How to Survive the Day After a Bad Night’s Sleep
If you’ve ever had a bad night’s sleep, or several in succession, you’ll know just how awful you can feel the next day. Sleep is crucial for the correct functioning of just about every system in the body, so it’s no surprise that when we don’t get as much as we need, we suffer. Whether you’re facing the day feeling irritable and sluggish, unusually hungry for comfort food or lacking in focus and concentration, a bad night’s sleep can impact us in lots of ways. Rather than automatically reaching for a drip of coffee, there are some things you can do to help you get through it. Here are our top tips.
Get some fresh air
Even though you might feel like you want to curl up on the sofa or go back to bed, try and get out and about into the fresh air. Not only will being outside improve your mood and get some fresh oxygen into your lungs, exposing yourself to as much natural light as possible is an important way of giving your body natural ‘daytime’ cues. In other words, it’ll help remind your body to be more awake and alert and block the production sleep hormone melatonin, which will just make you feel even more drowsy. By keeping moving you’ll also be helping to stimulate your brain and body which will only help further. Just be careful not to push it too much on the physical exertion front, lack of sleep can make you clumsier and more prone to injury so be careful you don’t overdo it.
Take a power nap
As long as you’re not experiencing regular insomnia then a power nap could help you feel better if you're really struggling. If you are going for it, it's important to time it right – you should only be dipping into the NREM stage of your normal sleep cycle, which is the stage before the deeper REM sleep. This means a nap of around 15-20 minutes to ensure you awake feeling most refreshed. Ideally your nap should be somewhere quiet and cool, with no potential distractions and most importantly of all, try not to nap beyond around 3pm in the afternoon as later than that can interfere with your night-time sleep.
Try and avoid sugar
Although it’s tempting to maintain chocolate and comfort food when you’re feeling groggy and disorientated, try and resist the temptation. Don’t worry if it the urge is strong, studies show that just one night of bad sleep is enough to affect your frontal lobe, the area in the brain responsible for complex decision making, in other words a night of no sleep and it’ll feel easier to fall off the healthy eating wagon you may have been on. While sugary snacks will give you a temporary energy boost, they’re bad news in the long run as you’ll only end up experiencing the inevitable crash a couple of hours later when your blood sugar levels start to decline. Instead, look at pepping your energy up with a high protein smoothie which will keep your energy levels sustained. Workshop’s Organic Vanilla Pea Protein Formula is free from fillers, additives and added sugars and will help you feel sated and keep you away from high sugar snacks.
Whatever you do, don’t let dehydration add to your exhaustion, which is what will happen if you don’t drink enough water. Lack of water can also lead to impaired cognitive function which will only mean you feel drowsier and groggier than before. If the thought of drinking 8 glasses of water in the day is too much, then break it up by adding a scoop of Workshop’s Multi Vitamin Formula into one of your glasses. Rich in all the vitamins and minerals you need daily, it helps boost healthy blood flow and promote better energy levels.
Drink coffee – in moderation
Some caffeine can actually be useful if you’re overtired, but it’s important not to overdo it as too much will only leave you feeling jittery and worse than before. Although it’s part and parcel of our daily lives, caffeine is considered a nootropic, a brain boosting substance. That means that one or two small cups in the morning might actually help enhance cognitive function by increasing blood flow to the brain. It also helps remove unwanted toxins which can leave you feeling groggy, and the better balanced the brain is, the more able it is to protect vital brain cells and perform more efficiently.