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How to Survive a Day With No Sleep
Did you experience poor sleep last night?
Whatever the reason, you’re feeling the effects of the restless night the following day.
You find yourself yawning non-stop on your way to work.
Dragging your feet into the office, you can’t wait for the day to end already.
Wouldn’t it be awesome if there were some “hacks” for you to survive the day, after a night of poor sleep?
Turns out, there are some tried and true ways to get through your day when sleep-deprived. Find out below.
(Hint: it’s not coffee!)
1. Healthier Food Decisions
Lack of sleep the previous night will make you crave sugar and carbs today.
Although sugar gives a quick boost, it will leave you feeling groggy and make you crash later in the day.
Moderating your eating habits is the best way to stay awake and resist the snacking temptation.
That means, cutting fast food and adding nuts and legumes for lunch.
A balanced diet low on sugars and high on lean protein will provide you with the right amount of fuel to push through the day.
2. Cut Down on Coffee
Chugging a cup of coffee on your way to work is a tempting option when you’ve had a sleepless night.
The long-term effect, however, is not ideal.
Caffeine may give you an instant burst of energy, but that energy wears off in only about 4-6 hours! (1) That’s not sustainable to make it through a whole day of work.
Instead of chugging coffee in the morning, start your day with a glass of water to keep your body hydrated.
Drinking water helps promote oxygen flow to your brain and your organs, making it easier for your body to stay awake and alert. (2)
3. Have a Quick Workout Session
The last thing you probably want to do after a night of bad sleep is workout. But let's face it, light exercise can jump-start your body and get your brain ready for the tasks ahead.
Try doing a few push-ups or jumping jacks to get your blood pumping throughout the major muscles in your body, warming them up for the day.
No, walking back and forth for toilet breaks doesn't count.
Adding a workout to your morning routine releases endorphins from your brain throughout your body, making you feel happier, energized, and ready to take on the day ahead.
4. Get Some Sunshine
Soaking up some natural light will tell your brain it’s a good time be awake, especially when it hasn’t gotten enough rest the night before.
Light is the main trigger for our day-night bodily cycle that influences when our body is tired. (3) Getting sunlight in the morning is a great way to assure that your brain knows it is time to be up and alert.
That tiny ray of light coming in from the back of the office is not gonna do the job. Take a walk outside and enjoy the warm light on your skin!
Is the weather stopping you from catching natural sun rays? Don’t have enough light in your home?
Consider getting a sunlamp! (4) These light boxes simulate the energizing properties of the sun and can help you with morning grogginess and grumpiness.
Place one on your nightstand or work desk to beat the morning blues.
5. Take a Nap
Have you tried all these tips and are still wondering how to stay awake in the office?
Then it’s time to drop the blinds, find a cozy spot and unplug.
Shutting off for a while can help combat the commons symptoms of a bad night’s sleep.
After all, there’s nothing that a good nap can’t fix.
A moderate 25-minute power nap can:
- Make you feel refreshed
- Increase awareness
- Release fatigue
- Stop you from nodding off during a boring afternoon meeting
Hopefully, your boss will understand.
Make It Happen!
So, there you have it. 5 ways to stay awake after a rough night of little sleep.
Of course, these tips are by no means a way to replace good sleep. Rather, they're meant to make you feel recharged until you can hit the bed for a restful sleep that night.
Try some or all of these 5 tips to make even the most tiring days more manageable.
(1) Hyland-Tassava, Shannon. "What Causes a Person to Crash After Drinking Caffeine?" Livestrong.com, 3 Oct. 2017, www.livestrong.com/article/520197-what-causes-a-person-to-crash-after-drinking-caffeine/
(2) Bortnick, Amy. "The Many Wonders of Water: 6 Reasons to Drink Up. " Active, www.active.com/health/articles/the-many-wonders-of-water-6-reasons-to-drink-up. Accessed 3 Oct. 2018.
(3) Peters, Brandon, MD. "Expose Yourself to Morning Sunlight for Better Sleep." Verywell Health, 19 Sep. 2018, www.verywellhealth.com/morning-sunlight-exposure-3973908
(4) "Wake-Up Tips: How to Make the Morning Easier." WebMD, www.webmd.com/sleep-disorders/ss/slideshow-wakeup-tips. Accessed 3 Oct. 2018.