It happens to all of us, whether in that hideous-but-so-comfy recliner or in the middle of that last bedtime story: those involuntary eyelid flutters begging for sleep. What’s the difference between just being tired and fighting the urge to nod off? And what’s actually going on in our brains during that ‘micro-sleeping’ time? A new study shows it’s pretty much the opposite of sleep, with the brain remaining very active and quickly entering a dreamlike state. Unfortunately, ‘micro-sleeping’ doesn’t offer the restorative rest true REM (rapid eye movement) does. There’s no magic bullet when it comes to avoiding the drift-off, say neuroscientists—the key is trying your best to get as much night-time sleep as possible. Here is the best way to do that: no television or computer screens in the bedroom, no caffeine after noon and as much natural light as possible. Still, sometimes it seems there just aren’t enough hours in the day—or night. What are your stay-awake secrets when your eyelids grow heavy? Take us to your darkest places in the comments.