How to Kick Start Your Day After a Bad Night’s Sleep

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How to Kick Start Your Day After a Bad Night’s Sleep

Your newborn baby has been crying non-stop and you’ve barely slept a wink. Your neighbours seem to have forgotten they live in a house, not a nightclub, and have had the music on ‘extra loud’ all night. Or perhaps you’ve pulled a near all-nighter to complete a report and need something, anything to feel like a semblance of normality has been restored. Whatever the reason, here are 4 ways you can kick-start your day after a bad night’s sleep.

Take Caffeine (But Don’t Overdo It!)

Your instinct will tell you to head to your nearest cafe to load up on your usual caffeine infusion, except this time you’re tempted to double or even triple your usual dosage. When it comes to your favourite morning brew, however, there are three rules you absolutely must follow:

  • Only consume coffee in the morning and early afternoon. You don’t want to disrupt your sleep pattern any further and consuming caffeine within six hours of your usual bedtime will have an adverse effect on your ability to fall asleep.
  • Don’t go overboard. You don’t want to exceed 400mg per day, which equates to roughly 3 espressos.
  • Don’t chug it. Coffee takes around half an hour to kick in; give it time. Spread your daily allowance throughout the day, don’t hit your 400mg limit before you even get to the office.

 

Infographic_-_Caffeine_Intake_1_-300x277

Source: Crema Coffee Garage

Eat a Decent Breakfast and Avoid Comfort Foods

Breakfast is never more important than after a night of terrible sleep. We’re still simple creatures and as such, food is closely related to our internal body clocks. Having a decent breakfast literally sends signals to your body, telling it that it’s time to wake up and be alert.

Ensure your daily diet is made up of fruits, plenty of vegetables, healthy fats, and a good dosage of protein. You want foods that have phytochemicals and antioxidants in surplus. Drink plenty of water throughout the day; staying hydrated is an important part of the formula.

Finally, avoid comfort foods at all costs. Don’t grab a McDonald’s breakfast on your commute to work. Stay away from the biscuits in the common room. And if you dare touch that pizza at lunch, we swear we’ll… well, we can’t really do much from where we’re standing. But it’s just not a good idea!

Catch up on Your Sleep

Contrary to chronic sleep deprivation, your body is able to catch up on a single night’s bad sleep. If it’s possible, try and get 10 hours of sleep the night following your ordeal. It’ll get you back to feeling like your normal self again. Note, however, that this strategy is single-use only. Don’t get used to catching up on sleep at the weekend, for example.

If you’re a good napper, try and sneak away for a 20-minute power-nap. Have more time to sleep during the day? Don’t go nuts with it, with a nap of 60 to 90 minutes being the absolute maximum we recommend. After all, you don’t want to disrupt your usual sleep schedule.

Let There Be Light!

Darkness allows for the onset of melatonin, which is the hormone in our body that makes us feel sleepy. You obviously don’t want this, you’re looking for the exact opposite. That’s why you need to seek out light wherever possible.

If you’re trying to stay awake, put yourself in the brightest room you can find. Dim and atmospheric lighting is your enemy, you want big windows, bright sunshine, and an extra-strong desk lamp that’ll prevent you from falling asleep.

Natural light is the best option, if available. Studies have shown that sunlight is best for alertness and cognitive performance. If your office cubicle is bereft of natural light, however, try and take a walk during your lunch break. We recommend a brisk walk that will drive up your heart rate, as it improves circulation and leads to higher levels of alertness.

Bob Gorman

Bob Gorman is a freelance writer who likes writing articles that cover home and family-related topics. He has written numerous articles and contributed to several other blogs.

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