Most people think datacenters run on electricity, but, personally, I've found they run on caffeine. Servers and work stations really should dispense coffee, soda, and energy drinks right out of their sides. This is especially an issue during the holidays when vacations leave every IT department short-staffed. IT pros could find themselves doing longer shifts than normal or even covering the night shift for the first time in a long time.
To help you stay awake during those long shifts, I've pulled together a list of gadgets, apps, and products to help you stay alert through the days when you wish you were settling in for a long winter's nap.
I can't personally endorse one over the other, but each offers a different strategy for keeping you awake, from relying on alarms and sensors to biofeedback. Depending on your role, not all of them will work for you because some could be distracting or too noisy to your fellow workers. But I've listed a lot of options. One might be perfect for you.
Of course, nothing can replace getting the right amount of sleep before clocking in. But when holidays or emergencies make that impossible, technology can bail you out. Take a look at the list to see if one of these choices is right for your needs, and then head over to the comments to tell us how you stay awake when you get stuck with the wrong shift.
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