We’ve all been there: tossing and turning, hoping to get a little rest before the sun rises.
Maybe your lack of sleep is due to a demanding deadline for work or school. You may have even had an entertaining night out.
Whatever the case, it’s challenging to deal with tiredness the day after sleeping less than you should.
Luckily, there are a few brilliant ways to take on the day, so you suffer less, make the most of your energy, and prevent the problem in the future.
Curious? Here’s what you need to know.
Go Easy on the Caffeine
When you haven’t slept well the night before, it’s tempting to reach for more coffee, tea, energy drinks, or other caffeinated substances than you might otherwise.
But that might not be the best solution to feeling exhausted.
Caffeine has a temporary, stimulating effect on your body and brain, helping you feel more alert and productive. However, those effects wear off quickly and are followed by a crash that may make it more challenging to muddle through your day.
Feel free to enjoy the same amount of caffeine you would on any other day, and just be aware of the potential downsides of overconsumption.
Feeling tired is a common reason for excusing unhealthy lunchtime choices, but it’s just as common for people to regret that decision.
When you’re sleepy, large portions and high-calorie foods that are fried, rich, or heavy subconsciously feel like just what you need to get through the day.
But don’t allow your mind to play tricks on you: unhealthy eating is not the solution to your energy deficit.
Step away from the burger and fries, opting instead for something healthy and light such as sushi, salads with protein, well-balanced rice bowls, or a smoothie packed with vital nutrients.
Pass on Happy Hour
After a long day of hard work, few things sound better than enjoying appetizers and drinks with your colleagues or friends. Although a fun, recreational get-together might feel like a great idea, you might want to reconsider accepting the invitation.
And for a good reason: if you’re already exhausted from a night of insufficient sleep and pulling off your typical daytime obligations, indulgent snacks and beverages aren’t going to help.
Paired with tiredness, alcohol consumption or foods packed with fat and grease contribute to impaired judgment related to transportation or important decisions with potentially dangerous consequences.
Address the Cause
Understanding the causes of lost sleep can help avoid future issues regardless of whether your sleep problems are common or infrequent.
Start by rethinking what you do before bedtime and avoid any stimulating activities at least two hours before your head hits the pillow.
Stressed? Look into ways you can feel more relaxed throughout the day, like spending some time in nature, exercising, or exploring your personal spirituality.
Some causes of sleep loss are physical, such as chronic pain or bruxism (teeth grinding). Speak with a medical professional about addressing physical discomfort or wearing a mouth guard according to your individual needs.
Call It an Early Night
While you can’t technically make up for lost sleep, you can still help your body recover from a long day by getting sufficient rest the following night.
Unfortunately, binge-watching your favorite shows or scrolling through social media for a few hours doesn’t count: the blue light from any screen signals your brain to stay alert, making it more difficult to get high-quality sleep at bedtime.
Avoid screen time and opt for relaxing activities in the hours leading up to bedtime, such as stretching, reading, meditation, or even an aromatic bath.
When you feel naturally inclined to fall asleep, lay down and enjoy some extra rest if you can.
Tackling the demands of your day is no easy task but can be much more difficult without getting enough rest the night before.
Whether you just couldn’t calm your thoughts, enjoyed socializing, or stayed up late to work on an assignment, a lack of sleep will most likely impact your mood and productivity the following day.
Refer back to these tips next time you feel exhausted from insufficient sleep so you can get back on track as soon as possible!