Loss of sleep is a very common experience, particularly in our modern society where we are all burdened with tight schedules, juggling multiple chores, and a huge amount of information. The worst thing is that we often take this problem very lightly, and try to go through life with as less sleep as possible. The poor effects of sleep deprivation are numerous, and depending on just how many hours of sleep you are losing on a daily basis, they can range from feeling groggy and tired to losing focus and weakening of the immune system.
The rule of thumb is to get your eight hours of sleep every night, and you definitely should. But we all know that life isn’t all rainbows and butterflies. What follows is the list of things you can do on those days when you simply can’t get enough of shut-eye.
Imagine your body as a machine which runs on batteries. It is only so long the batteries can last until they need recharging. Those batteries of yours are used to a specific timetable of charging. We call this sleep cycle. The trick is to explore your sleep cycle and figure out how to fall into a rhythm. There are plenty of smartphone apps which can help you with that.
Sometimes the culprit for your exhaustion lies in dehydration. A glass of water can be the right way to snap your brain out of drowsiness and regain focus, by increasing the flow of oxygen to your brain. So, start your day with one or two glasses of water to boost your focus straight away, and as soon as you start feeling sleepy again have another one.
Coffee? No, please.
There is nothing like the first sip of coffee in the morning to help you wake up. Don’t worry, nobody is trying to take that away from you. It is every subsequent coffee cup we have an issue with. The additional coffees can make you dehydrated and add to the fatigue. Avoid the intake of caffeine during the day and replace it with healthy juices and teas.
Become the (yoga) master of your sleep
You may not be able to get more hours of sleep than you are getting now, but you can surely improve the quality of your sleep. How? Well, the ancient practice of yoga as the ultimate guide for mindfulness and serenity can help you with that.
There is a series of yoga poses to help you sleep better regardless of your gender, age, and fitness level. Deep breathing exercises and meditation can also contribute to your progress.
Become tired to get rested
Remember how when you were a kid you’d get the best of sleep when you’ve spent an entire day running around the backyard? Adult days are not much different. Some studies and many doctors suggest that exercising can improve even the sleep of people with chronic insomnia. If you have regular physical activities you will fall asleep faster and wake up less during the night, so even the few hours of sleep you get will become priceless.
Get your (super) power nap
Having a little siesta to get back on track is always a smart move for resetting your biological clock. Of course, the nap shouldn’t turn into a full-blown shut-eye. It takes only ten to fifteen minutes to drench yourself in quietness. If you are at work, you can catch some Z’s by gently putting your head down and remaining silent for a few minutes. If you are at home, you can wind down on the couch for a short while.
Get hot and get cold
Research suggests that a combination of a hot and cold shower (in the following order: hot-cold-hot) activates your senses and stimulates alertness. It is, therefore, a good idea to start your day like this. If you feel dreamy during working hours, try washing your face using this strategy.
Sleep is essential for alertness, performance, and general wellbeing. Whenever you can, try to get your recommended dose. If that is not possible, use the tricks we mentioned to boost the quality of your sleep and feel fresh throughout the day.