So you’ve had a rough night, for what could be a multitude of reasons – baby needed multiple feeds, neighbours partying, dogs barking. Or perhaps you’d something on your mind that you just couldn’t shake. That grossly under-slept morning feeling is something we all experience from time to time, and here are the best ways to be an absolute champ and power through your day.
1. Open Your Curtains
Seems obvious doesn’t it. But when we’re really tired, the inclination is to creep around in the low lit room and scuttle out the door. Getting a big bust of natural light into your room, first thing, reduces the melatonin levels in your body. With melatonin being the sleepy hormone, reducing levels straight away will kick start you right when you need it. And for the remainder of the day, try and get as much exposure to natural light as possible – it really helps to keep you awake.
2. Endure a cold shower
It’s not cosy, it’s not warm, it’s not comforting. But you’re tired and you need something to snap you out of your stupor, and this will do the job so very well. You can start the shower warm for the purposes of cleaning yourself, but for at least 30 to 60 seconds at the end of your shower, you need to put it on the coldest setting and put yourself under it, almost to the point where you can’t stand it another second. Doing so gives your body a real adrenaline boost that will have you feeling sharp.
3. Deep Breaths
When you’re outdoors, make an effort to get plenty of oxygen into your system with deep breathing. Breathe in through your nose for five seconds and push out your belly as you do so. Hold for three seconds and exhale slowly though your mouth. Do this at least ten times.
4. Snack, not Gorge
When you’re short on sleep, a ‘power’ lunch will likely sap all that remaining energy of yours. Seems counter-productive, right? But when you take on plenty of food, your body’s organs are working hard at processing all that food. Just like a big meal can make you feel a little drowsy even when you’re well slept, a big meal when under slept could literally have you close to nodding off at your desk. Plenty of little snacks to sustain your energy is the way to go.
5. Power up with Protein
Sugar will be the temptation of the day, with a coffee and donut comb seeming like the best idea. But a sugary and carbohydrate based meal is going to spike your insulin levels, giving you plenty of short term energy, followed by a crash. The smart money is on protein – around 20 to 25g, which could be in the form of eggs, greek yoghurt, or a palm sized piece of meat which will help you keep focused much better than a sugar crash.
6. Don’t fill up on coffee
Caffeine will give you a boost, no doubt. But just like our meals, we don’t want to overload in one go. So instead of that triple expresso, try to have four smaller cups throughout the day. The optimal level is 50-100mg of caffeine per cup, and stop drinking by 4pm at the latest, to ensure that the night ahead won’t be compromised.
7. Power up with a caffeine nap
If it’s feasible for you to take a 25-30 minute nap during the day, grab yourself an expresso, drink up quickly, set your alarm clock and hit the hay. Seems odd, right? But the Caffeine takes around 45 minutes to make its way through your system, and by the time you start waking up, you’ll feel doubly alert from your cat-nap and the Caffeine boost.