay on your feet as @Keith suggests or whatever methods you use to keep you awake fail then you need to be prepare for such a contingency too. It would increase your chances of survival in case your plan doesn't work.
     
  14. lonewolf

    lonewolf Legendary Survivalist Staff Member
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    when sleep comes upon us I don't think there is anything that will stop it, its a natural process.
    as for survival mode, there are lots of tricks you can do to warn yourself of impending "visitors", it dosent mean you have to be awake 24/7.
     
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  15. willywonka

    willywonka Member
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    I do jumping jacks when I need to stay up late and work on some assignments. Getting my blood flowing is the best way for me to stay alert and awake. I have tried coffee and drinking tea, but jumping jacks and getting my heart rate up is the only thing that works to keep me wide awake. I don't know how this can be done discreetly in the wild though.
     
  16. OursIsTheFury

    OursIsTheFury Expert Member
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    I used this trick while still studying for an exam. I had to brush my teeth and gargle with strong mouthwash. The stinging sensation kept me awake after drinking a ton of coffee. Finals Week was a particularly hard time, and I guess it's a combination of pressure, coffee, and being hyper that gets you going and continue to read your notes from your study table. Right now, I have graduated, and I really have not found a single reason to sleep later than I usually would, other than a due project at work or something, but still, it's nothing compared to the pressures put to you by the school system.
     
  17. rickymuus

    rickymuus New Member
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    Sleep is important to all animals and cannot be substituted. The best strategy is to sleep in shifts with your colleagues, that way one can alert the others of any danger. You could also camouflage yourself while sleeping to have an advantage over the enemy if they catch you asleep.
     
  18. tb65

    tb65 Active Member
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    I think the best thing to do is take power naps. You shouldn't take naps for longer that 20 minutes. After 20 minutes it will be very hard for you to get up again. You could also try caffeine I prefer green tea. If you take naps it's good to have an alarm or someone to wake you up when your nap is done.
     
  19. crimsonghost747

    crimsonghost747 New Member
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    There are very few situations where depriving yourself from sleep is a good idea. And in the large majority of those situations (at least the ones I can think of) you'd either be scared for your life or really busy doing something really important... both being things that would automatically keep you awake.
     
  20. OfTheEarth

    OfTheEarth Member
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    ^ Staying awake can also just be a matter of convenience. Sometimes sleeping is not the ideal option, and pushing yourself for 3 hours can save you a lot of sweat, sometimes you have to beat the sunrise, etc.

    Caffeine does the job for this. Can keep your own tea, caffeine pills, coffee, whatever. Energy drinks not preferred obviously, clunky and take up too much space.
     
  21. FuZyOn

    FuZyOn Expert Member
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    I have the biggest problem when it comes to staying awake, I could drink 5 energy drinks and they wouldn't even have an effect on me, I think I'm immune to caffeine. I manage to stay awake by setting up a loud alarm every 5 minutes so I'm not able to go to sleep. The alarm needs to be extremely loud (like a vuvuzela near your years type of loud) otherwise you risk passing out.
     
  22. filmjunkie08

    filmjunkie08 Active Member
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    I drink lots of Diet Coke. The older I get, it seems the less tolerant my body is of caffiene. When I was younger, I could drink caffiene until 10 pm and then fall right asleep. NOT true anymore. But, oh how I wish it was.
     
  23. Vatheri

    Vatheri New Member
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    I am (un?)fortunate enough to be someone who is quite experienced when it comes to staying awake. I once lived (and documented) a period of several months where I slept for only 2 hours every 24 hours of time broken down into a 30 minute nap once every 5 and a half hours. What I found is polyphasic sleeping (sleeping multiple times a day rather than just once) can be incredibly effective. If you ever need to have people stand watch, but don't have very many people to spare, it can be something worth looking into.

    As for short-term tips to just get you through a single night though, many of these were already mentioned but:
    - Consume caffeine
    - Drink energy drinks
    - Take naps (look into what lengths work the best for you! There are infographics on Google.)
    - Drink coffee
    - Cause yourself pain (pinching, burning, etc.. Not recommended but we're assuming this is a fairly worst case scenario)
    - Move around
    - Get fresh air
    - Have something meaningful to do. (If you have to ask yourself "Why am I even awake?" It is a lot harder to stay awake.)
    - Talk to someone, keep each other awake.

    There's more, but that's the gist of it off the top of my head. Obviously many of those short-term tips are just that, short-term. You're not going to feel great afterwards and it won't be something you want to continuously do. Try a bit of everything before SHTF, find what works best for you, and try to utilize the most healthy option that does. If you're exhausted when you need to be alert it won't matter much if you're awake or not.
     
  24. Spec OP warrior

    Spec OP warrior Expert Member
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    Mental preparation, training, and physical strength. The will to survive, and to fight the uncontrollable urge to not want to give in.
     
  25. Keith H.

    Keith H. Moderator Staff Member
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    I get as much sleep as I can when it is safe to do so. Exercise is also good to wake one up.
    Keith.
     
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  26. Tom Williams

    Tom Williams Moderator Staff Member
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    Stay on your feet and move dont get comfy better get a dog they hear and smell better and will alert you to danger then you can sleep comfy and secure
     
    Keith H. likes this.
  27. Rere

    Rere New Member
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    Hurt yourself. Pain will keep you alert and awake. If you are with someone, tell them slap you or punch you a couple of times. If you are alone, use pliers or a similar tool to squeeze your toe hard. But, like others have said before me, try not to push yourself in this way except when you find yourself in a really dire situation. Sleep deprivation leads to all sorts of serious problems.
     
