Whether you've pulled an all nighter, just had a baby or find nodding off impossible no matter how many sheep you've counted, when you've had a shitty night's sleep or no sleep at all, you need a strategy to keep awake and alert. After all, the world doesn't stop just because you're exhausted.
Luckily there are SO many ways to help you survive the day on less kip! Amp up your energy and boost your brain power by following these 15 simple steps...
1. Stay hydrated
Seems odd, but water's actually the greatest energy drink we can have! It keeps you awake, energised and ready to go.
Sleep Expert and author of the Good Sleep Guide, Sammy Margo says, "Staying hydrated can help your brain work better when you need to survive on less sleep". An easy trick to try when your body needs to wake up is by splashing some water on your face and wrists. Definitely worth a try!
Aim to drink at least eight glasses a day - this will ensure you stay hydrated and keep you alert.
2. Perk up with essential oils
Essential oils are great for perking you up in the morning. Founder of Aqua Oleum, Julia Lawless says the best essential oils to perk you up are rosemary, sweet basil and the citrus oils, such as lemon, lime and grapefruit. "All these oils help to keep the mind and body alert especially when used in room vaporisers throughout the day."
"For a swift morning wake-up aid, put a few drops of rosemary or bergamot oil onto a loofah and give yourself a brisk rub in the shower." There's no better way to help lift your spirits and your senses.
3. Have a coffee!
Before heading out, make yourself a steaming brew first thing in the morning! Not only will coffee help you feel more energised but it will help kick-start your memory and get you through the day too.
Sammy says, "Use caffeine strategically especially first thing in the morning but try to not drink it late into the afternoon as this may disrupt your catch up night." Got it? After 4pm, stay far, far away!
4. Turn up the lights
No more dozing off! When you've little or no sleep it's inevitable for your body to start shutting down at some point during the day, but here's a trick to keep you going - keep the lights turned on.
Sounds pretty freaking obvious, but this will help fool your body into thinking it's still NOT time to go to bed (despite its desperate call for sleep).
5. Rank up the air-con
Ladies, rank up the air conditioning! Sammy says, "Warm stuffy rooms accelerate mental fatigue so open the windows or turn up the air-con to keep yourself awake."
If you work in an office buy a portable fan and aim it at your face. The blast of cold air will help perk you up.
6. Listen to music
Turn up your favourite tunes and get yourself pumped up for the day. Try humming or singing along too. Yea, seems cray, but the stimulation will help keep you going!
7. Use eye drops
If you've had a late night, you're pretty much guaranteed to have red puffy eyes come sunrise. To combat it, we recommend using Murine Dry & Tired Eyes eye drops, which help provide instant relief from dry scratchy eyes.
Another trick to relieve tired eyes is to use a warm, wet flannel. Optometrist, Lara Hefson says, "keep your eyes hydrated by pressing a hot compress over closed eyes daily. This helps stimulate tear production and reduces the symptoms of dry eyes."
8. Be a chatter box
If you feel like your head's about to hit the desk, start engaging in a conversation with your colleagues. Tell a funny story, exchange a business idea or even talk politics! Flowing conversations help stimulate the mind and keep it going.
9. Eat well
When you're sleep deprived, you're more likely to crave a packet of crisps or a sweet bar of chocolate. And while the idea is tempting, this isn't going to help you through...
Sammy says eating junk will "give you an immediate high then a subsequent crash. Stick to nutritious low carb snacks."
If you need a quick boost reach for a banana dipped in organic peanut butter. The natural sugars will help renew energy while also keeping you satisfied for longer. Yum.
10. Soak up the sun
Daylight acts as a wake up call for our body's. So why not try resetting your body clock by going for a brisk walk and getting some fresh air? Sammy says, "this will help to get your circulation going and help you feel far more energised." But we definitely DON'T recommend resting your eyes as you walk - even for a second, don't give in. Who knew walking could be so dangerous?
11. Take a power nap
Did you know eight hours after waking up we naturally become more tired? If you skipped on sleep, by the afternoon your body will be in dire need of some Zzz's.
But there are ways to ease the fatigue. Sammy recommends having a "twenty minute power nap or some time out between one and three o'clock but not too late into the afternoon as this will disturb your night’s sleep."
Our tip? Take a small nap during your lunch break. The short snooze will help you feel more alert and replenish your energy for the next few hours. (Set an alarm to wake you up.)
12. Take it easy on the booze
Indulging in too much alcohol before bedtime "will prevent you from getting into the deeper stages of sleep," says Sammy.
So if you've pulled an all nighter, don't even think about treating yourself to a night cap before bed. This will only make you feel worse the next day. Trust. Try something soothing like chamomile tea with a drop of organic honey. A cuppa of chamomile can help ease insomnia and boost your immune system, which is exactly what you need at a time like this.
Break-outs? Dark circles? And a lack-lustre face? There's no doubt a lack of sleep can play havoc on your skin. When you sleep your body works to renew itself so if you're not getting enough slumber each night, your skin is sure to look dull. To combat this, we recommend using a gentle exfoliator like Dermalogica's Gentle Cream Exfoliant. The creamy cleanser will re-charge your skin cells, improve texture and help give you lush glowing skin!
14. Take a warm bath after work
Taking a warm bath at night after an extra long day at work will help you wind down. The deeper you sleep the more REM time you get, which is what really counts. The rise in temperature and cooling off will help knock you out for a deeper night's rest. Yes, please!
Tip: Take a bath at least one hour before bedtime to avoid staying up. We warned ya!
15. Have an early night
Go to bed extra early and avoid a lie in! By evening time your body will be exhausted so it's only fair to hit the sack early. If you're finding it hard to switch off try Pukka Night Time remedy. The unique mix of organic herbs (including sleep inducing valerian and ashwagandha) will help you unwind and naturally cradle you to sleep.
What tricks do YOU have to survive on little sleep? We want to know! Tweet us @sofeminineUK!
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