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Pull Yourself Together After a Sleepless Night

At one time or another, you'll probably miss a night's sleep, whether you're caring for a sick child or facing tight deadlines at work. Although it would be nice to sleep in the next day, sometimes you have to keep on going.

Here are steps you can use to function better after a hard night.

Steps to Take After You Miss a Night's Sleep

1. Nap a little. Naturally, sleep is the best antidote for sleep deprivation. Napping for 5 to 20 minutes will help restore your energy. Even just shutting your eyes briefly can help.

2. Go easy on the caffeine. Limit yourself to one cup of coffee or its equivalent and drink it early in the day. Otherwise, it could backfire and keep you up the next night.

3. Stay hydrated. Dehydration causes fatigue. Drink plenty of water and snack on vegetables and fruit. Avoid alcoholic beverages.

4. Engage in exercise. Physical activity is one of the healthiest and most effective ways to revive your energy levels quickly. Go for a brisk walk or do a few sets of leg lifts.

5. Turn up the lights. Our brains naturally wake up when exposed to light. Early morning sunlight is especially powerful so spend a little time outdoors. Later, you can sit near a bright lamp.

6. Alternate between tasks. Switching back and forth between monotonous tasks makes it easier to stay awake. Try doing your housework and reading your emails in brief intervals.

7. Adjust your thermostat. Comfort levels vary from one individual to the next but 65 to 70 degrees Fahrenheit is the ideal room temperature for most people. If it's too hot or too cold, you body responds by getting sleepy.

8. Take deep breath. You'll soon feel more animated if you deliver more oxygen to your brain Take full breaths from your abdomen rather than from your chest.

9. Give yourself time to recover. Sleep is vital for healing and regenerating your body and mind. Most people need more than one night to recover from interrupted sleep. Get back on schedule as quickly as possible and realize that it may take a week or more to feel fully restored.

Protect your mental and physical health by making a commitment to getting the sleep you need. By staying well-rested most of the time, you'll be better prepared to recover from the occasional sleepless night and still manage your daily activities.

~To Your Health


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