Making it through the day with little sleep is no easy feat. You’re exhausted, you look tired and you’re spending the majority of your waking hours fantasizing about going back to bed. I’ve been there many times and while functioning and being productive on very little if any sleep is incredibly hard it, can be done. Just follow these nine valuable tips on making it through the day with little sleep. I’m not saying it’ll be easy, but it will be easier to get through!
1 Fuel up
When making it through the day with little sleep, fueling up on nutritious food is crucial. You’re probably so tired that you can’t even think about eating, but it’s something that’s got to be done. You need to give your body energy to make it through the day before you can collapse in the comfort of your home. Make sure you eat a healthy breakfast to start off your day and focus on filling up on proteins and whole grains. Avoid eating too many sugary foods as they’ll only give you short-term energy.
2 Avoiding Eating Too Much
Another important tip to keep in mind about eating is to avoid eating too much. Since you’re sleepy, it might be harder to tell when you’re full, but eating too much can make you feel even more tired. Plan on eating several small protein-rich meals throughout the day. Protein gives you more energy than simple carbs and eating smaller meals helps ensure that you won’t overeat.
3 Drink Water
This should go without saying since water is so important to our health. But, it’s especially important when you’re trying to make it through the day without sleep. Keep your water close by and keep drinking throughout the day to avoid dehydration. Even mild dehydration is said to impair thinking which is the last thing you want when you’re already tired.
4 Drink Caffeine
Getting through the day on little sleep requires having some caffeine in moderation. You don’t want to drink a pot of coffee to yourself, but a couple of cups is fine. According to WebMD, having a couple cups of coffee is probably going to make you as alert as you’ll be able to get anyway, so no need to go overboard. If you regularly drink a lot of caffeine, two cups might not seem like enough but you don’t want to become nauseated or jittery.
5 Take Your Breaks
If you usually skip your breaks at work, make today an exception. Trying to work through without taking breaks will make getting through the day harder. Take breaks to take a walk, do a few simple exercises, stretch or splash some cold water on your face. Walk around as much as possible such as when delivering something to a co-worker or when you need to retrieve something.
6 Take a Nap
I used to think that taking a nap when you’re trying to make it through the day without sleep would make you even more tired, but it’s not true. Taking a short nap of around 20-25 minutes can help you feel refreshed and rested so getting through the rest of the day won’t feel like such a daunting task. Some people recommend drinking a cup of coffee right before you take a nap since the caffeine will start working at about the time when you wake up so you’ll be very alert.
7 Get Some Sun
When you’re feeling drowsy, getting some time in the sun can be helpful. If you can’t get outside, sit near a window. Being in the sunlight is supposed to help provide your body with natural cues that promote being alert and awake. Spending time in the sunlight - about 15 minutes - is also said to help increase vitamin D levels in the body which should help the body fight fatigue.
8 Take It Easy
When you’re short on sleep, getting through the day is obviously going to be hard, so take it easy on yourself. Don’t plan on working on several tasks that require a lot of concentration for the day. Just tackle a few and try your best to focus on those. Try to put off making any big decisions that day, too. You’ll want to save those for days when you’re fully on your game.
9 Stay Safe
Lastly but most importantly, be careful! Avoid driving and try to carpool or take public transportation if you can. Drowsy driving is extremely dangerous and you don’t want to take a chance. Realize that since you’re tired, you’ll have some more limitations than usual so don’t push yourself to do the things you normally do on a regular day.
Trying to get through the day on a few hours of sleep is no cakewalk, but there are ways around it. Eat healthy, drink water and trying to keep your body moving can help keep your body awake and happy while you count down the hours to quitting time! How do you get through a day without sleep?