  28. Jeremy-K

    Jeremy-K New Member
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    Reading some of the measures stated here are a bit extreme and can probably hinder you from moving forward, do your best to plan until all factors don't allow you to. If you can prepare, obtain carbohydrates or sugars. Once carbohydrates are eaten they break down into smaller sugars (glucose, fructose, and galactose) they get absorbed and used for energy.
    Or
    Consume caffeine.....i.e. coffee. Then take a nap, yes take a nap, 15-20 minutes with an alarm or partner there to wake you. Don't sleep longer, even 30 minutes can lead into sleep inertia (grogginess). It's called a caffeine nap, it can help to reboot the brain.
     
  29. hpro hamed

    hpro hamed New Member
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    if you want to stay awake all the night you should drink coffee more or if you don't have coffee and you are in the bad situation you should keep yourself up with something to stay awake or if you can smell something stingy or smell something that has a tang smell that will keep you awake .
    and yeah if you are in the bad or urgently situation you should stay awake if you don't,
    you could be in real troubles...
     
  30. lonewolf

    lonewolf Legendary Survivalist Staff Member
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    I see no reason to stay awake all night.
     
  31. kingrichez

    kingrichez New Member
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    Hunger will keep you awake
     
  32. WildSpirit

    WildSpirit Active Member
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    Basically, I usually drink coffee (but this is already a natural process for me because I'm totally addicted to coffee :)) and wash my face over and over again in small time intervals (and if I need to, I'll take a shower.).

    Sometimes I also try to leave the television on (just to make noise) or listen to music at a high volume.
     
  33. Dan Collyer

    Dan Collyer New Member
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    Obviously we have a wide array of illegal drugs that act as very effective stimulants. But legally coffee coffee coffee on the hour every hour, oh and a nice cold shower can be very effective as well.
     
  34. Clara1993

    Clara1993 Active Member
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    There is nothing Special I do to stay awake, I'm a bight person I sleep very late 2am-3am and between 5 or 6 hours so I like to do most of things in Night that's when I feel ready and good to think Plan and Put my stuffs in order, All I need is just to concentrate on what I'm doing :)
     
  35. Corzhens

    Corzhens Master Survivalist
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    This I learned from a friend in the province. It is a rural area with rebels and the community have their own police to patrol the area for intruders. They say that rebels attack at night so they have to remain awake all throughout the darkness. What they do is to bring something that is sour like a lemon. When sleep is knocking on their eyelids. they would suck on the lemon and instantly they would be awake. Sometimes they needed 2 lemons or more when they are very sleepy. I haven't tried it yet but the thought of sucking on the sour lemon would certainly make me awake. Maybe the green mango can be in place of the lemon.
     
  36. lonewolf

    lonewolf Legendary Survivalist Staff Member
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    it dosent matter what we do, eventually sleep will catch up with us, maybe a day, maybe two but at some point we will fall asleep no matter how much we try to stay awake, personally I am in bed by 9pm and up by 6am.
    sleep is part of the natural cycle.
     
    Jonathan Solomon likes this.
  37. AntwanCeja

    AntwanCeja New Member
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    To be honest, the only thing that keeps me awake without having to drink or take any kind of pill or crap.. is to just jog for a bit... It doesn't matter how fast I run, or for how long. It for sure helps me stay awake... even if I only get to run half a block, or 20 meters back and forth.
     
    Jonathan Solomon likes this.
  38. Neiltarquin

    Neiltarquin Member
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    Proper rest is the key to stay awake. In a given situation as of the things you provide, designation of task is always important. Same thing with gaurding, shifting will definitely be beneficial because your mind is focused and fresh. Unlike forcing your self to go straight 24 hour duty, you are physically awake but you are mentally unstable or out of focus, which can be much more dangerous.
     
  39. texsun54

    texsun54 Member
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    In the short term everyone has little tricks to overcome being drowsy. But in the long term you need to figure out a way to get rest, being fatigued will destroy your will.
     
  40. joegirl

    joegirl Member
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    My natural way of staying awake through the night is to sleep during the day. This always works for me without fail. If I sleep in the afternoon especially between 3pm and 6pm, I will not sleep in the night or if I do sleep, it will be in the early hours of the morning. I also drink a cup of strong black coffee (no sugar or milk). This keeps me awake as well.
     
  41. Ystranc

    Ystranc Master Survivalist
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    The best way for me to stay awake for long periods or across a night watch is to get into a regular pattern of good deep sleep in an environment which is on the cool side of room temperature and has no stimulation. Avoid bright light, especially UV or blue spectrum light for at least an hour before trying to sleep. Blue light (like morning sunshine) induces stress hormones and is a great way to wake yourself up.
    The next thing is to know your limitations, tiredness effects your judgement and your ability to react even more than alcohol. Push beyond your limits and you will be a danger to yourself and those who are depending on you. Driving while exhausted is particularly dangerous. Doing an assignment while exhausted means that you'll perform well below your potential.
    Good diet, good hydration, no alcohol, environmental stress, small regular amounts of caffeine and even a cold flannel will get you through a long night but you must have a proper, deep sleep in between watches.
     
  42. yunken

    yunken New Member
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    I hardly do or take anything to stay awake in the night. I always stay awake when I wanted to, mine is natural.
    But in the case where I sensed I will hardly make it, I take coffee
     
  43. lonewolf

    lonewolf Legendary Survivalist Staff Member
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    I don't bother trying to stay awake, if i'm tired I go to sleep.
     
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