We’ve all been there. You go to bed with the best of intentions, but your dreamy slumber is thwarted by insomnia, restless tossing and turning, a nightmare you just can’t shake, or simply the inability to just get comfortable.
It’s incredibly frustrating—especially when we all know how important sound sleep is for overall well-being–but there’s not much we can do about a lost night once the sun rises and we have to go out into the world and be a productive member of society.
The following are a few ways to survive a grueling day and take care of your health after a night of poor sleep.
Don’t skip breakfast. You’ll need your energy for the day—even if lack of sleep has temporarily thrown off your appetite. Just make sure that you’re starting your day with a healthy, balanced breakfast—like this high-protein polenta scramble. This is especially important because sleep can trigger unhealthy cravings and make you think you’re not full yet when you actually are.
Hop in a cold shower. There’s no denying that a splash of cold water can startle your senses back to life—while heat can sometimes make you feel a little too relaxed or sluggish. Plus, it’s nice to start the day feeling physically clean—and perhaps even spiritually cleansed of the previous evening.
Drink plenty of water. Getting dehydrated is the last thing you need when you’re plagued with low energy. Plus, cool water or water infused with cucumber or fruit can help you feel refreshed. Bonus: cukes have electrolytes!
Work in a little exercise. A full workout may not be in the cards if you barely slept the night before, but moving around a bit can make a big difference. A few sun salutations or a brisk walk around the neighborhood will boost your circulation and help clear your head, allowing you to start your day on a better foot. If you’re stuck at your desk or on the train to work, try these energizing breath exercises at your seat to help clear stagnant energy and make you feel more alert.
Try aromatherapy. Diffusing essential oils is a lovely ritual that can help set the tone for your day. Check out these energizing diffuser blends. I personally love anything crisp and woodsy (like spruce and juniper) when I’m running low on energy. If you don’t have a diffuser, you can place a few drops of essential oil on a cotton ball and take a whiff from time to time.
Go ahead, have a little caffeine. I realize this probably sounds like sacrilege to some wellness circles, but caffeine in moderation (think one cup of coffee consumed before midday) can give you a little push in the right direction. Caffeine is a mood booster, and it can be that special something you can look forward to after a crappy night. For best results, consume your coffee or tea with food. This will help mitigate caffeine’s effect on your blood sugar. While you’re at it, opt for green tea (like a matcha latte); green tea helps boost focus and metabolizes more slowly than coffee, so you’re less likely to be left with the jitters.
Prep yourself for the following night. To avoid experiencing a crummy night twice in a row, make sure you’re doing everything you can to foster healthy sleep. This includes powering down electronics after the sun goes down, working in some sleep-friendly stretches, and avoiding long naps during the day.
What are your favorite tips for getting through the day after a rough night’s sleep?
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