A sufficient amount of sleep is essential for one to operate. Insufficient sleep has been linked to a number of conditions such as diabetes, cardiovascular disease, obesity and depression. Physicians suggest adults, in order to function properly, should get between seven and nine hours of sleep, but with a hectic schedule and not enough time in the day, what do you when you don't get enough sleep? Here are ways to stay active and alert, while running on the least amount of sleep possible.

Food Fuel

If you were not able to rest up, then you should eat up. Making a healthy choice for breakfast, lunch or dinner will give your body a sufficient amount of nutrients to keep you awake. Consuming a well-balanced diet will prevent you from being lethargic and falling asleep. Foods you should include in your diet are whole grains, which are a good source of energy; fruits can perk up the brain and can provide you with a healthy sugar rush and protein, which contains amino acids that can enhance your energy levels.

Take a Jog

Health experts suggest going for a jog can release endorphins, which are the body's natural pain reliever. It can also increase energy levels and strengthen your heart. Exercise in general can be a positive mood booster. Conversely exercising too much on low energy may make you more sluggish, so partake in moderate exercise.


Caffeine is a bitter substance that is present in coffee, tea, soft drinks, chocolate, some medicines and even kola nuts. Caffeine can affect your body's metabolism by stimulating the central nervous system. This stimulation can make you more alert and enhance your energy levels. However, consuming too much caffeine can cause symptoms of withdrawal such as jitteriness and dizziness. Additionally, keep in mind your body absorbs caffeine just as quickly as it gets rid of it. After eight to 10 hours, 75 percent of caffeine has already passed through your system.

Other things to try

  • Keep moving
  • If you can make sure you are using bright lights
  • Play a game

However, I reiterate sleep is linked to acute to severe health risks, so your best bet is to get an adequate amount of sleep.