Sleep can be easily considered luxury and I’m not the one to tell you ‘get more sleep when you can’ – you already know the benefits of sleeping enough and the risks of sleeping not enough. What if you stayed up all night taking care of your baby, or couldn’t sleep because of stress, or your neighbors decided to get an all-night-long party – the fact is that the lack of sleep has already taken place. Let’s better go through tips that can actually help you feel better the day on no sleep.
Straight onto the list:
1.Stay hydrated. Sleep deprivation may cause dehydration – that’s a medical fact. Dehydration may also cause a variety of symptoms, such as headache and drowsiness, which will further exacerbate your state after having not enough sleep. So to put it simple, just have a few glasses of water more than usual – this will help you make sure that your body has the water to recover from the lack of sleep the night before.
2.Postpone your intense workouts and other physical activities. Straining the body too much is never good for you, especially when you’re weakened by the lack of sleep. If you have low energy and your body is trying to recuperate, be gentle on it and, if possible, better go for light exercises, such as yoga or a walk.
3.If possible, take a short nap. I’m not talking 2h – more like 15-20min. It’s scientifically proven that napping has a lot of health benefits and it’s especially useful if you didn’t have enough sleep. A short nap can ‘reload’ your body and brain, helping you deal with the rest of the day until you can finally get to your bed.
4.Skip heavy foods. There are certain foods that make us feel drowsy and decrease our energy level. Turkey, cheese, eggs, processed sugar, and fast food all can trigger drowsiness, which is the last thing you need if you have to plow through your day after having too little sleep. Of course, you know your body the best and for you the list of foods that make you feel heavy and drowsy can be absolutely different (e.g. for me it’s wheat – I’ve discovered my gluten sensitivity by doing elimination diet). Stick to foods that are easily digested and avoid overeating.
5.Don’t go overboard with caffeine. If you’re a coffee lover, you know that caffeine is the first solution to go for to make yourself feel alive after having no sleep. As you can tell even from the name of my blog, I’m a coffee lover myself! But let’s face it: after a certain amount (for me it’s 2 cups of espresso) caffeine quickly turns from a good support system into a villain. Taking into account that the body is sensitive and weak due to sleep deprivation and fatique, caffeine may reveal its negative side effects even quicker – jitters, disorientation, headache, anxiety, and insomnia among others. I don’t discuss energy drinks here at all because, in my opinion, they are way too harsh and contain too many additives that take a negative toll on the body.
Another quick note: caffeine is a mild diuretic and if you choose to have caffeine, then proper hydration is even more important concern for you.
6.Take a walk and/or stretch every once in a while. Fresh air can help reduce stress and feel a bit more awake, same as mild physical activity. If you can’t get out the day after having too little sleep, just get up to stretch or do some quick exercise every once in a while – that will improve your mood and increase energy level.
7.De-stress as much as possible. Easier said than done, I know. To ensure that you’ll have better sleep the following night, listen to calming music, light a candle with a mild and pleasant scent, have a warm shower or a relaxing bath, read something positive or funny for 10min before sleep – generally do anything that’ll calm you down and improve your mood. Skip drinking anything one hour (or better even two) before going to bed – that’ll prevent you from breaking your sleep to go to the bathroom.
Wishing y’all an awesome day as well as quality sleep,
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