Tired at Work? What’s Causing It and How To Fix It

How often you feel tired at work? Most people tend to feel this way from time to time even if they’re not doing any physically demanding jobs. Why is that?

In most cases, several factors impact how you feel when working. Sometimes it’s because you haven’t slept enough lately or you forgot to drink water.

The best way to fight this is to identify what exactly is making you feel this way. In the article below, we’ll discuss some of the most common reasons for feeling tired at work. You’ll also find some info on how to put an end to them without coffee.

Reasons why you’re tired at work

poor sleep

If you had a bad night, chances are you’ll probably recover from it in a day or two. However, if you continue with the pattern, you’ll soon feel quite worn out and tired all the time.

When you haven’t slept enough, your body is tired and so is your mind. You feel dizzy, lightheaded and you’re most likely yawning quite often. Besides, if your job is stationary and quiet, you’ll probably feel that much sleepier.

Poor sleep can affect your attention and focus as well as your memory and productivity.


Eating too much or too little can cause tiredness quite the same. If you eat too much too often it’s most likely you’ll feel heavy and lifeless. More so, if you eat at fast restaurants and you opt for food high in carbs and sodium.

However, eating too little can also cause dizziness and overall tiredness. If you’re eating only once or twice a day and food that lacks protein, you’ll find yourself in need of a nap at all times.
Even if you’re vegan, try and eat enough protein, so your body has fuel to make energy with.


You’ve probably heard how good habits are the key to success. This is true in many ways, but what happens when you stick to the bad ones?

Spending an entire day in bed is a good idea from time to time especially after a period of hard work and stress. However, if you continue to be as unproductive, you’ll feel less and less willing to do anything at all.

You might think wasting time at work is fun, but the more you do it, the more tired you’ll feel because it’s going to be harder for your body and mind to get back in the routine.


Sleep is a good way to get away as you let your mind and body drift off to another dimension and forget the stress. If you’ve been stressed and under pressure lately, that’s most likely what’s causing you to feel tired.

It’s your mind and body telling you to take a break from the pressure and have a nap. Even if you’ve found it impossible to sleep under stress, your body is still going push you into it.

Stress makes your body and mind work hard to solve the issue at hand which is why we’re tired in those situations.

Sometimes decluttering your life and dramatically help with your stress level.

not enough water

Water is a big part of your body, and it’s crucial for its normal functioning. However, we keep losing water one way or another, so it’s essential to recover it.

Experts say you should have at least 2l of water every day to hydrate. That might seem like a lot, but it’s really not if you separate it into a few glasses and drink throughout the day.

If you forget to drink water, you’ll feel dizzy, lightweight and you might even experience a headache. Plus, once you feel the thirst, it’s most likely you’ve already dehydrated.

How to stop feeling sleepy without coffee

Work standing up

Sitting all day long is bad for you, and it can even make you feel physically tired. Most of us sit while working because it’s more comfortable. Still, that position can start feeling uncomfortable after a while.

For this reason, you should consider standing up while working. It can bring you more comfort as you’ll move away from the custom sitting position you’ve been in for hours. More so, your body has to work more when standing which will result in somewhat more energy. This way, you probably won’t feel as sleepy.

It’s best if you had a standing desk that you can move up and down depending on whether you want to stand or sit. However, if you don’t have one, find a lifted area where you could place your computer at eye level.

Work out in the morning

Working out in the morning is by far the best way to energize right at the beginning of the day. Many people dread this part, even though it’s as effective. Plus, once you establish early workouts as a part of your routine, they’ll no longer feel like such a drag.

It doesn’t have to be a strength workout where you’ll lift heavy weights or run on a treadmill for two hours. A simple walk or a stretch can wake up your body and mind just as well.

The idea is to bring some change into your routine especially if you sit for most of the day. Keeping active is an excellent way to stay on top of your game. Also, water is more critical when you work out because you lose more of it in the process, so don’t forget to hydrate.

Take a break

Taking a break might seem counterproductive, but it’s actually an excellent way to wake up. Even if you’re busy and think you have no time to step away from your desk, you should find at least five minutes to do so.

This little break will give your mind a rest and help clear out your head. If you’re as busy, you can use the break to think about work and your next steps. Use it to come up with the opening line for an important email, or anything like that.

