Didn’t sleep very well last night? Here’s how to bounce back and feel great the next day

A crappy night is bound to happen every now and then. Unless you’re a panda, many people, if not most, struggle with maintaining a consistent good night’s rest. Sleepless nights can be the result from a number of reasons– You may be stressed at work. Family or personal problems could be on your mind. Maybe you’re not active enough or vice versa. You accidentally had a five-hour date with Netflix after work. Long story short, life happens. Instead of dragging our feet through a sleep-deprived day/s, here is a list compiled of 7 don’ts turned into dos to help you successfully thrive and navigate through your day.

1. Don’t hit the snooze button!
Do set the alarm for your morning wake-up routine. You’ve already had a full night of waking up and dozing in and out of sleep. Hitting the snooze button for five more minutes is only delaying the inevitable. In fact, the snooze button, which allows you to sleep an extra minuscule amount of minutes, may physically make waking up harder and because of that, the process of being fully present may take longer. Snooze button sleeping allows you to think and stress over the lack of sleep that you’ve had, which will lead to a negative start to your day. Snoozing has the potential for causing additional stress because you’re rushing to get ready in order to be on time or stressing over being late. The snooze button is a lose-lose situation. Sleep or no sleep, just GET UP at the regular time and OWN your day.

2. Don’t think about the lack of sleep you’ve had.

Man using scissors to remove the word can't to read I can do it concept for self belief, positive attitude and  motivation
Man using scissors to remove the word can’t to read I can do it concept for self belief, positive attitude and motivation

Do think positively! Just because you’ve had a crappy night of sleep, does not mean the day will automatically revert to being a lousy one. The act of positive thinking is a powerful skill to master in order to navigate through stressful situations, such as tackling the work day’s duties and problems with zero sleep. Dr. Alice Doe, sleep medicine specialist at Borgess Medical Center in Kalamazoo, MI, explained to Prevention, “Try not to think too much about the sleepless night or blame it for everything that happens during the day. In time, that can create a negative association that will result in other sleepless nights. It’s going to be a challenge, but try to make this a ‘glass half full’ kind of day.” With that being said, wear your lucky outfit or favorite watch, throw on your favorite pair of heels along with some fun earrings. Dress for success to be at your best! This may help brighten your mood, which may make it easier to feel more alert and awake.

3. Don’t leave the house without guzzling on H20!

pouring water into glass from a bottle, on blue background
pouring water into glass from a bottle, on blue background

Do stay hydrated. Before you head out the door, take a moment to drink at least two to three glasses of water. Make sure to continue drinking water throughout the day. Moderate dehydration- on top of the lack of zZzZzZzZ- can make you feel even more sluggish and tired, which can cause some serious lack of concentration.

4. Don’t skip on breakfast.

Do eat a nutritious breakfast! They don’t say breakfast is the most important day for no reason! Reported by Prevention, Dr. Doe explained that breakfast sends a message to our brain saying it’s time to wake up. Now, don’t just go eating anything. Especially after a restless night, scarfing down a donut or greasy breakfast burrito will cause an immediate spike to your blood sugar levels, which generates a lethargic crash reaction. “The better your nutrition on a sleep-deprived day, the more energy you’ll be able to salvage. You’ve got a tough task ahead of you: Research shows that sleep deprivation messes with our brain activity, convincing us that things like doughnuts and french fries are absolute necessities,” says Dr. Doe. “Fatty foods require more energy to break down, and simple carbs give us a rush initially, but then you’ll crash after that.” Start the day off with a veggie omelette, combined with healthy fats, such as avocado and olive oil. If you’re in a rush, boil a few eggs (throw in a pinch of salt to help make the peeling process easier) as you get ready for the day. If you go through a drive through, opt for whole wheat bread with egg whites and lean meat. Make a shake with fruits or grab a handful of raw nuts to go. The nutritious and delicious possibilities to start your day off strong after a sleep-deprived night is endless! Strive to eat small healthy meals as you go about your day.

5. Don’t skimp out on caffeine.

Do drink coffee or tea. This one may seem obvious, but just in case, here’s a little reminder. Stop by to pick up a cup of joe for that caffeine fix. Make sure to skimp out on the excess sugar and heavy cream. Take it black or have it with a splash of milk. Dr. Cathy Goldstein, a neurologist at Michigan Medicine’s Sleep Disorders Center, shared with Huffington Post, “Coffee really does help keep you going. Since it reduces adenosine, a neurotransmitter your brain releases when you’re sleep-deprived.” Studies have proven that caffeine increases focus and concentration, which can help maintain attention to the main task at hand. Just be sure to stay away from caffeine after 2pm, so you may have a restful sleep the following night.

6. Don’t sit at your desk all day.
Do get moving out in the sun. Exercise and sunlight will do wonders for your sleep-deprived mind. According to Prevention, the sun’s natural light sends a powerful wake-up signal to your brain. On the contrary, harsh fluorescent office lights may cause your body to lose its sense of time. Whether you’re sleep-deprived or hitting that afternoon slump, go on a brisk walk or run and soak up nature’s vitamin D for a boost in energy.

7. Don’t nap

Or do nap. This one’s a bit tricky. Listen to how your body feels. If you are in extreme need of a nap, then you should probably take one. Don’t sleep for longer than an hour. Any more than that may roll yesterday’s sleepless night over to the following.

May the sleep Gods bless you with restful nights and joyous days. Share these useful tips with your sleep-struggling insomniac loved ones!

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