9 Ways To Bounce Back The Day After A Crappy Night’s Sleep

1. Eat right away.


Sleep deprivation can mess with your hunger signals in a number of ways: 
It can make you feel hungrier all day, and it can make it harder to keep cravings in check if you indulge in a little bit of junk food.
Stay away from the candy and start your day with a healthy breakfast to keep the good vibes going all day. 
Eating something with protein will help keep you energized throughout the day, says registered dietician Megan Faletra.


2. Go out in the sun.


Bright light helps wake you up, says Cathy Goldstein, M.D., a neurologist at Michigan Medicine’s Sleep Disorders Center.
So try to get outside and turn on as many lights as you can — don’t cower in your room under your phone’s glow even if you feel groggy.


3. Get moving.


Exercise might be the last thing you want to do when you’re short on rest, but even just a few stretches or jumping jacks can help get you going, says Courtney Bancroft, Psy.D., a licensed clinical health psychologist specializing in insomnia and sleep wellness. 
One caveat: Some trainers say they don’t like it when their clients train on a poor night’s sleep, so your best bet here is light exercise — nothing too strenuous, please!


4. Do some deep breathing.


Breathing exercises can wake you up in a way similar to exercise, says Bancroft. 
Try sticking your tongue out and panting for 30 seconds, breathing in deeply, and repeating. 
Or try alternate nostril breathing: Cover your right nostril with your thumb and breath in through your left nostril for four to eight seconds; cover the left with your pinkie and exhale out of your right for the same amount of time. Then breathe in on the right side, covering the left. Keep alternating for one minute.


5. Get chilly.


Heat can make you feel even sleepier. 
Bancroft recommends taking a cold shower, turning down your thermostat, or even just running your hands under cool water to keep alert.


6. Try not to nap.


Stay awake all day after a bad night, and you’ll be able to fall asleep easier the next time, Bancroft says. “This keeps the sleep drive — one of the major systems that affects our ability to fall asleep — ’hungry,’ so to speak, for sleep,” she explains. If you can’t resist napping, avoid going more than 45 minutes, or you may be vulnerable to sleep inertia, “persistent grogginess after awakening,” says Dr. Goldstein. It’s also best to nap before 2:00 or 3:00 P.M. so your circadian rhythm can reset and you don’t experience yet another night of tossing and turning.


7. Drink tons of water.


Dehydration can make you even more tired, so Faletra recommends drinking two to three liters of water over the course of the day.


8. Avoid your devices once it gets dark.


Since grogginess can make you less productive, you might be tempted to work later than usual. 
But the light coming from your screen could keep you up late too, so force yourself to stop two hours before bedtime, says Dr. Goldstein.


9. Drink coffee. (Bet you thought we weren’t going to say that!)


Coffee really does help keep you going, says Dr. Goldstein, since it reduces adenosine, a neurotransmitter your brain releases when you’re sleep-deprived. 
Just try not to have a cup after 2:00 P.M., since misuse of coffee can make sleeplessness a self-perpetuating cycle.
Really, the most important thing is that next night — it’s what will keep one bad day from becoming a pattern of sleeplessness.

15 thoughts on “9 Ways To Bounce Back The Day After A Crappy Night’s Sleep”

  1. I’ve always had a bad sleep schedule. I try to sleep before midnight whenever I have school. I drink coffee in the morning if I can and sometimes in the afternoon it’s probably a bad idea then. I think coffee could be a reason as to why I have an off sleep schedule. Regardless of how tired I am, I wake up earlier to look at the time to know I have more to sleep. I make sure I am up on time and leave the house. I feel tired right now and I’m pretty sure my sleep schedule is disturbed and has been for a while then which is bad it must be the same for every college student.

  2. These are great tips. As a college student and part-time worker, it is hard for me to keep a steady schedule and get the same amount of sleep every night. There are some days where I do feel deprived of sleep and extremely tired the next day to focus on activities. I think the most helpful tip is to eat a nutritious meal for breakfast and have a coffee. To add to this list, an article I found on the web suggested tackling tough projects first, sitting up straight and keeping your phone in your bag. This allows you to focus and feel more productive throughout the day. While taking a nap is not recommended, this article claims that resting for 10 minutes early on the day can have improvements with cognitive function.


  3. Some of these are new to me, but out of all of the listed steps the one that I follow as an iron rule is to never use electronics in bed. The blue light emitted from phones/laptops prevent sleep for hours. I will surely be using these methods to see for myself.

  4. Some of these are new to me, but out of all of the listed steps the one that I follow as an iron rule is to never use electronics in bed. The blue light emitted from phones/laptops prevent sleep for hours. I will surely be using these methods to see for myself.

  5. Most of these suggestions are things I’ve heard before, especially the last one, which enocuraged drinking Caffeine!
    The one thing I was a little surprised to see on the list was #6, which stated to try avoid napping. I understand Dr Goldstein’s argument that avoiding sleep will allow your body to become ‘hungry’ for sleep, but I also believe napping is a good habit when done in moderation. I’ve learned in Psychology that napping should be short enough to avoid deep sleep. So, instead of avoiding napping, he should suggest that one should avoid naps longer than 45 minutes since shorter naps have also been shown to be helpful in reducing accidents.

  6. Many of these suggestions I haven’t heard before, like avoiding napping (which I do all the time). I think without taking short naps every day, I would go crazy. I drink coffee every day, it does boost my energy.

  7. I definitely agree with breakfast in the morning. Breakfast helps fight depression and I am a strong believer in that. Every time I have my spiritual breakfast with God and a good morning meal, I feel joy gained to my steps. Especially because I am starting my day with understanding how I am feeling, and tasks to enjoy life. A great feeling it is when your flesh and spirit are fed.

  8. I wish I new about this when I pulled all nighters studying for exams. I wasn’t expecting coffee to be in this list usually coffee is frowned upon when the topic of bouncing back after not sleeping. Also i never new breathing excursuses actually worked in a situation like this.

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