What To Do When You Didn't Get Enough Sleep

by Raven Ishak

You've been through it before, waking up and not knowing what to do when you didn't get enough sleep. You told yourself that you were going to get a good night's rest, but that you were just going to watch one episode of your favorite show on Netflix. Next thing you know it, you are five episodes deep, it's three in the morning, and you have work in less than fives hours. It happens to the best of us, but we should know by now that just like a bag of potato chips, you can't just watch one episode — it's literally impossible.

When you are sleep deprived from the night before, it's really hard to accept reality of the next day. I really hate to hear the alarm go off, and sometimes, I hit that snooze button more times than I can count on on one hand. While there is no secret pill to automatically wake us up for the day, there are a few ways to help trick our mind and body that we actually got enough Zs. Some you might like and others you won't agree with, but for the most part, they will help boost your day without chugging an energy drink. So just get up when your alarm clock tells you to and do the rest of the steps to help jump start your day

1. Get Up Right When Your Alarm Goes Off

It might sound counterproductive, but when you continue to hit that snooze button, you are actually doing more harm than good. According to a Women's Health article, sleep specialist Michael Breus, Ph.D. said, "First, pressing snooze screws with your REM sleep. This is the most restorative sleep stage, crucial to feeling mentally focused the next day." Essentially, by hitting that snooze button, you are making yourself feel more foggy, because you are allowing your body to go back to a new cycle of sleep.

2. Drink A Cup Of Water Right When You Wake Up

While most people will automatically start that coffee machine to get their day going, it's actually recommended to drink a cold cup of water instead. By doing this, you are allowing your body to rehydrate and "wake up" the rest of your organs. According to a Today Health and Wellness article, internist Jacob Teitelbaum, M.D., the author of From Fatigued to Fantastic said, "Cold triggers the stimulating hormone adrenaline." So while warm water is good to drink, cold water will really get you going. If you want to make your water super fancy, add some lemons to it for extra benefits.

3. Expose Yourself To As Much Light As Possible

Depending on when you wake up in the morning, it is best to expose yourself to as much sunlight (or really, any source of light) as possible. By doing this, you are allowing your circadian rhythm to truly function. According to a Medical Daily article, if you expose yourself to natural daylight (or turn on your lights right away) when you wake up, it is signaling your body it is daytime and it will naturally help restart your body clock.

4. Have A Cup Of Coffee Or Tea

This is always a great way to really put a pep in your step. I wouldn't know what to do if I didn't have caffeine in my life. It really lifts the mood and it tastes amazing. But it's a great tool to use to get you up and going... even if you don't drink it. According to a Huffington Post article about why you should drink coffee every day, even if you just expose yourself to the smell of coffee, it will reduce stress due to sleep deprivation. So even if you don't like the taste of coffee, get yourself a coffee-scented candle or something, it will do the body good.

5. Eat A Healthy Breakfast

By eating a healthy nutritional breakfast, you are allowing your body to wake up the best way possible. It will help restore cognitive function and there are even a few selected foods that will naturally wake you up, like avocado, blueberries, and oats. I personally love to eat avocado toast, with a bowl of fruit on the side. If I could wake up every morning with that breakfast, I would be the happiest girl in the world.

6. Exercise Or Stretch

Whether you like to hear this or not, exercising in the a.m. is one of the best things you can do to really wake up your brain and body. I personally don't practice exercise at all, but if I only had a few hours of sleep the night before, I usually try to give myself a good stretch in the morning to get my body limber. But maybe I should jump on that exercise train. According to a Huffington Post article about why morning workouts are the best, when you exercise, it helps deliver oxygen and nutrients to your body and allows your whole cardiovascular system to work more efficiently, which essentially, boost your energy levels. So work out in the morning to give yourself a natural high and you should be good for the rest of your day.

Waking up after only a few hours a sleep is never the greatest feeling in the world. But instead of crying the blues, you will feel like a million bucks after you use these tips to fight your sleep hangover.

Images: Giphy (5); Pexels