6 Things to Help You Get Through the Day When You Got Zero Sleep
You’re constantly being reminded of the magical health benefits of sleep: improved memory, better skin, not being awake for that late-night grilled cheese. But sometimes a restful night is just not in the cards, and now the rest of the city is wide awake (or at least faking it). Here’s what you need to do to keep it together.
Whatever You Do, Don’t Hit Snooze
We know, it feels like sweet, sweet relief, but you’re not getting any of the restorative benefits of real sleep after the first alarm. Those extra ten minutes aren’t worth it: You’ll feel rushed getting ready, which will only remind you how exhausted you are.
Even if you’re not usually hungry in the morning, eat something within an hour of waking up—ideally something with a balance of protein and whole grains (like almond butter on multigrain). It’ll give you sustained energy to get through the morning.
Tackle Important Work Early
Let’s face it: You’re not going to get less tired as the day goes on. If there’s anything that requires more brainpower (and can’t wait until tomorrow), get it out of the way right after you’ve had your coffee. You can catch up on emails in the afternoon.
Watch Out for Sugar Cravings
Ever notice how you just need a cookie when you’re exhausted? That’s not a coincidence: It’s your body’s subconscious desire for a quick energy fix. And while it will work in the short term, you’ll just end up crashing later. Stick to one or two balanced snacks if you need a boost between meals.
Yes, sitting motionless for eight hours might seem like the next best thing to being in bed, but a brisk walk or some easy desk exercises will do more to promote alertness than scrolling through Instagram. But avoid strenuous workouts, because a sleep-deprived system means impaired coordination and reaction time (aka a higher risk of injury).
Don’t Overdo It on Coffee
You rely on your morning Stumptown on a normal day, so it’s pretty much your lifeblood after a night of crappy sleep. That said, more doesn’t equal better: Aim for no more than one cup more than you usually drink, and cut yourself off by 3 p.m. or risk yet another restless night.