You’ve spent the whole night cramming a report or taking care of a sick baby. Then, jus as your head hits the pillow, the alarm clock goes off. Just like that, you’ve got a full day ahead and you haven’t had a wink.
Unfortunately, sleep deprivation can lead to lower concentration, irritability and even dizziness. Below you’ll find ways to boost your energy levels and get you through the day – but try to get some sleep as soon as you can! Studies show after just four consecutive nights of lacking sleep, the health consequences become more serious: elevated blood pressure and heart rate, decreased immune system, and less efficient memory.
1. Know your rhythm
Your body has its own natural clock, also known as your circadian rhythm. Your heart rate is highest during the day. It slows down towards dusk. Work with this cycle. Since your body is naturally attuned to getting ready for sleep once the sky gets dark, schedule the bulk of strenuous activities during the day.
If you’re tired, a sudden lull in your schedule will tempt you to hit the bed. However, oversleeping in the daytime will rob you of quality sleep at night. So keep yourself busy even during down time—pick up a magazine, go for a walk, or catch up with a friend.
2. The right way to nap
If you really need a nap, make it a power nap: 15 minutes, no more. Within 15 to 30 minutes, you’re still in the shallow stages of sleep. Any longer than that and you could fall into the deeper stages which are more difficult to snap out of.
3. Prep yourself for a good night’s rest.
If your sleep deprivation is caused by insomnia, here are some ways to get yourself in the mood for sleep. Don’t drinking too much before bed so you don’t need to get up and use the bathroom, giving yourself time to wind down before sleeping, and limiting the use of your bed for sleep—and sex!—only. (You may also want to look into the common causes of chronic insomnia, and get to the root of the problem.)
5. Power snacks
Need an energy boost? Munch on a banana. Research shows eating just two can provide enough energy for a 90-minute workout. Other energy boosters are foods in Vitamin C (such as red bell peppers and papaya) as well as salmon for its protein and omega-3 fatty acids. Vitamin A found in carrots and spinach, zinc in fortified cereals and shellfish, and vitamin E-rich almonds and avocados help too.
6. Turn up the lights and music.
Surrounding yourself with bright lights will make it less likely for you to feel sleepy as opposed to a dim, hazy glow. Likewise, loud noise can also do the trick. Put on some high-energy music to give your senses a jolt.
It’s no coincidence that it’s the first thing you feel like doing when you wake up in the morning. You can get the blood flowing with a quick stroll or by taking the stairs instead of the elevator.
8. Don’t get too comy
Admit it: the more comfy you are, the sleepier you feel. So if you have to work, pick an office chair that is actually rather uncomfortable over the type that you could sink into and just sit in for hours and hours.
9. Choose ‘wake me up’ colors
Beige and flesh tones are okay for the bedroom, but not for the office. For your work space, it’s better to go with colors that will liven you up, like yellow or light blue.
10. Switch pillows
A comfortable pillow and mattress translate to better quality sleep, so you’re less likely to feel tired during the day.
11. Hit the showers
A good shower can really get you going! Increase the energy-boosting factor with products designed to refresh and rejuvenate. Look for soaps or shower gels with bergamot, geranium, lemon, ginger, cardamom, or mint.
12. Light a candle
Look for candles or aromatherapy oils with eucalyptus and rosemary and citrus.