In a perfect world, we would all get eight hours of sleep every night, and wake feeling refreshed and ready to take on the day. But with the sun out longer and the temperatures rising, it can be tempting to stay out past your bedtime during the summer months. Whether you’re burning the midnight oil with friends or catching up on your workload, follow these tips to make the next day a little less painful.
Let in the light
The best way to start the day after a night of little sleep is with natural sunlight. Open your blinds before you hit the hay and the sunlight will help reset your internal clock.
Eat the right foods
If you normally skip your breakfast routine, make sure you set aside the time to eat this morning. Eating foods high in fiber, protein, and whole grains will give you a boost of energy to help you stay alert. Try a bowl of old-fashioned oatmeal with cinnamon, honey, and a handful of blueberries. You may also want a side of whole wheat toast topped with peanut butter and sliced banana.
When you skimp on shuteye, your brain uses more energy to keep you awake and alert. This can lead to dehydration, which in turn makes you more drowsy. Carry a bottle of ice water around with you throughout the day – the cold will be a shock to your system. Water is a much healthier alternative than coffee or energy drinks, both of which can cause you to crash mid-afternoon.
Fake a workout
Exercise not only keeps your body fit, but your mind too. When you feel your eyes start to get heavy, try taking a ten minute walk around the block or even just do some simple stretches at your desk. The movement will improve blood flow to your brain, which sharpens thinking, supports problem-solving, and reduces stress and feelings of depression.
Look the part
Though the tips above will help you feel refreshed, it won’t matter if you look like you just rolled out of bed. A cold shower will wake you up, and a body and face scrub will brighten your skin. Depuff your eyes with caffeinated eye gel, use white eye liner to make your eyes look awake, and add a pop of color on your lips to brighten your face.
One of the major culprits that can lead to a bad night’s sleep is hitting the hay while you’re still wired from the day. Here are a few tips to help you wind down before you turn in.
Turn off the screens. At least an hour before bed, stop looking at phones, tablets and computers. The bright light emitted by the screens can make it harder for you to relax.
Make quiet time. Don’t work right up until the time you go to bed. If you’re talking with a chatty friend, say your goodbyes 20 or 30 minutes before you want call it a night. Setting aside a few minutes to do something quiet like reading will help ensure that you’re not still churning the activities of the day over and over in your mind while you’re trying to get to sleep.
Create a routine. Whether it’s meditating or taking a warm shower, doing the same thing before bed each night will signal to your mind that it’s time to start slowing down and preparing for sleep.