Everyone has those days when life happens and you need to work late, the kids keep you up, or you just can't get to sleep for the night. How do you handle the next day when you're running on little to no rest and you need to function like a coherent person? Thankfully, there are some ways that you can give yourself a much needed energy boost and power through your day without sacrificing quality work or being only somewhat present.
Take heed of the following tips to add to your usual techniques for powering through the day and you just may find that the lack of sleep is only a minor inconvenience and not a giant hurdle to pass.
Moderate Your Caffeine Intake
Caffeine may seem like a good idea when you wake up tired and have to head to work or deal with other pressing situations, but too much can actually have a negative effect. If you normally drink coffee, then go ahead and have a cup or two but stop after that. Too much caffeine, especially if you aren't used to drinking it, can make you jittery and that will just lead to more problems with your focus and concentration. It's proven that a little bit of caffeine can jolt your energy, but once you have more than a few drinks, you aren't getting any more of a benefit in keeping yourself awake, but just adding to your problems.
Focus on Nutrition
When you are running on little sleep, proper nutrition is even more important than usual. It may seem like a great plan to load up on the sugar for a quick energy high, but this will just lead to a crash soon after. Don't complicate the issue and add more imbalance with fluctuating blood sugar levels by reaching for the wrong foods. A balanced meal that is high protein is your best bet. If you are short on time, then a low sugar energy bar can do the trick.
If you can't indulge in a full meal, then a meal replacement shake that is packed with nutrients can help out. The Thrive Experience is a wellness product consisting of capsules, a shake, and a dermal patch that can help you get the nutrition you need to keep your body and mind running at optimal levels. It will even give you a jump start on any weight loss that you are striving for.
Water will keep your mind sharp and your body hydrated. Drink even more than usual to help clear your head and keep you going strong. Dehydration will only complicate issues by making you feel more tired and unfocused. Carry a water bottle with you everywhere you go so you don't forget to take a sip regularly.
Exercise is a fantastic way to get the blood flowing and increase the oxygen to your brain. If possible, get in a quick workout in the morning before you start your day. It may be tough to get going, but the endorphins will start to flow and you will feel better for it.
If you don't have the opportunity to exercise first thing, incorporate a little more physical activity into your day. Take a walk during your lunch break or make a quick loop around the office. Avoid the elevator and take the stairs. Just these few moments of movement will help to wake you up and refresh you.
Recharge Your Mind
Your body isn't the only thing that is having a tough time functioning after a long night. Your mind probably is having some trouble as well. It will be of great benefit to you if you can take even a few moments to meditate and center yourself, or devote a minute or two to a mind exercise to get your cognitive processes going. Keep your brain sharp and you'll be able to sail through your day.
Get Some Fresh Air
A little fresh air is good in any scenario, but can be a real lifesaver when your battery is running low. If it's possible, get outside for a while. Walk to work or to your meet up with friends. Take a stroll through the park or even around the block. The physical movement will do you good and the fresh air and being in nature will have a drastic impact on your alertness and state of mind.
Ditch the Electronics
Your cell phone and other gadgets can be a lifeline at times, but when you aren't feeling at your peak, they can actually be a drain. Getting mesmerized by that screen will just contribute to your feelings of being zoned out and unable to focus. Unless you need to be on the computer for work related reasons, hit the off button and give yourself a break from the screens.
Make Your Bedroom Cozy
Even when you only have a short time to rest, you need to make it count. Your bedroom should be your sanctuary and a place where you can completely relax and turn off from the outside world. Leave the electronics in another room and keep the lights low.
Don't bring any work into the bedroom. Keep this space sacred and separate so that your mind understands that it's time to wind down for the night.
A comfortable bed can also go a long way. Pick out the right mattress that offers the support that you need. Keep your bedding clean and cozy so you can sink in and let all of your worries drift away.
Prioritize Your Day
When you are having a rough day and didn't get much sleep the night before, you can do yourself a huge favor by scheduling your day for maximum effect. If you have any errands to run, get them all accomplished at once and plan your route to avoid any backtracking.
Choose the most important activities that you need to accomplish and focus on them first. Take breaks to keep your head clear so you can concentrate on the details and not forget anything important. Save the less important tasks for the end of the day. That way, if you don't get to all of them, you will still have completed everything that's necessary and won't needlessly stress yourself out.
With a few adjustments to your usual routine, you can easily increase your energy enough to make it through the day. Late nights happen on occasion, but if you have a plan to handle them, you'll be more likely to get through each one with ease and without a big interruption to your day.
If you still find yourself having missing out on sleep even after practicing good sleep habits, you may want to talk to your doctor about your sleep problems and to schedule a consultation with a sleep specialist. At the Alaska Sleep Clinic we treat hundreds of patients throughout Alaska for various sleep disorders including: sleep apnea, narcolepsy, insomnia, restless leg syndrome, and more. Click the link below to receive more information regarding scheduling a sleep study.