When you’ve spent the night tossing and turning, finding ways to perk yourself up is the only way you are going to get through the day. Let’s face it, very few first thing in the morning feelings are worse than the ones that come with having a bad night’s sleep. Unless you are very lucky, you cannot simply sink back under the duvet to try and grab a few more hours. Instead, you need to find ways to perk yourself up.
Trust me when I say I know that very few things feel nicer than eating a shed load of muffins or sugar-rich cereals after a bad night’s sleep. However, this isn’t one of the best ways to perk yourself up. You need slow releasing carbs. This doesn’t mean you have to skimp on taste, however. Try porridge with honey or stevia. If you are in a rush, make overnight oats the night before instead.
Very few of us actually drink enough water. Fatigue is one of the first signs of dehydration. Okay, so you are most definitely fatigued because your mind decided last night was a great time to go into overdrive. However, that doesn’t mean you want to add dehydration to the mix to compound your tiredness. Stay hydrated during the day to stay refreshed.
I work from home, which means I often use fatigue as a great excuse to become the world’s best couch potato. This isn’t really the best thing to do. Becoming a couch potato is one way to zap your energy further. Try to get up and move about every 30-minutes or so. Your body equates stillness with going to sleep, so make sure it knows you have no intention of doing so.
Second to not being a couch potato is not being a hermit. Seriously, there are times when I realize I probably haven’t been outside for a couple of days. Your body loves the great outdoors and your brain needs natural light to balance your melatonin levels. When your melatonin levels balance, so should your sleep cycles. This is also the only way to get some fresh air, which should wake you up pronto.
Sometimes I am tensed up without even realizing it. This is especially the case when I have had a bad night’s sleep and I know I have lots to do. Worrying and tensing your muscles is going to burn more energy than you can afford to expend. If you can afford to put stressful activities to one side for a little while, do so. Stressing over them forces you to enter a vicious cycle, so take a little time to mentally relax.
Okay, so life is most definitely unavoidable. You need to get a temporary energy fix somehow, which is where caffeine and napping comes in. I once read that drinking a cup of coffee right before taking a 20-minute power nap allows you to benefit from the sleep and the caffeine. If you have enough time to do this, try it. It may only buy you a couple of hours of clear awakeness, but even that is worth it.
As well as eating slow-releasing carbs, you need to make sure you top up on food every two-to-three hours. Again, resist the urge to eat sugary snacks here. I know this is ridiculously hard, especially when you are in work and surrounded by them! Try opting for dark chocolate, dry fruit, or nuts. Accompany your snacks with plenty of fluids and a little walking around. Hopefully this will keep you satiated, while alleviating your fatigue.
Okay, so if you can remember school or college, you will know that sitting through hour after hour of the same topic is going to make your fatigue worse. If you can, change your activity focus once every hour or so. Doing this keeps you engaged, which in turn prevents boredom fatigue. Blend this with regular breaks, if you can. You can even try going wild and shifting your focus onto something you’re not meant to be doing. This is otherwise known as ‘procrastinating’, but it does work rather well.
Really, energy drinks should be a last resort when you have had a bad night’s sleep. However, past experience tells me that they are a last resort many people go for quite a lot. If you are going to drink an energy drink, dodge the ones with sugar. You’ll still get your temporary caffeine high, but without the sugar crash. You also need to avoid drinking them after 3pm. Energy drinks too late in the day will make you have another bad night’s sleep, bringing you back to square one…
We’ve all been there and we’re probably all going to be there again. Ultimately, you need to reassure yourself that the bad day you are having because of fatigue will most likely resolve itself after you sleep tonight. Just take everything as slowly as you can and try my tips to make things a little easier. If you have bad sleep encounters, how do you resolve them?
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