Before you think this is a free pass to forgo sleep, consider that your best bet to feel rested and energized is by avoiding sleepless nights in the first place. If you’re tired and irritated because of a sleepless night (or more), you may be easily be put off by this statement. But when it comes to optimal health, it’s essential that you take preventative measures. Since sound sleep isn’t always possible, here is your guide to recovering from those energy-sapping sleepless nights.
Avoid sleepless nights
If you've recently had a sleepless night or suffer from repeated sleepless nights, spend some time thinking about the reasons they happened and ways to avoid them. If you regularly stay up too late on purpose in order to work, shame on you. Though you may gain extra hours to finish work, you are also losing quality in your everyday performance.
Sleepless nights happen
It was a rough night, maybe you tried to get some sleep but it just didn't work out. There are many reasons for having a bad night of sleep: baby kept you up, you were studying or traveling, or you were out having fun. If you were out having fun, the answer is simple: eat a healthy meal and go to bed. Obviously, dealing with hangovers is another article all together. If you were up due to your baby, studying or traveling, chances are you've got to be awake during the day, so playing catch-up right away might not be an option. However, there are things you can do to feel more rested and revived.
Your brain needs sleep
Sleeping allows your brain to stop taking in information and start processing any backlogs. Sleeping helps your brain recover from the day's wear and tear. It seems that you'll need a lot of sleep when there has been a lot of information taken in (especially students) and little sleep when brain activity has not been too high. You see this in infants when they go somewhere new or see a lot of people, they get sleepy – too much stimulation – so they need to hit the sack. On the other end of the spectrum are the people with low brain activity – the mellow individuals who are just hanging out and not thinking a million thoughts a second. They can get by on less sleep than the rest of us.
Tips to recover from a sleepless night
1. Think quietly
If you stay awake after a sleepless night, you can still recover to a good degree by slowing down your thoughts. Try to quell any unnecessary chatter in your head. Ideally, you should meditate. If you have no idea what that is or think it's only for yogi's, just look up some introductory videos on the Internet.
In your mental toolbox, meditation is the screwdriver – powerful, fundamental, dirt cheap, and portable. Studies show that, in general, meditating can significantly reduce the amount of sleep you need. Make sure you keep your breathing slow and deep.
Time to get physical: light exercise sprinkled with some sudden movements will do a good job of waking you up. Just watch out for the backlash – too much exercise followed by comfortable sitting a few hours later will make you irresistibly drowsy.
3. Eat right
If you want to stay awake and alert, you must avoid heavy meals. That means eating light and frequently, which will help you avoid further fatigue that is the result of your body's energy going to digestion and causing fluctuations in your blood sugar level. Vitamin C is a potent pick me up – much more so than coffee. So go out of your way to eat healthy in such situations.
Hang in there by employing a few of these tips and you'll be sure to breeze through the day. Get to bed as early as you can and expect to wake up sans alarm clock fresh and ready to roll the next morning. The good news is, in most cases, you can recover completely with just one good night's sleep.
Guided meditation for sleep: How to meditate
Find a peaceful spot just before going to bed and listen to this meditation. Allow yourself to relax and unwind. Whatever has happened in your day let go.
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