We all know how important sleep is for our physical and mental health, but some nights we toss and turn, or wake up hours before our alarm goes off and can’t get back to sleep. When that happens, getting through the next day can be tough. Sleep deprivation can make us feel loopy and grouchy, but sleep experts say little things like these can help make the rest of your day run smoothly, even when you’re totally exhausted.
- Try to be aware of your mood - Being tired can make even the friendliest folks more moody and grumpy, so remember you may be edgy and try to readjust. Take a deep breath, focus on the positive, and just get through it.
- Stick to your routine - Get up and going like you usually do, drink extra water, take your vitamins, and go for a complex-carb and protein-packed breakfast.
- Drink your coffee or tea - Like we said, stick to your routine, so if you’re a coffee drinker, have your usual pick-me-up in a cup, just don’t overdo it to compensate for your lack of sleep. Instead of reaching for a fifth latte later in the day when you can’t stop yawning, try drinking cold water, getting fresh air, or using essential oils to perk you up.
- Get moving - If you need some energy, get up and move around. Stretching can help get blood flowing and sunlight is energizing and can give you a mood boost. Even if you’re really busy, taking a minute to focus can help you feel more alert.
- Take a short nap - The key word is short, like only 20 minutes. According to experts, a short nap can increase energy and boost mood without leaving you groggy or messing with your sleep later that night. You could also try a coffee nap, where you drink a cup right before laying down for 20 to 30 minutes, so you get up right when the caffeine kicks in. It’s supposed to pack more punch than either a nap or coffee on its own.
- Be cautious - If you’re actually so tired that you can’t keep your eyes open, maybe don’t get behind the wheel after a long day at work. And make sure you hit the sack at your regular bedtime tonight, if not a little earlier.