A lack of sleep and extreme tiredness turn us into groggy, unproductive and miserable creatures. Getting the recommended 8 hours sleep a night is the best thing you can do for yourself and your health, but we all have late nights sometimes and as grown mature adults we have to face the consequences and get through the following day nonetheless. When the alarm goes off and the dreaded exhaustion starts to set in, here’s what you can do to combat it.
1. Caffeine – For all you coffee addicts out there, it will hardly surprise you to see caffeinated drinks on the list. We all know caffeine helps us when we are very tired, it wakes us up, gives us energy and makes us feel like we can get through anything. It is unwise to rely on caffeine to wake you up everyday or to substitute a good night’s sleep for a cup of coffee instead, but for those desperate times where you really need it then a caffeinated drink is just fine.
2. Move Around – If you walk or cycle to work this will get your blood pumping in the morning and revitalise you. If not, find another way to get some exercise in. When exhaustion and extreme tiredness start to take over, get up from your desk and take a wander somewhere – get a drink, make a snack, take a toilet break or go outside for a few minutes. This will refresh your mind and body and wake you up.
3. Power Nap – Okay, this might not be feasible in every office but if you have somewhere you can go (on your lunch-break of course!) where you can close your eyes and rest for 15-25 minutes you will feel somewhat refreshed afterwards. Don’t overdo it or you will end up feeling worse, you just want to nap long enough to trick your brain into believing you are rested.
4. Plan Your Meals Wisely – Sugary and carb heavy foods will make you feel even worse after a sleepless night, a burst of quick energy will soon be replaced by a crash in energy levels – exactly what you don’t need if you are already very tired. Stick to lean, mean and clean foods – protein, salad, fruits and vegetables, and try not to overeat as this will make you even sleepier.
5. Prioritise – It is incredibly difficult to focus and concentrate when you are suffering from a lack of sleep so use your attention span wisely and get some of the more complicated tasks over with first. The morning is when you will be feeling the most alert so start with the harder tasks then and as you start to dwindle as the day goes on switch to easier, more routine tasks like organising emails and other administrative tasks.
There is nothing you can substitute for a good night’s sleep so try to get to bed early every night and sleep as much as possible, your body and brain will thank you for it!