6 Tips to get through the day after a sleepless night
So you had another sleepless night. Whether the kids kept you up or a nagging deadline had you pulling an all-nighter, it’s no fun facing a full day when you’ve had no sleep.
Look, there’s no sugar-coating this one, a sleepless night can make daily functioning a nightmare. Irritability, short-term memory loss and grogginess are par for the course when drowsiness gets the better of you.
It might feel impossible to make it through the next 12 hours, but before you reach for another cup of coffee, check out our tips to survive the day after a sleepless night.
What are the causes of a sleepless night?
We know you’ve heard this many times, but your lifestyle affects the quality of your sleep, and the quality of your sleep affects all aspects of your life. An inconsistent sleeping pattern and poor sleep hygiene make it difficult for your body to adjust, and you’re likely to find yourself yawning through the day.
Of course, there could be an underlying condition robbing you of your sleep, like insomnia, sleep apnea or restless leg syndrome. If you suspect you’re suffering from a sleep disorder, it’s best to get it looked at to rule it out as a cause.
6 Tips for surviving after a sleepless night
While you hold onto your coffee cup for dear life, you’ll be happy to know that caffeine isn’t the only saving grace in trying to recover after a sleepless night. Take a look at what you can do to help you get through the day.
Getting up and getting moving might be the last thing you feel like doing, but it really will help to raise your alertness levels. Exercise releases feel-good hormones that positively affect your mood and help you focus.
2. Expose yourself to natural light
Ditch the sunglasses and soak up the rays. Exposing yourself to light helps to regulate your body clock, known as the circadian rhythm. Natural light supports the body’s sleep cycle so that when evening comes, you’re able to sleep better and fall asleep more easily.
3. Afternoon Nap
A quick nap of 15-20 minutes after lunch will boost your energy levels. Find a quiet place with dim light, set your alarm and head off into a post-meal doze. If you are a new parent, then aim to schedule your naps while your baby is sleeping. Remember not to snooze for too long; the point of a nap is to recharge, not replace the shut-eye you lost because of your sleepless night.
4. Fuel yourself with nutritious food
No, you should not reach for sugary foods. While they might provide some temporary relief because of the quick energy release, more nutritious foods like fruits, nuts, and whole grains will sustain you for longer.
Put those yoga moves to good use and break out into a stretch when you get a moment to yourself. Practise some standing yoga poses that encourage deep breathing as these increase your energy and lift your mood. Also, by stretching, you’ll ease tense muscles which could be sore from your lack of rest.
6. Stay hydrated
Want to lose the fatigue, sleepiness and foggy brain associated with a sleepless night? Then grab some water and drink away. Staying hydrated helps to boost mental productivity so you can get on with the day’s tasks.
Is it OK to have a sleepless night?
It happens to all of us – you miss a night of restful sleep and you have to spend the next day nursing a sleep hangover, but this shouldn’t be the norm.
Sleep deprivation will make you cranky, unmotivated and unproductive – or lead to more serious complications like a weakened immune system and high blood pressure. If you consistently experience sleepless nights, it may be time to visit your GP to check for any underlying conditions.