The heat. The cold. Flashbacks to this arvo’s meeting. Worries about tomorrow’s to-do list. Too much Netflix in bed. Whatever the reason you scored little sleep last night, today doesn’t have to be a total write off. Seriously!
Over to Dr Michael Breus, US sleep specialist and author of The Power of When. Here, he reveals how you can bring your A-game (or at least a solid B) to the day after a kip-free night.
Down In One
Drink a 200ml glass of room-temperature water after you wake up. You breathe out almost a litre of water when you’re asleep but even if you haven't had a decent snooze, you’re still going to be dehydrated.
Let The Sun Shine
Next, go outside for 15 minutes of sunlight. Why? It stops your brain's melatonin production, which is one of the things making you feel sleepy. Then take a cool shower to help you feel more alert.
Wait For Espresso
Many of us try to replace sleep with caffeine and it doesn’t work. Rather than having it straight away, it’s actually better to enjoy it 90-120 minutes after you wake up. After that, try small doses every 90-120 minutes up until about 3pm. Caffeine takes 25-45 minutes to kick in but between six and eight hours to get out of your system.
Upgrade Your Commute
Listen to a comedy podcast on your way to work. Laughing helps set the tone for your day and puts you in a good mood.
If possible, take anything that requires real focus and attention and push it to the next day. Got a creative task? Get to it – there’s data suggesting you have a tendency to be more creative if you're a little bit sleepy. Brainstorming and creativity happen a lot when you’re distracted.
Take your break, walk and get direct sunlight for about 15 minutes. Another thing? Avoid carbs that make you feel sleepy, and instead opt for a salad with protein like grilled chicken or fish.
Nap To It
If you can, snooze between one and 3pm for no longer than 25 minutes. That helps reduce some of the sleep deprivation that’s built up, but it’s not so much sleep that you won’t nod off that night.
No Early Night
This sounds counterintuitive, but if you got to bed two hours earlier than your brain’s used to, it won't want to go to sleep. You get wired and tired, tossing and turning as you stare at the clock. If you just go to bed at your normal time, your body's ready to fall asleep and you’ll have a very good likelihood of falling and staying in dreamland. Night!
This article was originally published on WomensHealth.com