We take sleep for granted. People tend to belittle a sleepless night as if it’s nothing harmful. On the contrary, sleep deprivation continues to deal damage to companies and even stands as one of the leading causes of accidents and fatalities.
Sleep deprivation was the root cause behind 20% of car crashes. Over 100,000 deaths connected to medical errors happen due to sleep deprivation. And lack of sleep even costs the U.S. around $411 billion per year in loss of productivity.
While sleep deprivation is no joke, we have times where we go through a sleepless night. To help you survive the day while lacking the hours of sleep you need, here are some pointers to remember.
After going through a sleepless night, make sure you drink a lot of water. One of the dangers that you would encounter is dehydration.
Mild dehydration magnifies the symptoms of sleep deprivation. Among these symptoms include fatigue, headaches, crankiness, and loss of concentration. By topping up on water, you can lessen the impact of these symptoms.
Consider increasing your water intake to ten and a half cups for that day. It should lessen fatigue, confusion, and sleepiness.
To know if you are running low on water, pay attention to your urine. Dark yellow urine is a sign that you need more water in your body.
Also, make sure to eat properly when you lack sleep. The problem with sleep deprivation is that it also lowers your appetite. The main reason is that your body is trying to conserve energy as much as possible.
Whenever possible, try to get a good source of energy through food. In this case, start off with a healthy breakfast. Do not overwhelm yourself with something heavy, as it would take time to digest the food, but make sure it provides the nutrients you need.
For breakfast, go with eggs and toast. Couple that with a cup of coffee. This meal should let you go through the first part of the day without worrying about hunger before lunch kicks in.
For lunch, dinner, and subsequent snacks, try to avoid heavy meals with high fat. Instead, go for balanced meals for you to get a good measure of every nutrient your body needs. There are also snacks you can eat before going to bed.
Your body needs to move. To prevent from falling asleep, an exercise routine should get you stimulated and alert.
This can come in various applications. You can go to the gym for your workout. You can also do a series of cardio-based routines as well.
Any form of exercise should help you stay awake through the day. Take note of the time you should conduct these exercises. As much as possible, exercise in the morning or early afternoon.
If you exercise too close to bedtime, you will have a hard time sleeping.
A good shower could also rouse your senses awake. One way is to go for a cold shower, as warm environments tend to let people feel drowsy and sleepy. The jolt from the cold water should jumpstart your senses.
Or, you can also try alternating between a warm and a cold shower. The warm water dilates the arteries and cycles the blood back to the skin’s surface. Cold water does the opposite, pushing the blood back to the internal organs.
This approach can get the blood flowing, ensuring that you stay awake for the day.
Coffee is perhaps one of the most popular morning drinks due to its caffeine content. Caffeine blocks the sleep-inducing chemicals in the brain, as well as increasing adrenaline production. This would make it a good choice in ensuring you get through the day despite the lack of sleep.
Remember to drink coffee in moderate amounts, enough to give you an energy jolt to keep you going. Otherwise, you will end up being anxious and jittery when you consume too much caffeine.
With the effects lasting up to eight hours, also make sure to not consume them late in the day. What you don’t want is being awake in the evening that you would lose sleep over it.
If the day allows, a catnap could help with easing your burden. Although this can also be just as risky, as you need to time your naps. Make sure to keep your naps within 20 minutes, as that amount of time should be enough for your body to rejuvenate.
Naps exceeding 20 minutes can cause sleep inertia. This causes your body to end up feeling groggy and far worse than before your nap. Whenever possible, set an alarm before taking naps to avoid this setback.
As for what time you should take your nap, it’s ideal to schedule your nap right after lunch.
Whenever you can, make sure to get out in the sunshine and take in the fresh air. This way, you can ensure your body feels alert and awake.
The sunlight allows your body to reset its biological clock. Your brain stops producing melatonin, a chemical that induces sleep, and lets you feel a little more alert. A half-hour walk should be enough to let the sunlight take effect on your body.
If you have to work or get things done during the day when you lack sleep, you need to plan ahead. At your current state, decision-making is at a sub-optimal level. Make a point to set up a list of tasks that you should take on.
When you have your tasks listed down, your productivity increases for that day. It increases your efficiency, reducing the amount of time spent on decision-making. Hopefully, you make it home to rest and get the hours of sleep that you missed.
You have gone through the day without a hassle. That’s good, but try not to let it happen again! A sleepless night can cause more complications in both your physical and mental health.
Make it a point to take care of yourself and focus on regaining the sleep that you need when you get home. Focus on getting a good night’s rest. This way, you can get up energized and ready for the next day.
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