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How to stay awake in meetings

How not to doze off in front of the boss

How to stay awake in meetings
14 March 2011

Feeling the need to nod off in meetings — we’ve all experienced it. Your eyelids become heavy, you drift off and your neck muscles sporadically let go of your head.

Nick Littlehales of Sleep Athlete has coached Premier League footballers in the art of sleep. We asked him how to avoid that embarrassing, pig-like snort.

“Try not to have key meetings between 1pm and 3pm, as this is one of the two natural sleep periods in which the body experiences a slump in energy,” he says. “If that can’t be avoided, have light lunches, such as salads, with plenty of fluid. And try to break every 20 minutes.”

Littlehales adds: “Air-con units create a dull consistent sound that induces a sleep state. Switch them off.”

A good night’s sleep is also vital. He says: “Daytime drowsiness can only be avoided by productive pre and post-sleep routines that maximise the nocturnal sleep period. If you’re not sleeping consistently, then no amount of caffeine alone will help.”

(Image: Rex Features)