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Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Whether it is to meet your deadlines or catch up on your favourite sitcom, you’ve probably spent a few sleepless nights — and subsequently have had to get through a drowsy day. Khevna Pandit gives you a few tips to get yourself through the daze

We’re always looking forward to jumping into our warm, cosy beds at the end of a long, tiring day. But, it is only in a perfect world that we’re blessed with an eight-hour sleep at night. And, while it would be nice to slip in a quick snooze during the day, we can’t always have that either. So, if you have to get trudge through a rather difficult work day after a sleepless night, we sympathise. Having a bad night can make you feel anxious, unfocused and drained of energy during the day. It is, of course, impossible to reverse the clock, but here are a few ways you can get yourself to perk up after a sleepless night.

Managing your sleep
Although difficult, it isn’t impossible to get through the day, if you plan your day in such a way that you’re not under a lot of stress. Here are a few things you can do the next time you’re caught up in a sleepy daze.

Prioritise your day
It may seem like you don’t have the strength to head out for a busy day of work, but you can change that! Take a few minutes to plan ahead to push away the tiredness. When you’re sleepy, your brain isn’t as good at making decisions as it is when it’s awake. Prioritise the important tasks, so that you’re not bogged down with big things at the end of the day.

Get some sunshine
Getting out in the sunlight can help you feel more awake, thanks to a nucleus in the brain known as circadian pacemaker, which adjusts your sleep and wake cycles. Fool your brain into believing that you’re awake by getting some morning light. Take a half hour walk to soak in its benefits before you get on with your day.

Sneak in a nap
Although risky depending on the nature of your work, try sneaking in a quick nap. If you take public transport to work and can get a seat, utilise the time by snoozing until you arrive at your destination. However, make sure to set an alarm! Naps longer than 20 minutes are known to induce a horrible, groggy feeling — inertia — that will leave you feeling drowsy all day long.

Get exercising
We know that hitting the gym may seem like the last thing you want to do when you’re sleep deprived, but getting your blood pumping can have a stimulating and rousing effect. If you’ve noticed that a fast-paced jog before bedtime has prevented you from falling asleep at night, it is only because exercise awakens your body and mind. Opt for a moderate-intensity workout that will help you stay up and alert for longer, so that you can focus on tasks that matter.

Drink a cup of coffee
Here’s where your daily cup of coffee helps. Coffee is high in caffeine and works as a stimulant. The caffeine blocks sleep-inducing chemicals in our brains. Consuming a moderate amount of caffeine gives you a temporary jolt so that you can kick-start your day on the right note. But, make sure not to have too much; you don’t want to be staying up all night again!

Strike up a conversation
Engaging in conversations with people throughout the day can help you stay awake for longer. Attentively listening or contributing to the exchange will help your mind focus. Nothing wakes you up like socialising.

Stay hydrated
Gulp down some water! Dehydration causes fatigue, and fatigue makes you sleepy. So, drink plenty of water and consume fresh vegetables to drive away the drowsiness in a jiffy!

Preparing for a drowsy day
If you foresee a lethargic day ahead, here’s how you can pep yourself up to avoid being groggy during the day:

  • Catch some Zzz’s: If you think you’re going to stay up late and stretch through the next day, make sure you get some sleep the previous day. This will help you stay active through the next day.
  • Arrange for transportation: Don’t drive when you’re sleepy! Make sure you have another mode of transport at your service so that you don’t have worry last minute. Ask a friend to hitch you a ride or call a cab instead.
  • Rearrange your work: Research shows that sleeplessness affects some activities more than others. Make sure you move creative tasks and public speaking out of the way if you’re going to suffer a sleepless night.
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