11 Tips For Waking Up & Starting Your Day When You Feel Sleep Deprived
As far as terrible feelings go, having to wake up when you feel sleep deprived is at the top of the list. Simply reaching over to turn off the alarm is a struggle. And the thought of getting out of bed? Well, it feels like a complete impossibility.
So you know starting the day — and feeling at least somewhat awake — is going to be even more difficult. This is especially the case when you've pass normal sleepiness and cross over into the realm of true sleep deprivation. "Symptoms of sleep deprivation can include daytime sleepiness and frequent yawning," says Dr. Andrew Westwood, Assistant Professor of Clinical Neurology (Division of Epilepsy and Sleep Disorder) at New York-Presbyterian/Columbia University Medical Center, in an email to Bustle. Sound familiar?
If so, you'll want to start caring more about your bedtime routine. Start by setting aside seven to eight hours a night for good sleep, according to Westwood. "Keeping a similar bedtime and wake up time regardless of a bad night of sleep is important to keep overall consistency to sleep," he adds. If you can do this on the regular, waking up with be far easier. But until that day comes, here are some tips for waking your tired self up, and getting started with the day.
1. Leave The Snooze Button Alone
When your alarm starts blaring, don't even think about hitting snooze. You're just delaying the inevitable, according to an article on Shape, so it's much better to just get up. Besides, any extra sleep you do get (i.e., those nine minutes of snoozing bliss) won't actually be much help.
2. Get Thyself Into The Light, ASAP
Throw open the curtains the moment you get out of bed. Or, better yet, go outside for a quick walk. "Getting out in the sunshine or around some form of bright light can help you feel more awake, even when you're sleep deprived," said Jennifer Acosta Scott on EverydayHealth.com. Thirty minutes is all it should take.
3. Hop Into A Cold Shower
I'm sure you know cold showers have the ability to shock away sleepiness. But did you know why? "The trick is in the timing: Shower as you normally would, but after scrubbing and shampooing, turn the water as cold as it goes for 30 seconds," noted Shape. "After that, crank it back to a steamy temp for 30 seconds, followed by a final blast of cold. This method increases blood flow and provides a sense of stimulation."
4. Make An Easy Plan For The Day
If the day is stretching out before you and feeling utterly impossible, then do yourself a favor and make an easy-to-follow game plan. "When you're tired, your brain isn't as good at making decisions," Scott explained. "So ... one of the best things you can do is make a plan of attack. If you list out all of the things you need to get done that day, and in what order, you can increase your productivity." Simple as that.
5. Do A Few Quick Exercises
I know it may feel like torture in the moment, but moving your tired bod can help you feel more awake. As Westwood says, "In the temporary setting ... caffeine, and exercise can all help boost alertness after awakening." So do a few jumping jacks, or a quick jog around the block. I promise, it will help you feel better.
6. Have The Right Amount Of Coffee
If you're four cups in and still feeling tired, it may be time to step away from the coffee pot. "Research shows that two cups of joe will make you as alert as you’re going to get, so drink those two and then switch to water," noted Shape. No use being tired and jittery, right?
7. Give Your Mom A Call
Trudging off in a bleary-eyed state? Try giving your mom a quick ring. "Regardless of your current relationship, either the stress or the charm of calling her will get you going," said Kevin Daum on Inc.com. And hey, she may even have some of her own wise advice for waking up in the morning.
8. No Donuts Allowed
OK fine, have a donut. Just don't snack away simply for that jolt of sugar. It may work for a moment or two, but eventually your blood sugar will crash and you'll feel as tired as ever. Instead, stick to a balanced diet and put extra emphasis on protein-rich foods like nuts and lean meats, according to Robyn Abree on WebMD.com. This snacking method is more likely to get you going.
9. Stretch It Out
OK, so you just got to work and the sleepiness is still hangin' on. If it's really bad, go hide in the bathroom or duck down at your desk and do some stretches. "Do anything that will get your body in a different rhythm for a moment," suggested Cortney Chaite on MindBodyGreen.com. Touch your toes, do a tree pose — whatever it takes.
10. Watch Some Funny YouTube Videos
Before you venture forth into your sleep-inducing inbox, take five minutes to watch a few funny YouTube videos. A few moments of laughter can help wake you up, according to Matthews Rogers on Lifehacker.com. Plus, it's simply a better way to start your day.
11. Have A Positive Attitude
Last but not least, get yourself a positive attitude. It may sound cheesy, but it really can help you look at the day with fresh(er) eyes. "Waking up with a groan and thinking about all the things you don’t want to do is a terrible way to motivate yourself to get out of bed," said Kelly Fitzpatrick on DailyBurn.com. "Instead, think ahead to the best things you’ll do all day to fuel your desire to get up and at ‘em."
And remember, you will get through this day. Before long, you'll find yourself once again in your comfy, cozy bed. Just be sure to actually catch some ZZZs so you're not this tired tomorrow.
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