Suffering from lack of sleep? Tips to make it through the day.

Suffering from insomnia, becoming a new parent or a late night caffeinated beverage can all lead to a bad night sleep. How can you cope to make it through the day?

  1. Caffeine –Yes, it can help with focusing for a short period of time, but beware of the unwanted side effects including increased heart rate and making us feel on edge. Also, if sensitive to caffeine, it can prevent you from sleeping.
  2. Eating — Can help you feel better, but won’t wake you up. “Eating sugary foods will give us an immediate boost in energy, but then it is generally followed by a quite steep drop in energy,” says Siobhan Banks, co-director of the Behaviour-Brain-Body Research Centre.
  3. Drink water — Dehydration and exhaustion from a bad night sleep can feel similar. Professor Banks says many, if not most, adults are a bit dehydrated most of the time, so drinking more water is never a bad idea. “There’s nothing wrong with having some water. It will make you feel better and get rid of any dehydration,” Professor Banks says. But unlike caffeine, water doesn’t help your alertness, so again, it’s not a fix for a lack of sleep.
  4. Move in the sunlight — sitting can make you feel more sleepy. “Changing posture, moving about … getting out during the day and taking a walk around the building, especially if it’s a sunny day, that will have great healthful impacts on your alertness and also your general wellbeing,” Professor Banks says. Sunlight on your face can shut off melatonin, a chemical we produce for sleep.
  5. Squeeze in a power nap — if possible. The key is to keep the nap short, no longer than 10 minutes. Longer naps can actually make you more sleepy.

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