Surviving a Day While Running on No Sleep
By Stepy Kamei
Virtually every single one of us has experienced the occasional day of discomfort after getting hardly any sleep the night before, brought on by stress, a poor sleeping environment, or other factors. Millions of Americans deal with some sort of sleep disorder or disturbance each year, yet far too many of us still think it's not an important enough health issue to deserve our full attention. In reality, the quality of our sleep has a major impact on the rest of our physical and mental health throughout the day. People who are sleep deprived, even for just one night, are more likely to experience immediate health consequences such as headaches, mood swings, and cravings for unhealthy foods. When this becomes a chronic issue, the health problems often get worse, escalating to concerns such as obesity, diabetes, and even heart disease. This is why it really is in your best interest to take your sleep seriously. For the days when this proves to be a challenge, here's how you can get through to the other side in one piece.
As soon as you wake up (or get out of bed), drink a full glass of water. It will provide you with a natural boost of energy, get your digestive system running smoothly, and promote hydration throughout the rest of the day -- dehydration can increase fatigue. You may want to add a fresh lemon slice to the glass for more health benefits. Also, be sure to eat a healthy and filling breakfast. A meal with plenty of fiber and protein, such as oatmeal with chia seeds or whole wheat toast with nut butter, can turn your entire day around for the better. You'll have the nutrients you need to keep your energy and focus up without having to rely on caffeine or sugar, which may cause an energy crash later in the day.
It's easy for anyone to start to get tired if they stay in one position for too long, regardless of how much rest they've had. Keep your energy up by moving around at least once during every two-hour span. If you sit at a desk at work, try to at least stand up and stretch if you can't get away for a brisk walk around the office.
Improve Future Sleep Habits
You should be focusing on getting at least 7-9 hours of sleep every night, and making sleep a top health priority in general. However, if you do experience the occasional lack of quality sleep, you now have the tools to help you recover and get through the day with minimal damage to your well-being.