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So, you're nodding off at your desk?

Liz Connor on why you may be feeling tired

There are plenty of reasons why you might arrive at work yawning into your Americano and the odd disrupted night of sleep isn't usually a cause for concern. But if you're frequently fighting sleep at work, something else may be up. Matthew Reed, founder of health insurance company Equipsme.com explains...

1. Stress

Work can leave us feeling stressed - and that can be physically and emotionally exhausting; it's how our bodies react to situations that our mind deems threatening or uncomfortable. "Usually, your heart rate will increase, breathing quickens and blood pressure rises, so dealing with stress is key to prevent feeling the need to have a nap during work hours," explains Reed.

Utilise your work's stress support programme. "If this isn't an option, try deep breathing, taking a break from your screen or confiding in someone close to you," says Reed

2. Overworking

"Overworking goes hand-in-hand with stress and often produces the same results. It can seriously impair your sleep," says Reed.

It's actually bad for your employer - productivity falls if employees reach the end of their tether and experience burnout. Being given far too much to do? Speak to management and see if you can divide your workload more fairly.

3. Poor diet

"If you don't have enough iron, for example, then you could be left feeling sluggish, weak and distracted," says Reed.

Start a food diary to see if food is a factor. "Too much sugar or fat, for instance, can result in energy crashes throughout the day," says Reed.

"Instead of eating sugary snacks, try and fuel yourself with natural energy sources such as quinoa, honey, spinach and even peanut butter. Foods rich in vitamin D are also amazing at keeping you awake and raring to go."

4. Sleep disorders

"Excessive daytime sleepiness (EDS), sleep apnea and narcolepsy are all sleep disorders that can cause you to not get enough sleep at night, which results in you falling asleep during work hours," says Reed.

Anxiety-induced insomnia can also keep you awake at night, making staying alert during the day much more challenging. If you find yourself experiencing this frequently, visit your doctor to rule out a possible sleep disorder.

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