How To Perk Up After A Sleepless Night

Adults reportedly need approximately seven to nine hours of sleep each night for maximum health. Statistics show, however, that Americans have issues getting enough sleep on a regular basis. Regardless, of the reason, if you live a life that makes getting through the day in just a few hours of sleep a regular occurrence, here are some tips to help you perk up until you can catch some Zs.

“Lighten Up, ‘Son’!”
A sleep specialist and the director at California’s Stanford Center for Human Sleep Research, Clete Kushida, MD, MPH, confirms that bright lights and getting out in the sun can wake you up even if you are actually sleep-deprived. As little as half an hour of bright light in the morning syncs a nucleus in your brain named the circadian pacemaker--which adjusts your sleep-wake cycles--enabling your brain to stay awake. Lightboxes will work too if you can’t get any sunlight.

Caffeine (But Not T-too M-much)
Coffee is marketed as a morning drink for a reason. It’s a stimulant thanks to its caffeine content. Caffeine specifically increases adrenaline production and blocks the chemicals in the brain that induce sleep.
Caffeine will give you a temporary jolt but exercise some moderation. Overdoing any caffeinated drink can make you anxious and jittery. Remember since caffeine stimulating effects can last for up to 8 hours you should avoid drinking caffeinated beverages such as coffee or energy drinks late in the day that way they will not keep you awake at night.

“Be Cool, Man”
People tend to feel sleepier when they are warm. If you immerse yourself in cold it will have a stimulating albeit temporary effect. AN Indiana-based neurologist and sleep specialist with JWM Neurology, Adam Fisch, MD, suggested a cold shower and theorized that lowering the temperature of your workplace could also be helpful.

“Let’s Get Physical”
You might not think about hitting the gym when you feel deprived of sleep but it will work. Getting your blood flowing for a short time can actually produce a stimulating effect. Kushida adds that you should only work out in the morning or afternoon though since the rush too close to your bedtime could keep you from falling asleep.

Get Your Priorities Straight
Online sources indicate that when you are sleep-deprived or tired, your brain is just not up to making a lot of decisions. So if you have had a poor night’s sleep then before you hit the road you had best come up with a personal “plan of attack.”

Specifically, make a list of everything you have to get done that day. Put them in order of importance. It will help you to be more productive.

This list will free you from being caught up in too much decision-making and prioritizing throughout the day. With the list, all you have to do is complete each task as listed so that you will be able to get things done and get home in plenty of time to get enough rest.


(All photographs are courtesy of the original owners unless otherwise indicated)




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