How to Stay Awake After a Sleepless Night
All-nighters aren’t – and shouldn’t be – the habit of 9-to-6 office employees, whose jobs depend on productivity during the day. Sometimes it’s inevitable; other times, it’s a choice we make to break the monotony of the workweek. When we do, it’s important that our happy hour parties don’t interfere with our jobs the next day!
Five more minutes, you think. When it rings again: just another five minutes, you think again. Before you know it, your final snooze warning screams in your ear and you stumble around your home preparing for a bleary-eyed day at work. You’re sleepy. You can’t focus. And believe it or not, your body could have done without those attempts to grab a few more moments of shut-eye. When you’re already short on sleep, your ideal 8 hours is doomed to fail. Instead, calculate your sleep time in increments of 90 minutes from the time you hit the sack. That’s the time required for a full sleep cycle. Awakening at the end of one will leave you much more refreshed than if you force yourself to stay in a semi-conscious state for a five-minute snooze.
Eat Less and More Frequently
Having a full stomach the day after an all-nighter is a recipe for drowsiness. You’re always sleepier after a heavy meal. That exacerbates the effects of having a sleepless night the day before. To avoid this, have smaller, but more frequent meals throughout the day to avoid feeling too full and sleepy.
Drink More Water.
Dehydration is another cause of fatigue, so it can cause your sleep deprivation to become more pronounced. On the bright side, you don’t need to keep chugging water to keep drowsiness at bay; fruits and greens that have high water content such as cucumbers and watermelon will do the trick and make you somewhat full in the process – thus preventing you from becoming overly full and sleepy at lunchtime.
Get Some Sun.
Sunlight isn’t just for those who have too much time on their hands. The Sun is the most natural alarm clock for our circadian rhythm, while blue light emitted by the electronics we use reduce the production of melatonin, our natural sleep-inducer. If you can’t go out for a walk, you can settle for a view of the great outdoors, the sky, the sun, the streets, to rejuvenate yourself.
Stagnancy is your number one enemy when you’re sleepy. Counter it by taking a brisk walk or by hitting the gym. You can do it even without leaving your workplace. Are you sleepy? Stroll over to the pantry, make some small talk, grab a drink and a snack, and head back to your place refreshed.
Coffee isn’t a panacea, but if you haven’t built up a tolerance against it or if you time it right, coffee can help you power through your day. But consume with caution: too much, and you might end up with insomnia, headaches, palpitations, nervousness, or general discomfort. Coffee does have its benefits, but too much of a good thing can be a bad thing!
There are many free and natural ways to stay awake, so employ them to stay fresh during your workday – they work anytime, not just after you’ve pulled an all-nighter!