A sleepless night is never a pleasant experience as it affects both your physical and mental health. Whether it was an urgent deadline, a grand celebration, or noisy neighbors that ruined your sleep, you’ll have a hard time getting through the day.
Leigh Winters, a neuroscientist and wellness expert, says that your brain doesn’t work at an optimal speed when you don’t get adequate sleep. Sleep deprivation reduces the blood flow to the prefrontal cortex and other brain regions responsible for higher-level thinking, such as working memory, problem-solving, and analytical thinking.
According to the American Sleep Association, only 35% of adults get seven hours of sleep at night, which means many Americans experience sleepless nights on a regular basis. Irritability, headaches, and fatigue are some of the common signs of sleep deprivation. Though the obvious solution to this is getting more sleep, this option is not always available.
Because life doesn’t always wait for you to be rested, you must know how to function at an acceptable level with little to no sleep. Here are some of the most effective strategies to power through the day after a sleepless night:
1. Have Coffee & Stay Hydrated
One of the most effective tools to help your brain function at an optimal level is coffee. However, you must not overdo it as taking too much caffeine can aggravate the symptoms of sleep deprivation, causing restlessness, anxiety, and dizziness.
Taking two cups during morning hours is enough to keep you awake. Contrary to what you may think, taking more than that won’t make you more focused or refreshed. Some people that are very sensitive to caffeine can experience loss of hunger, difficulty sleeping later that day, and even aggressive heart palpitations.
Drinking more water, on the other hand, is always a good idea. Dehydration amplifies the fatigue and irritability that comes with a lack of sleep. Staying hydrated will help boost your energy.
2. Take a Power Nap
A sleep-deprived mind cannot perform tasks requiring complex thought and logical reasoning as well as a restful mind. Losing focus is also common when working without sleep. Therefore, it’s important to take small breaks to regain focus and alertness. Taking a nap is highly tempting on sleepy days. Research shows that a power nap, shorter than 30 minutes, can provide physical and mental relaxation that helps reduce stress and result in improved mood and greater alertness.
A power nap is absolutely necessary on some days to relax both the mind and body.
However, napping too frequently can disrupt your sleep pattern as it can keep you from falling asleep at night. While you can take a power nap during your breaks, we also recommend taking some fresh air. Research suggests that exposure to natural sunlight helps improve cognitive performance, enhance mood, and maintain cardiac rhythm. You can also play games at Casino777 to recharge yourself and help your mind wake up a bit. If you feel the need to nap frequently, you should try to get restful and longer sleep at night.
Related: 8 Healthy Foods for Better Sleep & Insomnia
3. Make Sure to Eat Healthily
When the body is particularly tired, the metabolism instantly craves a rush of energy that usually comes from processed sugar and carbs from junk food. While this may sound like a good solution for your sleepy day, in the end, the crash will be even bigger and you’ll enter a cycle of hunger and tiredness harder to recover from.
What you must do instead is try to eat as balanced and healthy as possible, including a rich source of proteins and healthy fats that’ll give you the energy you need in a controlled way. Also, when people are tired they tend to skip meals due to lack of hunger, you should NEVER do that. Skipping a meal will lower your glucose, worsen your mood and make you feel even more tired.
4. Keep Yourself Active
We know that the last thing you’d like to do when you’ve had a bad night of sleep is hit the gym or get on a treadmill, but it actually might be just what you need. If you start your day by exercising, you make sure you get a rush of blood pumping through the body, your metabolism will activate and keep this way for hours after you exercise and this can help you stay alert for a good part of the day. It doesn’t matter if it’s a dance class, running or taking a stroll in the park, any activity will do.
5. Jump Back to Your Schedule
Even worse than having a sleepless night is making it two bad nights in a row. After prolonged fatigue, your body starts malfunctioning and your immune system experiences a drop, which can cause you to get sick easier. The best thing you can do for your body is to make sure that, after a bad night of sleep, you get to bed at your usual time and get rid of all distractions so you can get back on track and let them affect you as little as possible.
Related: Proven Sleep Tips for Insomnia Sufferers
Enjoy a Restful Sleep!
While these strategies will help you power through the day, they are only beneficial in the short term. Getting the appropriate amount of sleep at night is essential for your physical and mental health. Though the sleep requirements of every person are different, you should try to maintain a regular sleep-wake cycle.
Observing your sleeping habits can help you dive into your sleep patterns so you can make the necessary changes. Some of the factors that can keep you from falling asleep at night include anxiety or stress, frequent napping, an irregular bedtime schedule, an uncomfortable sleeping environment, overthinking, putting off tasks until evening, depression, and excessive caffeine consumption.
Playing video games, watching TV, using smartphones, or performing other stimulating activities before bed also contributes to sleeplessness. Therefore, you must switch off your phone before going to bed. Hopefully, these hacks will help you go through a particularly important day when you had no sleep at all.