While you’re at it, you can grab some nutritional lunch or refill your water bottle. It really doesn’t matter what you use the break for as long as you do take it. Some people recommend you do this every thirty minutes to an hour in order to stay awake and be productive.

Get your blood flowing

If you’re not working out at least a bit and you’re always sitting, your metabolism slows down. As a result, you’ll want to sit and nap any chance you get because that’s what your body is accustomed to.

To prevent feeling this way you should get your blood flowing. Luckily, there are a few ways in which you can do this, such as getting an anti-fatigue mat for your standing desk.

Another great way is to take frequent breaks during your working hours. Don’t allow yourself to sit for longer than an hour without taking at least a five-minute break.

Talk to your colleagues or go for a quick walk if possible. You can even do a bit of stretching, squads, or pretty much anything you know will give you more energy. The idea is to get your blood flowing so think about what you could do to achieve this in your working area.

Lift your mood

One of the best ways to stay awake at work is to lift your mood. As we said, sitting can make you feel sleepy and tired, but if you’d lift your mood, you’d also stop feeling that way.

In most cases, it’s up to you to decide on how to do this depending on your preferences as well as the environment you work in. You could use your five-minute break to look back and remember a fun day in your life or a joke you heard the other day.

If you have the option, you can look for some funny videos online or even read a touching and joyful story. This method is one of the most effective ones and what’s even better is that there are countless ways of doing it.

Frequently Asked Questions

Do cold showers help with being tired at work?

Cold showers shock your body and make it work harder to stay warm. It actually has to increase oxygen intake in order to warm up after the cold shock. You’ll experience a rush of blood and increased heart rate as well. As a result, you get more energy, and you feel more awake.

However, don’t expect a cold shower to keep you awake throughout the day. It’s an excellent way to start the day, but you should combine all the methods above to achieve the best results. Unless you do, you’ll probably go back to feeling tired quite quickly.

If you work from home, you can use your mid-day break to have a quick cold shower for a quick energy boost.

How long should I take a break for and walk around?

This is mostly up to you and how you feel the best. In most cases, people advise short breaks you should take quite often. For example, take a five to ten-minute break every hour or work the numbers around to your convenience.

Breaks don’t have to be that long, but they should happen often. So, you don’t need to take a whole hour off but just a few minutes to take a quick walk around the office or do a few stretches. The more breaks you take, the more energized you’ll feel.

What type of music will help with being tired?

Most people are sleepy at work because they’re bored. This is where music can help you, but you must be careful as it can also make you that much sleepier.

Any music at 120 BPM can make you sleepy so you should avoid it. You should also stay away from any rain or fireplace sounds.

Go for music that’s faster than 120 BPM such as house music for example. It’s at 140 BPM so it will most likely help keep you awake. You can also play some bird sounds or anything else that will kill the monotony and boredom in the office.

Another great idea is to listen to the radio. The diversity of the music plus the voice of the broadcaster are a great way of keeping things interesting.


Feeling tired at work is a serious problem that can grow into an even worse one such as chronic fatigue. The issue can affect your day to day life, your performance at work and your mood overall. For this reason, you shouldn’t ignore it.

The first step is to identify why you’re feeling sleepy and tired before you can proceed to fix the problem. If you figure out you’re not drinking enough water, drink more before and you’ll notice the tiredness is gone.

It’s important you listen to your body since tiredness is its way of telling you something is not quite right. Make sure to try one of these few steps since they’re healthier than caffeine. They’re especially helpful if you’ve been feeling tired for a while already.

You can even make a little journal as you experiment with these methods. This way, you can look back after a while and figure out what helped you the most.

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Desk Advisor

Desk Advisor

Our team covers many categories to help you hustle better, from ergonomics to productivity, and technology. We are willing to ask questions (lots of them), seek experts, and dig deep into conventional wisdom to see if maybe there might be a better path towards the healthy workspace. We apply what we learn not only to our company culture but also how we deliver information to our readers. Ergonomic and productivity research is changing all the time, and we are 100% dedicated to keeping up with breakthroughs and innovations. You live better if you work better. Whatever has brought you here, we wish you luck on your journey towards better hustle.

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